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   How to make hard candy jewels Posted by Chica 
April 26, 2010 

Jo and I have been doing lots of projects over the last month or so for Little Jo’s birthday party, and I want to show you one of the projects I did for part of the party decor. We found ourselves needing some round gems in just the right color of teal. If they could be edible, all the better. So I did some shopping and some research and came up with everything I needed to make hard candy jewels. And I gotta tell you, this turned out to be one of the most fun projects I’ve done in ages!

By the way, there was a lot of trial and error as I figured out just the right techniques for making hard candy, and I’ll tell you about that at the end of this post. But for now, here is the right way to do it!

You’ll need to pick up a couple of custom supplies for making hard candy. First, you’ll need some hard candy jewel molds. Then you’ll need some liquid food coloring that’s suitable for use with hard candy and optionally, some candy flavoring oils in any flavor you like (although I left mine plain, and they tasted kind of like cotton candy!) The rest of the items you’ll need are quite simple: corn syrup, sugar, water, a pan, non-stick cooking spray, a candy thermometer, and a Pyrex 4-cup measuring cup.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

Before we even think about turning that stove on, we’ve got lots of prep work to do. The prep will make this so much easier, so get everything ready to go before you start. The very first step, before you do anything else, is to calibrate your candy thermometer. You may not know that your thermometer can get “off” over time, especially the ones with the little paper guide inside that can move. If your numbers are off, you’ll never get the right temperature, and your candy might fail miserably.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to calibrate your candy thermometer. Just bring a pot of water to a boil and put the thermometer inside. It should read 212 degrees F (at sea level, anyway). If it’s higher or lower than that, then remember that difference and adjust your target temperature accordingly for this candy recipe. (For example: if your thermometer says 200 when the water is boiling, you’re 12 degrees too low, and you should subtract 12 from your recipe’s target temperature.)

I urge you to please not skip this calibration step, because it can save you so much frustration. I learned this the hard way (as you’ll see below) with candy that was overcooked and discolored!

Once your thermometer is set, then you need to spray the molds with the non-stick cooking spray. I put my molds in the sink to keep from spraying my counters. Don’t be too stingy, but don’t let it puddle, either.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

Next, you want to cover your work area with aluminum foil. The candy won’t stock to the foil, so it’s a great surface to work on. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the counter next to your stove, making sure it’s close enough to catch any candy drips later. Put the Pyrex measuring cup right on the foil. Then put another big piece of foil on the counter and put your molds on top. If you’re going to use flavoring, get a clean, dry spoon ready and put it next to the Pyrex cup.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

Now go ahead and mix up your ingredients in the pan. You’ll need:

  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • food coloring as desired (I used 20 drops)
  • 1 tsp (1 dram) of candy flavoring oil (optional)

Stir together everything except the flavoring oil so that it is mixed well and the color is uniform. Then clip your candy thermometer to the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan.

UPDATE – I recently read that adding the coloring too early in the cooking process can make your candy turn out sticky (because the acid in the coloring will invert the sucrose), so despite what these pictures show, you may want to wait and add the coloring at the last minute with the flavoring.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

Okay, all set? Everything greased and covered and set up and ready to go? Then go ahead and turn the burner on high and get it going. The faster you cook this, the less chance of caramelization, so be sure the burner is turned up as high as it will go. By the way, do not leave this unattended. Stay put!

When the mixture first starts to boil, the temperature will rise to 212 really fast, and there will be lots of steam as the water boils away. If your thermometer is anything like mine, it will be covered with condensation and hard to read. That’s okay, though… you’ll see why in a sec…

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

As it continues to boil, you’ll see the the temperature rises much more slowly now. (Don’t use that as an excuse to leave, though… please stay and watch it for your safety!) You’ll also notice that the steam dies down as the water goes away, and soon there is no steam at all. You’ll also notice that your thermometer is suddenly dry and easy to read. Awesome.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

Now this part is critical, so pay attention. Let the sugar boil to 300 degrees F but not a bit more! (I’ll explain why at the end of this post). The minute you hit 300, take the thermometer out and set it on the foil (aren’t you glad you had that ready?). Then immediately dump the boiling sugar into the Pyrex cup. We do this for two reasons. First, it’s easier to pour from the spout. Second, we want to stop the cooking process, so we need to get that liquid out of that hot pan or else it will keep cooking.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

NOTE – This sugar syrup is VERY hot, so make sure your measuring cup is made of something heat-proof like Pyrex. Also make sure it’s at least the 4-cup size so that you have enough room for the bubbling liquid.

At this point, you can add your optional flavoring oil (and coloring, if you didn’t add it already), and stir it in quickly (but carefully!) with the spoon you had ready.

Now you’ve got to work pretty fast to pour the sugar into the molds before it hardens. You’ll have a few minutes of working time, so don’t trip over yourself to rush, but don’t waste time either. The candy syrup will be very easy to pour for about 5 or 6 minutes, and then will start to thicken up. After 8 or 9 minutes, it’ll be too thick to pour and you’ll be done.

Just pour the sugar slowly and carefully into the molds, taking care not to overfill them. Do your absolute best to not leave huge puddles or trails of sugar between the pieces, because they will be nearly impossible to remove later.

how to make hard candy jewels

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

When you fill the “breakaway” molds (those with the pieces right up against each other), you need to be really careful not to overfill. If you cover up those little white lines between each jewel, I can pretty much guarantee that they will shatter when you try to break them apart later.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

While you wait for the candy to set, let’s talk about cleanup. That pan looks awful with the caked-on sugar, right? Fortunately, all you need to do is fill it up with water and let it sit a few hours. Go ahead and toss the thermometer and spoon inside, too. The sugar will all dissolve after a good soak.

After five or ten minutes, your candies will be set. Just flip the mold over onto the foil and give it a gentle bend, and the candies should pop right out.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

And that’s it, your candy jewels are done! They will have a slight film of oil on them, which will help keep them from sticking together, but you can wipe that away with a paper towel if you like. As long sure to store them in an air-tight container, they shouldn’t stick at all.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

I just love how these hard candy jewels came out!

how to make hard candy jewels

So you might be wondering what I ended up using these candy jewels for. They were the decoration on the Princess Peach birthday cake that I made for Little Jo’s Super Mario Brothers themed birthday party.

Princess Peach birthday cake

I’ve also used this recipe to create cinnamon-flavored candies for Christmas, to give as little gifts to friends. I put some in bags and some in clear glass bowls, and they look so pretty.

how to make hard candy jewels

The film of oil on the candies (leftover from the greased molds) should keep them from sticking together, but if you want to be extra sure your candies don’t stick, you can toss them in a bag with a little bit of powdered sugar.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

Once you brush off the excess, you end up with candies that not only won’t stick together, but that actually look like frosted glass!

how to make hard candy jewels

I also used this recipe to make some sweet heart-shaped candies for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to check out my Valentine’s Day heart shaped candy tutorial for more info, including our free downloadable bag tag. There’s even a tip about making giant heart-shaped lollipops!

Valentine's Day heart candy

BONUS – lessons I learned

Now that I’ve shown you how to make these candies the right way, let me share with you some lessons I learned while figuring it out.

#1 – Don’t overfill the molds

Those molds are labeled as “breakaway” and you might think that you can just snap the candies apart when they are cool and everything will go great. That is not the case at all. If you put too much candy in the molds, you’ll end up with a huge slab of hard candy that breaks into every shape imaginable EXCEPT the one you were trying for! Here’s what happened to me on my first attempt. What a mess it made.

how to make hard candy jewelshow to make hard candy jewels

#2 – Don’t undergrease the molds

When I made my first batch of candy, I didn’t have any non-stick cooking spray, so I tried to just wipe some oil onto the molds with a paper towel. The result was a film of oil that was no where near enough, and the candies stuck like crazy. Take another look at the picture above and see the bits of candies stuck to the mold. Ugh!

#3 – Don’t overheat the syrup

You can get decent candies with varying temperatures, but for decent and true COLOR, you need to be sure you don’t heat past 300 degrees. Having an accurate candy thermometer is critical to the success of this candy, so please make sure you calibrate it using the instructions I mentioned at the start of this tutorial.

The first time I tried this candy, my thermometer was way off and I had no idea. My candy cooked way too long and the sugar started to caramelize. The syrup was yellowish by the time I added my blue food coloring, and the result was quite green! Then I tried again with a lower temperature, and it was still too much. Then I finally figured out my thermometer was wrong, and when I adjusted for that, I hit the jackpot with true blue candies.

NOTE – Colors like red/orange/yellow are pretty easy, because a little extra caramelization won’t mess it up, but if you’re doing clear or blue candies, or you really want true colors with no golden tint, you might want to stop the temperature a little shy of 300 degrees. Stopping at 295 or 290 will keep your colors true, but you also run the risk of the candy not setting up hard enough. It’s a very fine line, so you need to experiment to get the results you want.

Here’s a picture of the three batches I made with the exact same amount of blue food coloring, but I let them cook to different temperatures. Can you believe the difference? If you want your colors true and bright, be sure your thermometer is accurate and don’t cook it too long.

how to make hard candy jewels

#6 – Have enough molds ready

There’s nothing more frustrating with this project than having extra sugar syrup leftover with nowhere to put it. So make sure you pick up several of the hard candy molds and prep them all so that you’re ready for however far your syrup takes you!

#5 – Don’t leave the syrup in the pan

As I mentioned earlier, you need to dump the syrup into another container when it has reached the proper temperature. Otherwise, the hot pan will continue to cook the syrup and you’ll go over the target temperature and it will start to turn yellow. If you don’t believe a few degrees will make that much of a difference, take a look at this picture of my pan. After I had dumped it out and made my candies, I went back and looked and the small amount of sugar left in the pan started to turn yellow just from sitting there. Discoloration like that will ruin a batch of candies fast!

how to make hard candy jewels

I hope you guys find these tips helpful and if you try your hand at hard candy, let me know how it goes!

393 comments so far:

  1. Iisha said: (April 26th, 2010 at 10:43 am)

    So very cool. Thanks for all your trial and tribulations on this project. I’m thinking a pirate themed birthday party is in store for my son next year and these would make great goodie bag treats.

