Rock Candy Sticks
Rock Candy Sticks are a classic! Super fun science experiment to make with the kids for a birthday party, gift or event! This version is pastel-coloured and flavoured by adding grenadine, cassis, blueberry and elderflower syrup.
Rock Candy Sticks are a fantastic activity to make with the kids, between cooking and science experiments; the kiddos will enjoy looking at the crystals growing bigger every day. Plus, it has a natural flavour to keep each stick unique and fun! Perfect for a kid’s birthday or event! Plus, they will bring back Papa and Mama to their childhood! Have fun making these homemade pastel lollipops with the kids to create memories!
These rock candies, also called sugar candy or crystal sugar, have a long history! They probably go back to Sanskrit times around the Middle East a few centuries ago. It spread through the Arab world, India, China, and Europe. It’s still used in traditional tea service cultures worldwide, like North East Germany, Iran, India, etc. In Mexico, they make crystal skulls with this method for The Day of the Dead on the 1st of November and give them to kids to protect them and as an offering at the altar of the departed.
Kid-Friendly Science Experiment
Rock Candy Sticks is a fun experiment to make with the kids, although be careful! NOT TO LET THEM MANIPULATE THE HOT SYRUP. I mean, if they are old enough, they can do the colour mixing and stick manipulations, but make sure to cover them before making this recipe. If someone drops a glass, long pants, shirts and closed shoes will go a long way.
You have the flexibility to conduct the same experiment using a string to create a beautiful crystal necklace. For this recipe, I’ve bought small skewers, but you could use any skewers and break them into two if they are too long. Additionally, you can opt for either white or brown sugar. Similarly, using food colouring is entirely up to you, and you can choose the flavoured syrup of your preference, whether homemade or store-bought.
You’ll need to add a 3:1 ratio of sugar: water, which means one cup of water for 3 cups of sugar! Yes, it’s a lot; you must saturate the water with sugar to create this crystallization on the stick. To incorporate so much sugar in so little water, you’ll need to bring the water to a boil, then add the sugar a small amount at a time until all is dissolved.
Then, stick your skewers in the syrup, then sugar, and let them dry. This is an important step that will start the process of crystallization! It is essential to wait about 45 minutes until the sugar gets hard on the stick before adding it to the syrup.
It’s essential to ensure that the sticks do not touch the sides of the glass or each other to prevent them from sticking. If they do, they might get stuck to the glass. It’s normal to observe light crystallization on the top of the glass; you can break it with a spoon before removing the Rock Candy Sticks to avoid any difficulties.
A Patience Lesson
Let the glasses rest in a calm place without much air movement. Once it starts to rest, it will take about a week to form all of the Rock Candy Sticks, sometimes faster. You can look but no touching of the glasses. This will be a lovely lesson about patience for the kids, looking each day at their yummy Rock Candy Sticks growing bigger and bigger.
Overall, the recipe is super simple and fun but needs to be supervised if done with kids.
Other Recipes to Make with the Kids
- 2 cups water
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp syrup of your choice grenadine, blueberry, elderflower, black currant, etc.
- 3 drops food colorant
- Prepare the material: find the food colourant you'll need with each syrup you choose, and take out the skewers, and glass recipients you'll use.
- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, then add bit by bit the sugar while stirring constantly. Once it's translucent again, add more sugar until no more.
- Dip each skewer halfway into the simple syrup, then into the raw sugar and let it dry until hard (about an hour).
- Add the syrup carefully to thick glasses or pots; add a tablespoon of flavoured syrup of your choice and three drops of food colourant in each glass.
- Once the sugar has hardened on the skewers, install them with the help of a cloth pin (peg) in each glass. Be careful not to touch the bottom or sides of the glass.
- Let the crystallization happen over 5 to 7 days.
- Once you like the size of your Rock Candy Sticks, take them out and let them dry horizontally before serving.