How to Make Hard Tac Candy


Hard tack candy is a popular treat around the holiday season. People often make hard tack candy in flavors such as cinnamon and wintergreen and color them red and green for Christmas. You don't have to wait until the holidays to try your hand at making hard tack candy. Hard tack can be made any time of year and in any flavor. The recipe is relatively simple, but getting your ingredients to the right temperature to create hard candy can be challenging.

Step 1

Grease cookie sheet well. If you want, you can dust the pan with powdered sugar to help prevent sticking.

Step 2

In a 4-quart saucepan or larger, mix together sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer, but don't let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan.

Step 3

Add flavor and coloring at around 260 to 270 degrees F. This will allow the boiling action to do the mixing for you.

Step 4

Continue to heat the mixture until it reaches hard-crack stage. This occurs between 300 and 310 degrees F. At this point, most of the water will have boiled out of the mixture, leaving a thick syrup.

Step 5

Pour the mixture onto the greased cookie sheet. Use a metal spoon to spread evenly.

Step 6

Break the candy into pieces. Once the candy is dry, place a towel over it and hit it softly with a hammer through the towel. You can coat your hard tack candy in powdered sugar if you desire. Just place the sugar in a bag, add the candy and shake gently.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful when pouring hard tack candy mixture. It is very hot and will stick to the skin. Hard tack candy has very sharp edges once broken.

Things You'll Need

  • Stove
  • Cookie sheet
  • 4-quart saucepan
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • Candy thermometer
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. of flavoring
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of food coloring
  • Metal spoon
  • Hammer
  • Powdered sugar
  • Bag

Who Can Help

  • Watch a Video on Hard-Crack Stage of Candy-Making
Keywords: Make, Hard, Tack, Candy

About this Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.

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