  2. Chica said: (April 26th, 2010 at 10:58 am)

    What a great idea, Iisha!

  3. Becca said: (April 26th, 2010 at 11:58 am)

    They look amazing. I cleaner, easier to distribute solution may to suck up the liquid candy in a cheap turkey baster or something similar as opposed to pour from measuring cup.

  4. Chica said: (April 26th, 2010 at 12:08 pm)

    Becca, I like your idea, except I would be afraid a turkey baster, being made of plastic, might melt with the hot candy inside. It’s 300 degrees after all :) Pouring from the measuring cup actually worked quite well for me, as long as I took my time. Plus the cup had a nice cool handle that kept me from burning my hands!

  5. dot said: (April 26th, 2010 at 12:21 pm)

    Very cool! I’ve featured this on today :)

  6. Chica said: (April 26th, 2010 at 12:34 pm)

    Thanks, dot! I love how the color of the jewels in the photo just happens to match your site design so perfectly :)

  7. Bird said: (April 26th, 2010 at 1:53 pm)

    I have tried before and failed miserably! Thank you for your cool tips! I shal try and let you know if I win this timez… :)

  8. Casey said: (April 27th, 2010 at 8:25 am)

    O.K., these are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous and look yummy to eat, but I can’t wait to hear what you’re going to do with them!!!!

  9. Sarah said: (April 27th, 2010 at 8:42 pm)

    These look so beautiful! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you showed that mistakes happen. Made me want to try this even more. :)

  10. Chica said: (April 28th, 2010 at 8:25 am)

    Sarah, I was heartbroken after my first attempt, when everything went wrong. It took me three times to get it right and I just had to share my goofs with you guys too, to hopefully save you from the same trouble. Glad you enjoyed it!

  11. ChrisW said: (June 9th, 2010 at 6:39 am)

    Don’t give these to very young children. The sharp edges can hurt them and they will think all shiny jewels are edible.

  12. molly said: (June 9th, 2010 at 11:08 am)

    This is such a great idea, I’m excited to test it out. (I’ll have to have a party)

  13. heather said: (June 10th, 2010 at 12:27 am)

    Hi, Just wondering now that the jewels are made and are lovely how do you attach to fondant ?Thanks for posting these instructions …they are great !

  14. Chica said: (June 10th, 2010 at 8:09 am)

    Hi heather! I attached the jewels to the cake with simple white icing, used as a “glue”. Make sure you use white, so that the color of the jewels will stay true (if you use something like pink or yellow, it will show through).

  15. faithb said: (June 10th, 2010 at 5:08 pm)

    Great article for all the DIY Brides out there that are looking for alternative decorations for their wedding cakes. Thank you for the step by step instructions.

  16. Chica said: (June 10th, 2010 at 7:18 pm)

    Great idea, faithb! Imagine how pretty a cake would look adorned with clear gems that looked like diamonds!

  17. melissav said: (June 11th, 2010 at 9:43 am)

    I am making a wedding cake with jewels and your website helped me more than any other site! thanks so much! I can’t wait to start :)

  18. Jo said: (June 11th, 2010 at 10:02 am)

    melissav, I would really like to see a picture of your finished cake. My sister-in-law is getting married next year and I am thinking about using jewels on her cake. Would love to see how you incorporate them. Please email us a picture or add them to our Flikr group!

  19. melissav said: (June 11th, 2010 at 10:06 am)

    I will definitely post it, it wont be till july 30th though… but its going to be really pretty :) cant wait

  20. Suji said: (June 11th, 2010 at 5:45 pm)

    Wow…that looks like real gems…I have not tried anything like this..I am going to try for sure…you are great

  21. Christina said: (August 2nd, 2010 at 11:53 am)

    I wish I had seen your tips beforehand… I did every one of your ‘don’ts’ just the other day. Thanks :D

  22. Chica said: (August 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 am)

    Haha, that’s too funny, Christina!

  23. Christina said: (August 2nd, 2010 at 11:55 am)

    Question I forgot to ask… can I remelt the hard candy once it cools? I only have one alphabet mold and need to put together Happy Birthday and a name but have to do some letters one at a time. I’d love to just rehead the candy and pour into the molds once needed. My email is if you get a chance to answer me, thanks!

  24. Chica said: (August 2nd, 2010 at 11:58 am)

    Christina, I have only a tiny bit of experience with reheating the liquid candy — I tried it once by putting the glass measuring cup in the microwave. The candy wasn’t totally hard when I did it, but it was too thick to pour. I heated it carefully because I was afraid of letting it get too hot (and darkening), but it didn’t really get very liquid. I was hesitant to mess with it any further because of the high temperatures.

    If you want to try reheating it, I’d love to hear about your results. If it doesn’t work out, consider halving the recipe (to reduce waste) and just keep making batches as needed. The ingredients are really so inexpensive that it shouldn’t matter much if you end up throwing a whole batch away because you only used a tiny bit.

  25. Melissa said: (August 16th, 2010 at 10:20 pm)

    HELP!!! I could not for the life of me get the mixture past 240 degrees! I sat with this stuff over the stove for 45 min! The jewels came out like gummies…tasted fine….but sort of fell out of shape after I popped them out of the mold. What did I do wrong?
    Thank you for any advice.

  26. Chica said: (August 17th, 2010 at 8:34 am)

    Melissa, that sounds so weird! My first thought was that maybe your thermometer was broken, but from the gummy result you got, the syrup clearly did not get up to temperature. Was your burner turned all the way up to high? If so, and you were unable to get to a higher temperature, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a problem with your stove not getting as hot as it should. Maybe try a different burner?

  27. Alison said: (August 30th, 2010 at 1:58 pm)

    I’m not one for hard candy but this tutorial is really cool :D

  28. Stephanie said: (September 6th, 2010 at 10:52 pm)

    great post! i just bought some really cute candy molds online so i have been looking for some good candy making advice

  29. Genevieve said: (September 7th, 2010 at 6:09 am)

    Thanks for the valid info & warnings. I needed to know how to do this in order to make a camera lens for decoration. I’m not yet sure where I can get a mold for this purpose, I may have to improvise & use something not made for that.

  30. Genevieve said: (September 7th, 2010 at 6:10 am)

    Do you know where I can get a beads mold? I’d like to make a rosary for the nuns of my church.

  31. Chica said: (September 7th, 2010 at 7:37 am)

    Genevieve, a candy camera lens sounds neat! I’ve got an idea that might help you make it. Rather than pour the candy right away, let the candy cool just a bit until it starts to thicken and set up a little. Then you can pour a puddle of it right onto some aluminum foil, making a round shape that should work for your lens. It is important that the candy be partially cooled and thicker, or else it will run all over your table!

    I tried this once with some extra candy and it worked great for making large pieces. It will peel right off of the foil. I suggest you make several lenses with your batch of candy, so that you can choose the one that hardens the nicest and roundest.

    Let me know if this works for you :)

    P.S. I have not seen bead molds anywhere, but that’s definitely an interesting idea!

  32. Angie said: (September 20th, 2010 at 1:35 pm)

    These are really great instructions:) I wondered how long can you keep the candies before you should throw them away? I’d hate to make even half a recipe for only 5 candy jewels, to throw the rest away:(

  33. Chica said: (September 20th, 2010 at 3:04 pm)

    Angie, because the hard candy is basically just made of sugar, it will not go bad, and will last for months or even longer. The only thing that I can think of that would damage the candies is too much moisture or heat, which would cause them to stick together.

  34. Cyndi said: (September 22nd, 2010 at 10:19 pm)

    Great advise. Thanks, now I am not afraid to try this. I seem to always try something new on an important project like a wedding cake. I will be using clear to make them look like diamonds for a wedding cake. I assume I only need to worry about the bubbles. Any more hints for that. thanks for the info.

  35. Chica said: (September 23rd, 2010 at 8:03 am)

    Cyndi, I think clear candy jewels will look amazing on a cake! Just be very careful not to let the sugar overcook, or they will be more yellow than clear. As for air bubbles, that was never something I had a problem with, but if you do see them, you could probably poke them out with a toothpick while the candy is still very hot. That will slow down your pouring, though. We’d love to see the finished cake, so please come back and share a picture with us!

  36. Emily said: (September 23rd, 2010 at 1:54 pm)

    Thanks for all the info, I am getting ready to try this. For the person who didnt want left overs. I heard you can us Jolly Ranchers in the color you need. Would choc. molds work or is the syrup to hot? Thanks again, I feel confident to try this now. You made it very clear. Other sites had me confused, something about sifted powdered sugar and cutting the candy before all the way cooled.

  37. Chica said: (September 23rd, 2010 at 3:11 pm)

    Hi Emily. We’re happy you feel confident and are getting ready to make some candies. I would not use chocolate molds for hard candy, because I think they would probably melt. You need something suitable for high temperatures. Let us know how it goes :)

  38. Karoline said: (September 30th, 2010 at 4:18 pm)

    I want to make white hard candy…any suggestions on the brand/type of food color to use? Thank you.

  39. Chica said: (September 30th, 2010 at 4:45 pm)

    Hi Karoline! I found some white food coloring that’s suitable for hard candy. Check out this white food color by Lorann Gourmet.

  40. Angelia said: (October 7th, 2010 at 1:00 pm)

    Couldnt afford a glass slipper for a cinderella pillow cake i wanted to make so i googled and googled and am molding alum. foil around my 2yr olds dress shoe(making my own mold). Will update later on the glass slipper. Hope this works because i dont want to spend $40 for a cake topper that will only be used once.LOL

  41. Chica said: (October 7th, 2010 at 1:18 pm)

    Wow, Angelia, what a challenge! We can’t wait to hear how it comes out.

  42. Angelia said: (October 7th, 2010 at 9:50 pm)

    OMG! It worked! It is a bit yellow/amber but i think it is because of the thickness of the candy. After i made my “mold” i figured i would renforce it with packing tape(real good idea)! I did everything like you said. When i peeled the alum. foil back(3 hours later), i had a glass slipper. Thank you so much for the step by step instructions.

