Can you tell we're on a hard candy kick? We tried this one today. The kids can't participate in the cooking part since it's too hot, but they will definitely love whacking it apart with hammers to make the "coal chunks". Happy Hammering!
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 tsp. flavoring oil (or as desired)
Black Liquid Food Coloring (as desired)
Directions: Have all ingredients and tools assembled and within easy reach of the stove. Lightly spray an 8" X 8" pan with cooking spray (we recommend PAM). In a 2-quart kettle or large saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Insert candy thermometer if using, making certain it does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Bring mixture to a boil, without stirring. Early in the cooking process, you can "wash down" any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Continue to cook the syrup until the temperature reaches 260 F; add color. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup.
Remove from heat precisely at 300 F (temperature will continue rising), or until drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water. After boiling action has ceased, add flavor and stir. USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM.
Pour syrup into prepared pan. Do not refrigerate. Cool completely.
*Using the end of a wooden spoon, or other tool, pound candy into small chunks to simulate coal pieces. For best results, wrap candy in sucker bags or plastic wrap and secure with a twist tie.
*Before pounding, we transferred the slab of candy to a large pan with high sides such as a Dutch Oven and pounded the candy inside of the pan.