I love the idea of making hard candy that has the look of sea glass. It’s the ideal favor for a beach-themed party, a little girl’s mermaid birthday or a boy’s pirate party.
When our children were young, they had fun collecting shells on the beach. We used to vacation on the Atlantic side of southern Florida and, although the beaches were lovely, the shells we found tended to be mostly broken bits with a few tiny intact ones scattered about. Finding a beautiful piece of sea glass was the real prize.
I’m fairly certain that our little girls believed the luminous shards were a type of colorful seashell and not just the sand-tumbled result of castaway beer and soda pop bottles. There is something slightly magical about discovering a bit of beach glass; do you agree? I know machine made versions are sold by the bag in craft stores, but a purchased piece of sea glass will never hold the same magic as a happened-upon fragment of glass made smooth and milky by the tumult of the sea. Perhaps making your own edible sea glass will hold some enchantment for you as well.
I was so pleased with the way the candy turned out. It really did look like beach glass. I made a few batches of candy using varying amounts of LorAnn teal and blue liquid food coloring. For flavor, I used our Cool Creme de Menthe super strength flavoring which has a softer mint taste than peppermint.
The trick to getting that cloudy translucence is to dust the finished candy with powdered sugar and then use a clean dish towel to “buff” the coated candy until it loses its shine. Don’t feel like you need to stick to blues and greens for coloring. I’ve seen gorgeous shades of coral colored beach candy as well.
How to Make Sea Glass Hard Candy
Use of a candy thermometer is recommended
Have all ingredients and tools assembled and within easy reach of the stove. The use of metal spoons and measuring utensils is recommended.
- Line a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with foil and lightly oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a heavy (good quality) 2-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Insert candy thermometer, making certain it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring.
- Early in the cooking process, “wash down” any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
- Continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 260º F; add drops of coloring until desired hue is achieved. 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 (hard crack stage). After boiling action has ceased, add flavor and stir. USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM.
- Carefully pour syrup onto the prepared foil lined cookie sheet. Allow candy to cool at room temperature.
- When candy slab is completely cooled and hardened, dust the slab liberally on both sides with powdered sugar and use a clean, dry dish cloth (preferably one with a flat weave) to “buff” the candy until it takes on the matte finish of tumbled sea glass. Break slab into bite-sized pieces (I used the butt of a large chef’s knife). Alternately, break slab into pieces first, then place pieces in a zip-top plastic bag along with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and shake to coat. Transfer pieces to a colander and shake off excess sugar. Rub/buff pieces individually with the clean dish cloth until the powdered sugar is worked in and the candy loses its shine.
- Store sea glass candy in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.