  43. Chica said: (October 8th, 2010 at 8:49 am)

    Angelia, you HAVE to show us a picture! You can e-mail it to or post it in our Flickr group.

  44. Lois Austin said: (October 25th, 2010 at 1:07 pm)

    Need to make some rhinestone broaches for a friend’s wedding. Where can I find the molds? Thanks.

  45. Jo said: (October 25th, 2010 at 1:37 pm)

    You can find them here: candy jewel molds.

  46. Little Crow said: (November 5th, 2010 at 12:08 am)

    This sounds completely awesome! I want to try making star candies to decorate some cupcakes for Christmas! But i was wondering, what kind of food coloring should i use, or does any work? And for the flavoring, is there any specific brand? I have a bottle of Torani peppermind syrup i’d love to use, and works awesome for peppermint hot chocolate, but i don’t know if it’ll be suitable for a candy. Thanks so much!!!

  47. Chica said: (November 5th, 2010 at 6:50 am)

    Little Crow, that sounds like a fun idea! Because the food coloring is added during the cooking process, any moisture in it will evaporate out, so I think you could probably use any type of liquid food coloring without messing up the candy’s consistency. Of course, food coloring created just for candy would work best!

    Since the flavoring is added at the end, though, you need to use something really concentrated. If you introduce too much liquid into the candy, it will likely mess up the consistency and the candy won’t harden properly. (And you don’t want to add the flavoring while it’s cooking, or the flavors will likely be ruined.) It really is best to use a candy flavoring oils that are highly concentrated, so that you only need to add a few drops. I suspect you’d have to add too much of the Torani syrup to get a good flavor out of it.

    P.S. Have you seen our candy cane syrup recipe? When you run out of Torani, save some money and make your own :)

  48. Joyce said: (November 12th, 2010 at 1:01 pm)

    This has got to be the best tutorial ever! Thank you for documenting so throughly, esp. posting your errors! :) For those who asked, I just made a batch and I used regular food coloring. Also, since I only bought 1 mold I divided the recipe into 3rds. The corn syrup was a little tricky as 1/3 of 2/3 is .22 so a little less than 1/4 should do it. I’m gonna go try to post my pic. in the flikr group. I have one more batch to make (will be pink jewels).

  49. Chica said: (November 13th, 2010 at 11:39 am)

    Thanks for the update, Joyce! Glad to hear that the regular food coloring worked.

    I did some calculations and 1/3 of 2/3 of a cup is 3.5 tablespooons. Hopefully that will help you the next time you try cutting the recipe in thirds :)

    Thanks for e-mailing us the photo of your candy. I’ve posted it in Flickr for you, and everyone can see it here!

  50. Joanie said: (November 21st, 2010 at 9:04 pm)

    Beautiful result, but I’m concerned about adding boiling liquid to a glass measuring cup. The Pyrex web site even warns against subjecting their products to sudden changes in temperature. There are quite a few stories on the web about exploding Pyrex, although there isn’t a good way to authenticate them. Would you have an alternate suggestion on how to stop the cooking but still have a safe, desirable vessel for pouring the hot liquid?

  51. Chica said: (November 22nd, 2010 at 7:05 am)

    Joanie, you could use a plastic measuring cup instead, but then there’s a chance of it melting, I suppose. Another option would be to pour the candy into another metal pan that is completely cool. That would avoid the overcooking problem, but you wouldn’t have the nice pouring spout, so be extra careful when pouring into your molds.

  52. Andrea said: (December 3rd, 2010 at 4:16 pm)

    Thanx so much for going step by step. I am going to be making a fashion birthday cake for my friend. And she really likes jewels. Thank you also for putting a link so i could by molds on!!!

  53. Rachel said: (December 11th, 2010 at 3:21 am)

    I am making a candy village display, and wanted to make a candy lake using this recipe. Will this work if I use just an aluminum cake pan and leave it in there? Or will it be too thick to cool correctly?

  54. Chica said: (December 11th, 2010 at 7:09 am)

    Rachel, a candy lake in a candy village sounds so awesome! Extra thickness won’t matter when it comes to cooling, as long as you give it a little extra time. Using an aluminum cake pan is an interesting idea, but I see two potential issues. First, the pan will presumably be at least an inch or two tall, and the edges will show in your display. Second, the candy will look darker in the pan, which might dull the effect of the color. If you try the pan idea and don’t love it, maybe try this instead: stack 2-3 large sheets of aluminum foil on the counter and let the candy cool in the pan until it’s thick and just barely pourable. Then pour it directly onto the aluminum foil in a loose, lake-ish shape. When it cools, you can pull it right off the foil and put it in your display with a sheet of white paper cut to size underneath. The white will make the color of your water really pop!

    Hope that helps, and we’d LOVE to see a photo of your finished candy village!

  55. Rachel said: (December 11th, 2010 at 7:33 pm)

    Well, I ended up pouring it into the aluminum cake pan, and just peeling that away once it cooled. Turned out great. Will send pics of the village when I put it up next week

  56. Chica said: (December 12th, 2010 at 8:52 am)

    Oh, you were able to get it out of the pan? It must have been a disposable one. I thought you were going to use a real pan, which is why I was worried :) Glad it worked out, and can’t wait to see pics.

  57. Jennifer said: (December 16th, 2010 at 11:56 pm)

    I dont know what happend… Followed the directions on isomalt package but candy never got hard… even leftover is syrup is still syrup should I try to reheat it or start over using regular products and forget the isomalt? Help LOL

  58. Chica said: (December 18th, 2010 at 7:37 pm)

    Hey Jennifer! Isomalt can be used to make hard candy, but it cooks totally differently than regular sugar. From what I’ve read online, Isomalt needs to cook to a much higher temperature in order to get hard. If you really want to use Isomalt, do some research and try experimenting to see if you can get good results. If you want to use our recipe, though, you’ll need to use sugar. Hope that helps, and good luck with your next try!

  59. Iris said: (December 19th, 2010 at 2:00 pm)

    Hi, I’m planning on making something similar to this but I need some advice. I want to try using Jolly Ranchers and melting them in the oven instead. The recipe calls for the oven to be heated at 350 degrees using a silicone mat and cookie cutters sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Can I use a silicone mold or will it melt?

  60. Chica said: (December 19th, 2010 at 2:26 pm)

    Iris, that sounds like an interesting idea. We’ve never tried anything like that, so I’m afraid we don’t have any advice to offer. Maybe check the label on the silicone mold to see if it is oven safe? Some of them are safe to certain temperatures. Good luck and let us know how it goes :)

  61. Iris said: (December 23rd, 2010 at 7:05 pm)

    Thanks, Chica. Well my silicone mold didn’t have a label with the oven temperatures but I tried it anyway. They turned out looking frosty and not clear like regular sugar candies but my mold didn’t melt! Maybe with a bit more practice they will come out better. Just to be on the safe side and not melt my molds,I grabbed a cookie sheet and placed a silicone mat on top of it. Then I put my silicone molds on top of that with 4 Jolly Ranchers inside each cavity. I still followed the recipe and preheated the oven to 350 degrees except I had to extend the cooking time from 6 minutes to about 10 minutes. Once completely melted I left them cool a bit outside and then put them in the freezer until they hardened.

  62. Chica said: (December 24th, 2010 at 1:09 pm)

    Iris, I’m glad to hear that your mold didn’t melt! That’s interesting about the frosty look. I wonder if you might have better results if you cooked them at a lower temperature (for longer) and let them cool slowly at room temperature?

  63. Melissa said: (January 21st, 2011 at 7:49 pm)

    Hi! Your pictures are great! I was going to buy some jewels for a cake I am doing but after reading your directions I am convinced I can do it myself! I am so excited! Thanks for helping me out!

  64. Chica said: (January 22nd, 2011 at 8:55 am)

    So glad we could help, Melissa. Let us know how it goes!

  65. Connie said: (January 23rd, 2011 at 4:33 pm)

    I have tried and tried making butterfly wings for a wedding coming up in the summer. Am interested in trying out your method (I’ve been going at it without the corn syrup) but wonder 2 things: 1) how well does this cany recipe store? Is this something i can do well in advance? How to/where (freezer or ziploc) store? 2) I want to make multi-colored wings but still have them transparent, dots, stripes, etc. Any thoughts would be VERY appreciated. I’m plowing thru sugar and not getting this right. Glad I have time to practice!

  66. Chica said: (January 23rd, 2011 at 5:48 pm)

    Hi Connie. Butterfly wings sound like a lovely idea! The best tip I can give you for storing hard candy is to keep it in an airtight container. As long as they are kept dry, they should last for weeks. To create multi-colored candy, perhaps you can make a few colors of candy and put drops/stripes of one down first and then pour another over the top to create the wing shape? Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  67. Becky said: (January 23rd, 2011 at 5:57 pm)

    I’m going to be trying to make the jewels with your recipe. The one question I have is that I’m going to be making the very tiny jewels 1/4″. Do you have any suggestions for pouring into something that small? I’m a little concerned using a pyrex since the mold is so small.

  68. Chica said: (January 23rd, 2011 at 6:26 pm)

    Becky, those tiny jewels sound so sweet! I can’t believe you found a mold that small. I agree that trying to pour the candy into something so small would be overkill. One idea I thought of would be to use a wooden skewer — dip it into the candy and let it drip down into the mold. Hope that helps, and let us know how it comes out.

  69. Maria said: (January 26th, 2011 at 8:12 pm)

    What do you recommend I could coat the gems with to make them look shiny. I made them for the first time today and they look a little dull.

  70. Chica said: (January 26th, 2011 at 8:33 pm)

    Maria, a tiny bit of vegetable oil or cooking spray will make the gems look shiny and still be safe to eat.

  71. Melissa said: (January 30th, 2011 at 7:50 pm)

    I made candy jewels and they turned out great on the first time! I used Isomalt but am gonna try your recipe, I do have one question. Why did I have small bubbles in the jewels? How do I make them again without the bubbles?

