This fun holiday project is based on my fake glass tutorial. What you do is make sugar 'glass' (or 'ice' in this case) spread it onto a cookie sheet, warm the hard candy in the oven until you can cut it, then twist the strips of melted candy glass into spiral icicle shapes. There is another method that you can use which involves twisting together ropes of the sugar to make striped icicles. First things first:
Candy Glass Icicle Ingredients
- 1 cup (250 mL) sugar
- flat baking sheet
- butter or baking paper
- candy thermometer
- food coloring (optional)
- Butter or line a baking sheet with baker's (silicon) paper. Place the sheet in the refrigerator to chill. The chilled pan will prevent the hot sugar from continuing to cook after you remove it from the heat, which is important if you are trying for clear 'ice'.
- Pour the sugar into a small pan on a stove over low heat.
- Stir continuously until the sugar melts (takes a while). If you have a candy thermometer, remove from heat at the hard crack stage (clear glass), which is 291-310°F or 146-154°C. If the sugar is heated past the hard crack stage it will turn amber (colored translucent glass). If you want clear icicles, pay close attention to the temperature! If you don't mind the amber color or are adding food coloring, then the temperature is a little less critical.
- You have a couple of options here. You can pour the hot sugar into strips, let them cool slightly, then (wearing rubber gloves to prevent hot candy from sticking to your finger) twist the warm candy into a spiral icicle shape.
- Alternatively (and easier) pour all of the melted sugar onto the cooled pan. Allow it to cool.
- Heat the pan of candy in a 185°F oven until the candy can be cut into strips. Curl the strips. One technique is to wrap the strips around a long buttered wooden spoon.
- Wear a pair of inexpensive winter gloves under a pair of buttered kitchen gloves to protect your hands from the heat as well as from sticking to the candy.
- Don't exceed the hard-crack cooking temperature if you want clear icicles. This is 295°F to 310°F at sea level, but you will need to subtract 1°F from every listed temperature for each 500 feet above sea level. The sugar will start to carmelize (brown) somewhere around 320-338°F or 160-10°C, depending on your altitude. This occurs when the sucrose starts to break down into simpler sugars. The flavor of the candy is affected by this change, as well as its color.