Hard candy is a delicious treat, but it is generally made with all kinds of artificial flavorings. If you'd like to make a more natural version of traditional hard candy at home, you can use fruit juice along with several items you can find at your local grocery store. Make this recipe with your children, but do not let them use the stove alone. Making hard candy with fruit juice is a fun family recipe that also makes a welcome holiday gift.
Mix the water, corn syrup and the 2 cups of sugar in a saucepan. Turn the burner to medium heat and slowly stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Place the candy thermometer in the pan and heat until the temperature reaches 250 degrees F.
When the temperature has reached 250 degrees F, add several drops of food coloring, the color of your choice, to the mixture. When the mixture reaches 300 degrees F, immediately take it off the heat.
Stir the mixture thoroughly, and as the syrup stops boiling, slowly add the fruit juice of your choice. The more concentrated the fruit juice, the stronger the taste your candy will have. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
Pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet greased with vegetable oil. Allow the pan to cool.
When the pan has cooled completely, break the candy into bite-size pieces and pour powdered sugar on top to reduce stickiness. Eat immediately, and store the leftover candy in plastic bags.
Make three different colors of candy and mix them together for a thoughtful holiday gift.
Do not let children operate a stove without the supervision of an adult.
Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.