  72. Chica said: (February 2nd, 2011 at 7:13 am)

    Melissa, I’m glad you had success with the Isomalt. I’m not sure what would lead to the bubbles, unless maybe it was from using Isomalt? I don’t remember that being a problem when I made mine. Let us know if you have better luck with the sugar recipe.

  73. mackenzie said: (February 6th, 2011 at 4:58 pm)

    Thank you so much! I am an amature cake decorator, I make cakes just for family events and such. this will be GREAT for my friends cake!

  74. Jen said: (February 16th, 2011 at 5:21 pm)

    What an awesome idea! I’m planning a Princess Peach party for my daughter’s 5th and I’m sooo happy to have found your website! I’m curious as to how you put the pink fabric sashes and the jewels on the cake table & it all stayed in place :)

  75. Chica said: (February 16th, 2011 at 5:56 pm)

    Jen, the table we used wasn’t fine furniture, so we actually used a staple gun to hold most of the fabric in place :) I don’t remember exactly how we attached the large gems… hot glue maybe?

  76. Amber said: (March 1st, 2011 at 11:26 am)

    I’m throwing my daughter a cake decorating birthday party on Saturday and thought these would be fantastic to give to the girls to put on their cakes! Each girl is getting her own 8×8 cake to pipe and decorate. I don’t have a candy thermometer, would a meat thermometer do the job or does it get too hot for that?

  77. Chica said: (March 2nd, 2011 at 7:02 am)

    Amber, that’s a great idea! Any thermometer that can measure temperatures in the 250-300 degree range should work, so just check your meat thermometer and see if it has those measurements. I suspect it won’t, simply because you would never cook meat to 300 degrees ;)

  78. cindy said: (March 2nd, 2011 at 2:30 pm)

    so I made some of these but they turned out a bit gooey. and were very difficult to get out of the molds. Do you think I just didn’t get them to a high enough heat? I didn’t want the candy to burn so I think I took it off too soon, but wanted your opinion. Thanks!

  79. Chica said: (March 2nd, 2011 at 7:26 pm)

    Cindy, it does sound like you didn’t let the sugar cook to a high enough temperature. Sugar is very fickle, and just a few degrees can make a big difference. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost much so mistakes aren’t so bad :) Make sure your thermometer is accurate, too!

  80. Sarah.a said: (March 5th, 2011 at 8:34 am)

    How can I lat the candy stay hard ? I made cuples of hard candies but will not stay hard

  81. Chica said: (March 5th, 2011 at 8:47 am)

    Sarah, as long as you keep the candies dry, they should stay hard. Just like any hard candy you may buy, humidity or other moisture will cause them to soften up and/or become sticky. Make sure to calibrate your candy thermometer (see tutorial above) so your temperatures are accurate.

  82. Brooke said: (March 10th, 2011 at 1:48 pm)

    Ok…crazy question. How did you prevent the candy from sticking to your pyrex measuring cup? The thought of hard candy on glass did not cross my mind once and now I have TWO pyrex cups coated in hard candy and it isn’t budging for the life of me! *lol*

  83. Chica said: (March 10th, 2011 at 6:19 pm)

    Brooke, just fill the cups with water and let it sit overnight. The hard candy will dissolve into the water and you can just pour it away. If the sugar is really thick, it might take more than one time to get it all to dissolve :)

  84. des said: (March 12th, 2011 at 3:51 pm)

    thanks for your patience and getting it right , going to try it today for my church bakesale. thanks Chica

  85. Robin said: (March 19th, 2011 at 11:18 pm)

    I loved your tutorial and was wondering if there is a way that I can shape the candy for an online game themed cake or if you know of another recipe. The cake is going to be a computer and I need the monitor screen to be broken outwards so it looks like the character has broken the screen and is stepping through to the real world. Any suggestions would be a tremendous help.

  86. Chica said: (March 20th, 2011 at 8:57 am)

    Hi Robin. What a fun idea! If I had that challenge, here’s what I would try: Assuming that you are making the rest of the computer and monitor out of cake, you just need candy for the glass on the monitor. I would try laying out some aluminum foil on a cutting board and crimp the edges so that it’s the size you need for your screen, creating a mold. Make the edges as smooth as possible so that the candy doesn’t get trapped in the wrinkles when you try to remove it later. Then use our recipe and pour the liquid candy into the aluminum foil, so that it’s maybe about 1/4″ thick. After it’s cooled complete, you’ll need to carefully break it. Try folding a towel a few times and put it on the counter, then put the candy on top. Put another towel over that, and then press down with the heel of your hand in the middle, gently, until the candy breaks. Hopefully you’ll get a clean break with a manageable number of pieces that you can carefully place onto your cake. Hope that helps, and let us know how it goes!

  87. Sheila said: (March 25th, 2011 at 12:32 pm)

    WOW!! This worked perfectly! I’ve never in my life made hard candy (and i’m 56 here… ;/)

    It worked so well, and your instructions were really well written… anyone could make this! My daughter’s b’day party is tomorrow and I’m making her a fondant cake shaped like a jewelry box, with all kinds of jewelry in it, etc. These are going to be so beautiful! I made jewel shaped candies, and I can’t wait to get that fondant cake finished with all these goodies on it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    Happy in Oklahoma,
    Sheila aka Gammaw

  88. Jo said: (March 26th, 2011 at 12:36 am)

    Sheila, please share a picture of your cake with us! I can’t wait to see it! What a creative idea.

  89. Chica said: (March 26th, 2011 at 8:23 am)

    Shelia, I’m so glad our tutorial helped you learn a new skill. Age is no limit when it comes to being crafty! :) Like Jo said, we’d love to see that cake!

  90. Tia said: (March 30th, 2011 at 9:58 pm)

    I tried hard candy this morning – first go ever! I had your instructions printed out and near me and followed step by step. They came out SOOO great! Could not be happier!! Well I could have added more flavour but they still taste great. If i sprayed too much oil could this create bubbles in the candy? I think i did that in a few. But I still am still super happy how well they came out ;)
    Thank you!
    Tia in Australia

  91. Chica said: (March 31st, 2011 at 7:21 am)

    Tia, I’m so happy to hear that you had a successful first attempt with our instructions. Isn’t it amazing what sugar can do? I’m not sure what would cause bubbles to appear in the candy. I suppose it could be oil or it could be due to temperature. Perhaps I’ll experiment a little the next time I make candy.

  92. Nicole said: (April 8th, 2011 at 7:23 am)

    Thank you so much! My husband and I used this recipe to make hard sugar candy coral. It turned out beautiful! Thank you for your photos and detailed instructions! I hope to get some molds some time in the near future and try this again. Thanks again!

  93. Chica said: (April 9th, 2011 at 7:13 am)

    Coral sounds really interesting, Nicole! I’ve heard of doing that by pouring hot candy over ice. Is that how you did it? We’d love to see a photo if you have one to share :)

  94. Tee-Jean said: (April 22nd, 2011 at 3:38 am)

    The best and simplest and most effective candy jewel recipe I have tried. Thanks so much for sharing. They are going on my sister’s birthday cake tomorrow. TJ from Cairns, Australia :-)

  95. Chica said: (April 22nd, 2011 at 7:15 am)

    Yay! Thanks, Tee-Jean. We’d love to see a photo of the cake if you want to email one to us :)

  96. Mark said: (April 22nd, 2011 at 8:36 am)

    Hi! I’m trying your recipe today, but I only have wilton gel colors. Will that work or do I need to purchase the traditional liquid food coloring from the grocery store?

  97. Chica said: (April 22nd, 2011 at 9:14 am)

    Gosh, Mark, I have no idea how gel colors would work in this case. My first instinct is that you would plop a glob of gel into the sugar and it would just sit there and not dissolve (I’ve tried similar before), so I think you should first try to thin it down with a few drops of water in a small bowl. The more watery it is, the better chance you have of it dissolving quickly in the sugar. I also have no idea if the chemical composition of the gel would interfere with the sugar or not, but I’m sure you’ll let us know afterwards! :)

  98. Stayathomemom said: (April 25th, 2011 at 10:20 am)

    Thank you so much for publishing this information. My son is desperate for a Indiana Jones theme party, and since those toys are no longer super popular I am having a difficult time finding supplies that fit our theme. I purchased a 3D skull mold and plan to leave the candy clear (aka the crystal skull). Add that to some dirt cake and voila! He is soooo excited to help me make the candy skulls…Thanks a million for all the helpful hints!

  99. Chica said: (April 25th, 2011 at 12:01 pm)

    Stayathomemom, I love that idea! Please share a photo of your crystal skull with us after the party!

  100. Marriah @ My Life Unzipped said: (May 15th, 2011 at 3:34 pm)

    This is such a great post. I plan on making little edable jewels for my birthday cake and this is SUPER helpful. Thank you.

  101. Paloma said: (June 16th, 2011 at 8:00 am)

    I live in Brazil and it’s impossible find anything about princess peach. My dora loved it and we will make all the same for her party. Thank you very much for that. She is very happy.


  102. Norma said: (June 19th, 2011 at 4:07 pm)

    I want to make so me of the edible gems but live in the uk where it seems to be very difficult to find light corn syrup = can I use golden syrup instead?

  103. Chica said: (June 21st, 2011 at 1:02 pm)

    Norma, I had never heard of golden syrup before, but I did a quick search online, and according to the Wikipedia article, golden syrup can be used in general as a substitute for corn syrup. I don’t know if it would work for this recipe or not, but if you give it a try, please let us know how it comes out!

  104. Leah said: (June 25th, 2011 at 9:04 am)

    You’ve basically made traditional toffee here – it’s super easy and yum! If you are not concerned about colour, we find it is actually best to cook them for long enough to turn yellow – the flavour is actually a bit nicer then, and it’s more likely to set rock hard. Once it turns yellow though, take it off the heat as it cooks very fast after that point (particularly if you pour it from the hot saucepan). It depends on personal preference, but if you let it go too dark you can begin to taste a burnt flavour. (It’s not too bad though, and still edible). I saw some commenters were worried about burning – you are unlikely to burn this mixture to the point of downright yucky candy unless you let it stay on the stove way past the point of turning yellow. I’ve never burnt it that much and I have been making this since I was about 13. As far as I can tell, the primary issue here with getting it off the heat in time is to keep the colour true.

    We normally pour into and serve these in patty cake cases, so they are big enough that you can pour straight from the hot saucepan. The only problem with candies this size is they don’t fit in your mouth and you have to hold onto them and suck on them :D

    We also don’t bother using syrup in our recipe, I imagine it’s only there for the flavour.

    Bubbles that appear in the candy are from it still boiling (in my experience). It mightn’t look like it’s really boiling, but bubbles can still form and as the mixture cools and thickens, the bubbles get trapped in it. I don’t see it happen a lot though.

    I have often thought about trying this mixture in silicone ice trays, particularly the novelty-shaped ones. That would make little gems like you’ve got here :)

    Re: the concern with exploding pyrex cups: that sort of behaviour comes about from rapid, severe temperature change. As long as you’ve not refrigerated your pyrex cup, you should be ok. Even test tubes used in chemistry labs (that get stuck over open flames on bunsen burners) will crack and explode if you switch them between extreme temperatures too fast, and they are DEFINITELY made to handle extreme temperatures!

    As for how long they keep… I’ve got some in my fridge from 18 months ago and they still look good to eat!

  105. Chica said: (June 25th, 2011 at 10:42 am)

    Leah, thanks for all the great tips. I’m sure our readers will find your comments very helpful!

  106. Lisa said: (June 27th, 2011 at 12:56 am)

    Thank you for this easy to follow tutorial, I had been looking for a GOOD recipe alternative to using Isomalt which most sites seem to prefer (Isomalt while sugar free can cause some embarrassing tummy issues if eaten in quantity lol).

    Many moons ago when we were kids here in Australia we used to make what we called “Stick jaw Toffee” in much the same way as Leah mentioned poured into patty cases, sometimes they set rock hard sometimes not, resulting in “stick jaw”, we always let it get to the brown stage for that lovely nutty toffee taste…. how did our teeth ever survive lol

    Golden Syrup is a staple in Australia, YUM on toast with lots of butter or used in dumplings as a pudding and cakes, cookies etc.

    It can easily be used as a substitute BUT being golden in colour it will never make a clear candy or give true colours when tinted.

    Thankyou again, I will be making some gems as soon as my new mold arrives!

    PS. I always (because I am paranoid about exploding glass lol) pur boiling water into my pyrex jug and let it sit, then when the sugar is jusr about done quickly empty it and dry thouroughly, that way the jug is nice and warm and the hot candy won’t lead to a visit to the emergency room :)

  107. Chica said: (June 27th, 2011 at 7:18 am)

    Lisa, thanks for sharing your stories about candy from your childhood. Sounds like quite a treat, especially when you get to make it yourself. Thanks also for the comments about Golden Syrup. Maybe one day I’ll get to try this stuff out… sounds interesting! Nice tip about the hot water in the Pyrex, too!

  108. Sonia said: (July 11th, 2011 at 6:52 pm)

    Great Tutorial. I have a doubt. You use regular granulated sugar, Not Isomalt, right?

  109. Chica said: (July 11th, 2011 at 6:55 pm)

    That’s right, Sonia. We use regular, granulated, white sugar

  110. Sonia Rivera said: (July 11th, 2011 at 7:00 pm)

    Excellent, I can’t wait to try it. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks.

  111. lauri said: (July 13th, 2011 at 9:38 pm)

    if you only have a few candy molds, can you reheat the left over mixture and make more

  112. Chica said: (July 14th, 2011 at 7:01 am)

    Lauri, I do not think the mixture would be usable if you reheated it. A better idea would be to try to make a half-batch so that you don’t have much waste leftover.

  113. Funke said: (July 25th, 2011 at 7:06 am)

    this is truly impressive ! i cant wait to try it out. tried with isomalt,but this is definately going to be cheaper and much fun and loads of great tips tooo like the foil

  114. mary ann smith said: (August 3rd, 2011 at 4:49 pm)

    OMG! I just made them. I can’t believe they came out perfect the first time! I made gems for my daughter’s best friend bridal shower cake. All the bridesmaid’s dresses have rhinestones on them and her color is plum. I mixed up the food coloring in my water before I added it, to get as close to the dress color as possible. I will send pictures of the cake, after it is finished this weekend! A big thanks to y’all from Texas!

  115. Chica said: (August 4th, 2011 at 8:13 am)

    Mary Ann, I’m excited that you got such great results! Can’t wait to see the picture :)

  116. Jeffrey said: (August 8th, 2011 at 4:34 pm)

    Ladies, just made a batch for a bachelorette party I am hosting, they turned out amazing! The clear ones are straight from the heat, no coloring, they are clear enough to look like diamonds when put on a white background so they could be used instead of isomalt. I used an old coffee can and bent it to make a poring spout instead of the pyrex, worked great, no mess, no clean up, just toss it when you are done.

  117. Jo said: (August 8th, 2011 at 4:37 pm)

    Jeffrey, love the idea of using the old coffee can! Brilliant! I like things I don’t have to clean up!

  118. mary nany said: (August 26th, 2011 at 4:13 am)

    I want to use the candy jewels to decorate a wedding cake, will bw that possible? stop the jewels for melting? Are the jewels last long on the cake ? Thank you very much

  119. Chica said: (August 26th, 2011 at 7:08 am)

    Hi Mary nany! I used these candy jewels on a Princess Peach birthday cake and I attached them with frosting. I did not have any issues with them melting, and they stayed hard on the cake all day.

  120. maria said: (August 28th, 2011 at 1:51 pm)

    Hi Chica
    I just went on your site for the hard candy jewels your step-by-step instructions are amazing your lesson learned tips are valued knowledge in case we run into them thank you so much for taking the time to set up your instructions so clearly with amazing visual aid thanks again Maria

  121. Chica said: (August 28th, 2011 at 2:21 pm)

    You are very welcome, Maria! I hope you continue to be a fan of our site and check out our other project tutorials as well :)

  122. Delia said: (September 2nd, 2011 at 1:42 am)


    This is awesome!! How long in advance can you make them so they stay shiny? They are really pretty!!!

  123. Chica said: (September 3rd, 2011 at 4:24 pm)

    Delia, I kept the gems I made about two weeks before they were all used/eaten, and they stayed shiny with no problem. I don’t know how long they would last, but I imagine it would be in the range of several months.

  124. Norma Mendez said: (September 7th, 2011 at 12:12 am)

    I made them. But they are so Sticky!!! What was wrong? Too much water?

  125. Chica said: (September 7th, 2011 at 7:05 am)

    Norma, if the candies are too sticky, you probably didn’t cook the syrup to a high enough temperature. You can reduce the stickiness by coating them with powdered sugar, but they will become opaque and lose their shine. Try calibrating your candy thermometer to see if it is a little off. Good luck!

  126. mary nany said: (September 21st, 2011 at 9:30 am)

    Hi Chica, I’ve try i did gave it a go and the candies are too sticky and melted away in less than 1/2 an hour. I’m just wondering what brand of liquid food coloring that’s suitable for use with hard candy do you used is it oil base? I do really appreciate your response. Thank you very much :(

  127. Chica said: (September 21st, 2011 at 12:28 pm)

    Mary, make sure that whatever coloring you use specifically says that it’s suitable for hard candy. If your candies are too sticky, you probably didn’t cook them to a high enough temperature. Make sure you have a good working thermometer :)

  128. flipballa23 said: (October 6th, 2011 at 11:28 am)

    Hello Chica and Jo! Thanks so much for posting this great and easy to follow tutorial!! I plan to use these candy jewels for my grandparents 66th Wedding Anniversary cake. I have made my first and second batches and was wondering if you or the group had any tips on how to smoothen the rough edges from the jewels that come out of the breakaway moulds? (I have cut some of the edges off but sometimes they still look rough) Also any tips on how to pour/fill tiny tiny jewel moulds? (The jewels are probably about 1 cm x 1 cm). Thanks again! :D

  129. Chica said: (October 6th, 2011 at 6:57 pm)

    Hi flipballa23! I haven’t really tried to smooth the edges before, but it seems like either water or heat would be the way to go. Maybe you could wipe the edges with a wet cotton swab, or maybe heat up a knife blade in a flame and then touch it to the edge? Neither of those ideas sounds very quick and easy, but they might work.

    As for pouring into tiny molds… well… melted sugar is pretty drippy and stringy, so all I can suggest is to pour slowly and be patient!

  130. Glen said: (October 29th, 2011 at 1:19 pm)

    Hi guys,
    Hope you can help.
    I tried your recipe to make some sunglasses for a
    Birthday cake. They looked really cool, but after a couple of days the glass started to melt…oops!
    Any ideas where I went wrong would be much appreciated.

  131. Chica said: (October 30th, 2011 at 8:10 pm)

    Glen, if the candy started out fine and then began to melt after a couple of days, I can only guess it was related to heat or humidity. It’s best to store the candy in an airtight container in a cool place.

  132. mary nany said: (November 3rd, 2011 at 1:19 am)

    hi is me againg Do you think that the jewells’ll last for 2 days on the cake? the event is to be held on Feb in Perth, Australia and I must drop the cake at the bride’s house the nigth before (??). The cake will required 140 diamonds.
    Thank you very much

  133. Chica said: (November 3rd, 2011 at 12:14 pm)

    Mary Nany, the longest I had the jewels on a cake before was about 12 hours, and they held up fine. It will depend on the moisture in your frosting, though. I would suggest that you mix up a batch of the frosting you plan to use on the cake and stick a few jewels on it. Then let it sit on the counter for a few days and see how it lasts. Then you’ll know for sure!

  134. mary nany said: (November 13th, 2011 at 12:35 am)

    CHICA: I’ll be using MM I’ll try stick a few jewels on it RIGHT NOW THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH

  135. victora said: (November 13th, 2011 at 11:41 am)

    hi just wondering have you ever put luster dust on these gems im worried about them going sticky and was thinking of putting luster dust on them for a bit of smimmer

  136. Chica said: (November 13th, 2011 at 1:51 pm)

    We’ve never tried that, Victora. If you do, please let us know how it works out!

  137. Jeannine said: (November 18th, 2011 at 12:52 pm)

    Thanks for the instructions. Will try today, have made stained glass windows in the past, but not jewels. Made a fondant/gumpaste bra, jewels would be a pretty embellishment.

  138. Liz said: (December 10th, 2011 at 10:00 am)

    Why are my candy jewles melting they have been in the fridge?????

  139. Chica said: (December 10th, 2011 at 10:40 am)

    Liz, unless your room is super warm, the hard candy should be stable enough to stay hard without having to be refrigerated. If they are “melting”, then you probably did not cook the syrup to a high enough temperature. I suggest double-checking the accuracy of your candy thermometer to be sure you are cooking to the right temp.

  140. Kikiskeeter said: (December 11th, 2011 at 11:16 am)

    @Liz Your refrigerator is adding moisture to the candies causing them to melt. Which is the trick to remelting already hardened candy.

  141. kennia said: (December 14th, 2011 at 10:11 am)

    hey i think making that candy looked really good

  142. Jill said: (December 23rd, 2011 at 2:33 am)

    Can hard candy be remelted? I did the last batch (cinnamon) and realized as it set up and I didn’t have as much as the other pans, I left the water out…can I melt it down again and add it? or is it safe to keep and eat the way it is? Thank you

  143. Chica said: (December 23rd, 2011 at 8:10 am)

    Jill, I have no idea if you can re-melt the candy or not, but if you try it out please share your results with us. I see no reason why it wouldn’t be safe to eat, though… it’s just sugar after all :)

  144. Natalie said: (January 3rd, 2012 at 10:02 am)

    Hi Chica! Beautiful tutorial! You seem to be very passionated in what you do! Thumbs up! especially from a confectioners point of view it is so nice to see how you translate our industrial ways of working to a kitchen – just great.
    The one and only advise/remark i can give is:
    Try to find moulds from metal. The speed up cristallisation and reduce sticking.

  145. Chica said: (January 3rd, 2012 at 10:19 am)

    Thank you for the nice comments, Natalie! Thanks also for the tip on metal molds. I’ve never seen those before, but I will keep an eye out.

  146. Velorna said: (January 8th, 2012 at 4:33 pm)

    I love it and I am going to try it for my daughters party the theme is “Spa Glam”

  147. Chica said: (January 8th, 2012 at 7:19 pm)

    Sounds like a fun party, Velorna. If you’re looking for food ideas for the party, you might want to check out our tutorial for peanut butter and jelly gem sandwiches, which would be a good fit!

  148. velorna said: (January 17th, 2012 at 12:59 am)

    Sounds delicious….. I slightly changed the theme to bejeweled, Im making a vanity for her gift and everyone is going to make beaded jewelry. Everyone is going home with a small bag of jewel candy.

  149. DonnaMT said: (January 25th, 2012 at 3:05 pm)

    Hi, Love your posts. Has anyone ever tried using Crystal Light drink mix (dry from the pack)for the color and flavors? I am homebound right now and in a pinch for the color and flavoring. I plan to try it soon and will let you know how the red punch flavor works out…Donna

  150. Chica said: (January 25th, 2012 at 8:28 pm)

    Donna, we’ve never tried that, but I am intrigued. Can’t wait to hear how it comes out for you!

  151. Lisa @ Sweet2Eat Baking said: (February 12th, 2012 at 8:46 am)

    This tutorial is awesome. I love that you’ve listed your trial run and explained what went wrong, etc. I’ve been looking for an in-depth tutorial on candy gems so I can create them for my cakes.

    I have yet to buy the moulds (yes, I’m British, lol) and the candy thermometer. Also, we don’t have corn syrup here in the UK. The closest thing is Golden Syrup but it’s not a clear syrup (google time). What could I sub this for? Or will it make a difference?

    I’m very much a beginner and I’m mobility disabled (I’m only 30) so I’m hoping this won’t be too hard for me.

    Thanks for sharing,

  152. Chica said: (February 12th, 2012 at 9:04 am)

    Lisa, we’re so happy that you like our tutorial. We’ve had a couple of other UK readers mention golden syrup as an alternative, and if you search through for “golden syrup” on this page, you can see their comments. I haven’t heard back from anyone who has tried it, though, so if you do please let us know how it comes out.

  153. Becky said: (February 12th, 2012 at 10:04 am)

    I just made the jewels and I used the isomalt sticks and they work wonderful. I would highly recommend the sticks.

  154. Chica said: (February 12th, 2012 at 11:09 am)

    Becky, I had never heard of Isomalt sticks before but I just looked and found them on Amazon. Looks very interesting! The brief info I’ve seen so far indicates that you melt them in the microwave. Is that what you did? Do you have any tips to share with everyone?

  155. fathima said: (February 13th, 2012 at 7:00 pm)

    hi i just want ask u can i use glucose syrup for substitute for corn syrup because i cant find corn syrup pls reply me if u cen

  156. Chica said: (February 14th, 2012 at 6:57 am)

    Fathima, we’ve had a few people ask about golden syrup in the comments above. Some have suggested it would work, but nobody has come back with final results, so I don’t have a definite answer for you. If you try it out, please let us know how it goes!

  157. Jason said: (February 16th, 2012 at 8:52 pm)

    I would like to make a batch with about a quarter of the recipe. what do you reccomend?

  158. Chica said: (February 17th, 2012 at 6:59 am)

    Jason, a quarter of the ingredients in this recipe would be: 1/2 cup sugar, 8 tsp corn syrup, and 3 tbsp water.

  159. Mrshaert said: (February 17th, 2012 at 8:30 pm)

    Thank you, thank you! I made beautiful jewels last nite with your recipe. I had tried the “jolly rancher” recipe the night before and was so disappointed. Your recipe was perfect and all of your advice great! I tooka a chance and use Wilton paste colorings with the jewels, since I couldn’t get to a large city to get the liquid color. I just mixed the color with the water before I put it in the pan. It worked great. Thanks again!!!!!!!

  160. Kariema said: (February 18th, 2012 at 12:42 pm)

    Hi thanks so much for the receipe,iv tried the gems and it came out beautiful

  161. Chica said: (February 18th, 2012 at 12:50 pm)

    I’m so glad you had such success, Mrsheart! Thanks for the tip on the paste colorings, too.

  162. HolleyV said: (February 20th, 2012 at 8:44 pm)

    My church is having a fun mystery dinner with a Gold Rush theme. I can’t wait to try these for edible diamonds on the tables!

  163. kathy said: (March 4th, 2012 at 5:23 pm)

    I am making an Indian lamp cake topper and used your instructions for the windows in my fondant lamp.. It worked PERFECTLY!! thanks!

  164. Chica said: (March 4th, 2012 at 5:49 pm)

    So glad it worked well for you, Kathy! We’d love to see your cake topper, if you’d like to share a photo with us in our Flickr group for reader photos.

  165. Kelly said: (March 6th, 2012 at 5:36 pm)

    If I miss out the colouring will I end up with clear gems, also I am based in the UK and I am having problems getting corn syrup, is there anything else I could use?

  166. Chica said: (March 7th, 2012 at 6:53 am)

    Hi Kelly. If you leave out the color, you will get gems that are mostly clear, but may have a yellowish tint depending on how long you cook the sugar. We’ve had several of our UK readers in the comments above ask about using golden syrup (which is available in the UK), but nobody has reported back with results, so I’m not sure if it will work for you or not. I assume that “golden” syrup is not clear, though, which would mean that the gems would not be clear if you don’t use any coloring. Hope that helps!

  167. good said: (March 17th, 2012 at 2:52 pm)

    can you eat it?

  168. Chica said: (March 17th, 2012 at 4:28 pm)

    This candy is made of sugar and completely edible!

  169. Carolyn said: (March 18th, 2012 at 12:46 am)

    Love these instructions! Worked like a charm every time! We made lots of batches in all different colors. Couldn’t be easier, thanks so much!!!

  170. Chica said: (March 18th, 2012 at 9:38 am)

    So glad to hear it, Carolyn! We’d love to see pictures of some of your creations if you want to post them in Flickr group for reader projects.

  171. kim said: (March 23rd, 2012 at 12:36 pm)

    Your ideas are great and I was wondering where to get the moulds? Just awsome.

  172. Chica said: (March 23rd, 2012 at 8:22 pm)

    Kim, I found the molds at my local Hobby Lobby store, but you can also buy them here on Amazon.

  173. Kristi Ambrose said: (April 1st, 2012 at 2:27 pm)

    Okay, let me just say this is awesome. I have been looking around for an all in one guide for days. All in one being a guide that tells me HOW to cook it, where to get the supplies and how to not screw up lol. I buy candy jewels from a lady on etsy, but they become so expensive between that and the shipping, I wanted to see if there was a better way and a cheaper way around this. I have made “barley” candy before (the kind you put on a baking sheet, freeze and then literally BREAK), but I wanted to try some of these little candy jewels because they are very uniform and they fit in your mouth without jabbing you lol.

    I am going to use this recipe I think, and I am getting my flavored oils from and I will take your advice about the molds. I did have one question though, assuming these are silicone, what do you think is better, metal or silicone? I see a lot of people on sites saying different things. In our house we have one main worry: Cancerous products. We try not to use things like bleach and things that can harm you because my mom had breast cancer last year and it was really.. scary. Does the silicone have any types of chemicals in it that would harm a person?

  174. Chica said: (April 1st, 2012 at 7:49 pm)

    Kristi, we’re so happy we were your all-in-one! I have never used metal molds. The molds I used are not silicon, but are a shiny and hard plastic that is still flexible. Since they are specifically designed for use with hot liquid sugar, I would assume they are completely safe and free of dangerous chemicals.

  175. Kristi Ambrose said: (April 3rd, 2012 at 2:28 pm)

    I bought pretty much all of my stuff already – minus the pyrex because we have one at home already. I kind of cannot wait til I get to make these! I got flavored oils as well – cranberry for myself, pomegranate for my mom and key lime for my girlfriend lol. Going to try all of them and see what happens!

    Thanks for your answer. I went ahead with whatever Lorann Oils had (I thought it best to buy everything in one place), I could not find jewels that were uniform, so I got stars instead – which are still super super cute. Here is the link, maybe as a connisueur you can tell me if this is silicon or hard plastic like you were telling me about:

    Hopefully that is the thing I needed.

  176. Chica said: (April 3rd, 2012 at 5:40 pm)

    Kristi, that looks like the hard plastic to me, which should work great for hard candy. Good luck and do let us know how it goes!

  177. Kristi Ambrose said: (April 6th, 2012 at 10:11 pm)

    Good I hope it works! We plan to do it sometime next week and I can’t wait. Mmm.


  178. Sahu said: (April 7th, 2012 at 2:48 pm)

    Hey guys thanks for the tutorial. Can I use gel food colors instead of water-based liquid colors? I’ve tried making these too, but I get tiny bubbles in mine, and I use regular sugar, not isomalt. I believe it’s because I pour into molds too quickly… next time I’ll try waiting till the bubbles settle before pouring.

  179. Chica said: (April 7th, 2012 at 3:20 pm)

    Sahu, I haven’t tried the gel colors for this, but check the product details (either on the packaging or their company website) and see if it says the gel can be used for hard candy.

  180. Mars said: (April 7th, 2012 at 5:03 pm)

    Does this color stain your tongue/mouth? If not, do you know how i can make it stain?

  181. Chica said: (April 7th, 2012 at 5:30 pm)

    Mars, I haven’t seen it stain with just the few drops of coloring I’ve added, but if you add a LOT more coloring, you might be able to get the results you’re looking for!

  182. Kelly said: (April 8th, 2012 at 2:24 pm)

    I made my first hard candy today, but being located in the UK I cannot get corn syrup so I just used sugar and water with blue food colouring, just need to make sure the syrup reaches the right temp, it worked really well

  183. Chica said: (April 8th, 2012 at 8:37 pm)

    Thanks for sharing your results, Kelly. I’m sure our other readers in the UK who have mentioned issues with getting corn syrup will be grateful for the advice.

  184. K. Ofori said: (April 17th, 2012 at 4:36 am)

    These are great directions! do you think it would be possible to exchange corn syrup for FRUIT SYRUP? I havent tried it yet but I wanted to ask just in case you already knew the result of the substitution. Does anything about the instructions change if I do so? :-)

  185. Chica said: (April 17th, 2012 at 6:49 am)

    K, I’ve never tried using fruit syrup. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

  186. Rac said: (April 23rd, 2012 at 8:58 pm)

    Great instructions. Trying this very soon. Thanks,

  187. Kayla said: (April 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am)

    I’m using a small jewel mold…I used a dowel(I didn’t have a skewer) to drop the sugar into the mold. It worked well, but I suggest doing a really small batch. I halfed this recipe and it started to get hard to pour. Question: I let my sugar go to 276. The first couple jewels were nice and clear but as I went the turned more brown. Any suggestions?

  188. Chica said: (April 26th, 2012 at 10:40 am)

    I like the dowel idea for dropping the sugar in the mold, Kayla. Thanks for the tip! As for the color changing, the sugar is going to continue to cook for a few minutes after you take it off the heat, which is why I recommend pouring it out of the hot pan and into a cooler container like a Pyrex measuring cup. This will help stop the cooking process. Hope that helps!

  189. Kristi Ambrose said: (May 2nd, 2012 at 7:13 am)

    FYI I tried this recipe and it worked awesome. I made a whole bunch of red, blue and green candy stars and I added the flavorings as I said I would. Now I am going to an event with my mom in a week and I am going to make pink breast cancer ribbons in cranberry and strawberry flavors to give out. It works well because the event is sponsored by the Komen foundation and my mom had breast cancer last year :o )

    Since I cannot sell them (laws and stuff), I am going to give them away and set a price for them. Then, my mom is going to give me the money for them lol and then I am going to pocket half and donate the rest to the Cancer Research Fund or the Susan Komen foundation – not sure which one yet.

    Wish me luck!

  190. Chica said: (May 2nd, 2012 at 8:13 am)

    Kristi, I’m so glad to hear that the recipe worked so well for you. You sound like you’re turning into quite the candy maker! I’m sure your ribbon candies will be a big hit at the event, and kudos to you for sharing your profits with either charity.

  191. Joanne said: (May 2nd, 2012 at 8:48 am)

    Thanks for your tips how to make it and I am going to try it very soon.

    Is there any supermarkets sell Light corn syrup or have to buy it from the Internet?

  192. Chica said: (May 2nd, 2012 at 10:34 am)

    Joanne, you should be able to find corn syrup in any supermarket. It’s often located near the pancake syrup.

  193. Tiffany said: (May 18th, 2012 at 8:01 am)

    Your ideas have been a fantastic addition to my childrens birthday parties. For my oldest daughter I made tiaras for all the girls that came to the party, and bags of flavored gemstones for them to take home. It was wonderful, something so simple made it so beautiful.

  194. Chica said: (May 18th, 2012 at 2:19 pm)

    Tiffany, that sounds like a wonderfully fancy and inexpensive favor that I’m sure the girls cherished.

  195. Tracie said: (May 23rd, 2012 at 1:23 pm)

    Just made these today as I have a cake this weekend that will have emeralds on it. I love that I had all supplies on hand and this really was so simple! Following your directions exactly they turned out perfectly! Thanks for sharing

  196. Chica said: (May 23rd, 2012 at 3:11 pm)

    That’s great to hear, Tracie. We’d love to see a photo of your emeralds and/or cake if you want to upload it to our Flickr group for reader photos.

  197. Xochitl said: (May 31st, 2012 at 1:55 am)

    I just made my first batch. My thermometer only went up to 150 and the candy burned. I just got it. :(

  198. Chica said: (June 1st, 2012 at 7:04 am)

    Xochitl, is there any chance you were looking at Celsius instead of Fahrenheit on the thermometer? Or maybe you didn’t have the end of the thermometer down in the sugar enough to get a good readout?

  199. joyce said: (June 13th, 2012 at 2:04 am)

    Hi I need help! i used isomalt with water and made some gems and it turned out nice just like yours. I kept it in air tight container and take out the air (vacuum) n it turned sticky the next day.the day b4 i made some and i didn’t put in air tight container n they also turned sticky (kinda melting). Singapore is highly humid country however i thought it shldn’t turn sticky since i’ve put them in a vacuumed container? hope that u can help me, may be i shld add corn water?

  200. Chica said: (June 13th, 2012 at 6:48 am)

    Hi Joyce. I haven’t used isomalt, so I can’t comment on that specifically, but the biggest causes of stickiness are humidity or from the candies being not quite hard enough in the first place (from not being cooked to too high a temperature). I’ve read that you can coat the candies in powdered sugar to keep them from sticking, but that ruins the clear glass look, and instead makes them look like frosted glass.

  201. Jackie said: (June 19th, 2012 at 8:30 pm)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share you recipe and experience. Can’t wait to search your site for more ideas.

  202. Rose said: (July 10th, 2012 at 8:47 am)

    Great tutorial – but you make it look so easy! This project was a huge pain in the butt… They look pretty, but man you have to work FAST. I thought it would be much more liquidy to start, but it’s a very thick syrup to start out with. I have no idea how you poured so prefectly – mine was a giant mess. We had to work sooo fast before it started getting solid.
    Thanks for the step by step though – very helpful!

  203. Anna said: (July 10th, 2012 at 4:31 pm)

    Oh I love you! I love all your ideas, I love your candies and your tips!
    I tried many recipes and failed every single time (all people out ther said to stop cooking at 300 :-/) But tonight I tried to stop at 275 and!!!
    A batch of wonderfully glass-looking candies (rose flavoured) THANKS THANKS THANKS!!
    A big hug from Italy

  204. Chica said: (July 10th, 2012 at 7:13 pm)

    Rose, I’m sorry you had some challenges, but I’m proud of you for sticking with it and succeeding!

  205. Micas said: (July 20th, 2012 at 8:42 am)

    I just love this tutorial, thank you for sharing :) very, very helpful to decorate my cakes.

  206. Terry said: (July 24th, 2012 at 9:08 am)

    Hi Chica,
    have not tried this recipe yet, but I will soon. Several of your bloggers say they are from the U.K and can’t find light corn syrup, there are many offers on ebay for Karo light corn syrup, also there is also The American Food Store in London which sells the same product. Have you heard of this brand in the states, and do you think it would be suitable?

    Kind Regards Terry

  207. Chica said: (July 31st, 2012 at 2:45 pm)

    Anna, we are so glad that this recipe worked so well for you! Thanks for the kind words, and we hope you continue to enjoy our site.

  208. Chica said: (July 31st, 2012 at 2:57 pm)

    Hi Terry. I’m sure our UK readers will appreciate your tips. Karo is indeed the most popular brand of corn syrup in the US, and would work great in this recipe.

  209. Thalia said: (August 10th, 2012 at 4:28 pm)

    hi guys, i was just wondering whether ice moulds would work instead of the candy ones? or do you need the candy ones?

  210. Chica said: (August 10th, 2012 at 7:58 pm)

    Thalia, the candy molds are made of a special plastic that is able to withstand the head of the hot candy syrup and also release the hardened candies easily. I don’t think you’d have very good luck with other types of molds.

  211. Jennifer said: (August 16th, 2012 at 6:45 pm)

    I was so excited to see your tutorial and I followed it to the T! However, my clear gems turned out yellow and my pink gems have an orange tint to it. I used a digital candy thermometer. Do you think a non-digital one would work better? They still taste good and should work for what I need (putting them on a cake and cupcakes) but they are more canary diamond than true diamond. :) I’m going to try isomalt next time, maybe that might work better.

  212. Chica said: (August 17th, 2012 at 6:56 am)

    Jennifer, the yellow tint comes from the sugar being cooked too long and starting to turn into caramel. It’s very difficult to stop the cooking at exactly the right point — when the sugar is cooked enough to form into hard candy, but not so cooked that it yellows. Maybe you can try a slightly lower temperature next time?

  213. Allison said: (August 24th, 2012 at 6:38 pm)

    I just did this and it turned out amazing! I don’t use corn products, so I subbed the corn syrup for Lion’s Gold Syrup. That might help the UK readers. I’ve also had good luck replacing half of the golden syrup with honey. It lends a more caramel taste to the finished candy, but it was still fantastic!

  214. Chica said: (August 27th, 2012 at 8:12 am)

    Thanks for the tip, Allison! I imagine the caramel taste was a nice touch. Did it leave the candies a little yellower, too?

  215. toño said: (September 1st, 2012 at 6:51 pm)

    ayuda quiero hacer manzanas carameladas usando su receta de caramelo pero no endurecen solo en el refrigerador y al sacarlas vuelven a derretirse porque no se me hacen duras solo en el refrigerador y al sacarlas se derriten de unas horas el caramelo se hace liquido

  216. Allison said: (September 2nd, 2012 at 4:27 pm)

    It did. They came out a nice stained glass yellow. I didn’t add any food coloring to mine, so I’m not sure how that would be affected. And also, it’s Lyle’s Golden Syrup, not Lions. :)

  217. Chica said: (September 2nd, 2012 at 6:55 pm)

    Good to know. I think color would work fine as long as you use colors that yellow won’t mess with, like yellow (of course!), orange, or green.

  218. Meg said: (September 16th, 2012 at 12:43 pm)

    Hi I would really like to give these a go, however I cant get clear corn syrup in the UK wud it be poss t use liquid glucose instead???

  219. Jo said: (September 17th, 2012 at 4:00 pm)

    We aren’t sure. Any UK folks know?

  220. Fatima said: (September 20th, 2012 at 1:37 am)

    wow these candies taste nice

  221. Lisa {Sweet 2 Eat Baking} said: (September 22nd, 2012 at 6:13 pm)

    I have yet to make these. I commented previously. Just wanted to stop by and let you know that we can get corn syrup here in the UK. If anyone asks, just direct them to Waitrose (they’ll have heard of it). It’s expensive at £3.99 a bottle but worth it if we don’t want yellow or golden coloured jewels as we’d get with the golden syrup made ones.

    I made marshmallows with golden syrup and it stayed golden in liquid form until the whipping process so I’m 99% sure that these hard candies would be golden with golden syrup.

    Hopefully that will help some UK folks.

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking

  222. Chica said: (September 24th, 2012 at 9:00 am)

    Thanks for the tip, Lisa!

  223. Mich said: (September 26th, 2012 at 5:37 am)

    They turned out perfect! thanks so so so very much…

  224. Bob ^x^ said: (September 30th, 2012 at 11:44 am)

    This really brightened up my day..
    Im took notes on this just now..for a project.
    Prehaps i can buy candy molds at Michael’s or wal-mart?
    I need them fast…so i cant be cool like everyone else and order the buggars online…:/lol.
    Great Blog:)

  225. Michaela said: (October 10th, 2012 at 5:48 pm)

    To make perfect little circle, could you use a muffin tin and just pour enough to cover the bottom?

  226. Chica said: (October 11th, 2012 at 3:59 pm)

    Michaela, that sounds like a great mold idea, but I’m not sure if the candy would release or not. It may depend on what your tin is made of. If you try it out, please let us know how it goes!

  227. Catherine said: (October 12th, 2012 at 3:43 pm)

    Hi Chica, just wondering if you can use normal icing sugar instead of granulated. But other than that, your tutorial was amazing! I would LOVE to show it to you sometime!

  228. Chica said: (October 12th, 2012 at 4:26 pm)

    Catherine, I haven’t tried using icing / powdered / confectioner’s sugar with this recipe. Theoretically it could work, but you would need to adjust the amounts and I have no idea by how much. I think it would be best to stick with granulated!

  229. Catherine said: (October 12th, 2012 at 5:44 pm)

    Thanks! I am making huge ones that are the size of the base of a cup lol I am tempted to trying this I am exited to see how they turn out

  230. Catherine said: (October 15th, 2012 at 3:19 pm)

    WOW! These turned out great! I used a mini muffin tin as a base and I made them huge hard candies! They are super easy and when I brought them to show off everyone was like “Oh my gosh! I bet those are amazing! I wish I were you!” Thanks so much!

  231. Chica said: (October 15th, 2012 at 4:17 pm)

    Catherine, I’m so glad the mini muffin tins worked for you. Do you have a photo to share? We’d love to see it!

  232. mj said: (October 19th, 2012 at 12:18 am)

    I wonder if it works at high altitude? I’m going to try this word for word. I can never get blue :-/

  233. Chica said: (October 19th, 2012 at 7:24 am)

    MJ, please let us know how it comes out!

  234. Eric29 said: (October 19th, 2012 at 1:46 pm)

    cool experiment to do

  235. Chantal said: (November 5th, 2012 at 7:36 pm)

    First of all thank you for this instruction. I just tried this and it worked wonderfully for a fondant shoe I’m working on. I also poured them into chocolate molds and it didn’t melt them at all.

    Questions: How do you wash you pot and cup etc

  236. Chica said: (November 6th, 2012 at 9:20 am)

    Chantal, the best way to get the sugar out of the pot and cup is to just fill them with water and let them soak until the sugar dissolves.

  237. jodi said: (November 6th, 2012 at 4:08 pm)

    first off, GREAT instructions. I found your website and the searched around for other tips and tricks but kept coming back to yours. however, my jewels did not turn out. I had molds very similar to yours. the only difference I had in the recipe was I cut it in half because i only had 3 molds and i knew a full batch would be way to much. I also added the flavor.

    Everything went smoothly from mixing to the temp. of 275 and such. I switched the hot sugar mixture over to the pyrex and then began to pour (or attempt to) it was a thick liquid at first but after pouring one “diamond” and going onto the next the sugar soon began to harden. I decided to start pouring in another mold that was bigger and not so tedious…however by the time i was trying to pour the 4th diamond the mixture was stuck to the sides of my pyrex and the mixture coming out was a thick almost taffy consistence. i had a blob that would fall into the mold attached with a thick string leading to the pyrex. there was no pouring at this rate. I bent a spoon trying to get it out and nothing. it was warm so i just took a spoon and swirled it all over the aluminum so i didnt wast the product. I know time is a key factor but in less than 5 min the liquid had turned to solid. I just cant figure it out.I knew this would be a pain in the butt but it seemed something just wasn’t right. please feel free to email me. i was hoping to make these for a party in a week but at this rate, i dont see it happening.

  238. Chica said: (November 6th, 2012 at 4:32 pm)

    Jodi, in my experience, the syrup starts to thicken after 5 or 6 minutes and then really firms up after about 8 minutes. You need to move fast, and be ready to pour into the molds as soon as you have the sugar in the Pyrex. Have everything ready and go as quickly (but safely!) as you can. It’s possible that you doing a half batch made it worse, because there wasn’t as much syrup in the Pyrex and maybe that caused it to cool faster. I know you can’t use a whole batch at once, but it might be worth trying to see if you get better results. I hope that helps!

  239. jodi said: (November 7th, 2012 at 8:34 am)

    i may give it another try but I hate to waste more money. If it hardens that fast how is it possible to even pour? After all I poured it into the pyrex and started pouring but after 2 jewels the mixture was already hardening in the pyrex and making “frozen waterfalls” trailing from the pyrex into the molds there not pouring at all. 2 jewels pourd then the mixture was like taffy. the portion may be the factor as we both agreed but if i was given even 2 more minutes i cant forsee myself getting even one sheet of molds filled before it became no longer pouring concistency. ugh.

  240. Chica said: (November 7th, 2012 at 10:01 am)

    Jodi, you should definitely have time to pour more than two before it hardens — I’ve been able to fill two trays before noticing much thickening. I’m not sure what the problem could be or how else to help. Hard to know without being there.

  241. jodi said: (November 7th, 2012 at 12:09 pm)

    ok, I will give it anothe try and see what happens. I know the batch was going down hill when I added the oil based flavoring because it started to thicken when I did that and then well…you know the rest. ill let you know.

  242. Austin said: (November 8th, 2012 at 12:40 am)

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I’m currently enrolled in Culinary school and I have to build a giant gingerbread structure for a baking class. I tried the recipe in the official book and the instructions were not very clear so it did not work. These were perfect and worked like a charm. I was so happy when my windows were hard and not soggy. Again, thank you =).

  243. Chica said: (November 8th, 2012 at 8:36 am)

    So glad we could help, Austin. We’d love to see a photo of your finished house if you want to share one with us!

  244. Zahra said: (November 11th, 2012 at 2:38 am)

    Hi! I am planning to make a batch of hard candy to sell at a fundraiser (will be making a trial batch before) but I was wondering what would be the best way to package them? I live in a relatively humid country where humidity ranges from 60 to 99 percent. I do have an idea on how to wrap lollipops/suckers but my mind goes blank when I think of how to package decent sized candies (maybe about 1.5 to 2 inches) individually.

    Hope you can help! Thank you!

  245. Chica said: (November 11th, 2012 at 12:36 pm)

    Zahra, the best way to package these would probably be a small, clear bag or box. Here are a few links to some products I found that might inspire you: clear pillow favor boxes, treat bags, clear favor boxes.

    Before packaging them, you’ll want to make sure they don’t stick together. One way to do that is to lightly spray the candies with vegetable cookie spray. This method isn’t as effective, but will keep the candies looking shiny and clear. Another method is to dust them with powdered sugar, but the down side is that they’ll lose their clear look and end up looking more like frosted sea glass.

  246. Zahra said: (November 12th, 2012 at 9:53 am)

    I’ll try them out when my new molds arrive! Thank you! I do hope I won’t have to resort to dusting them cause I like the original look.

  247. Sandy said: (December 2nd, 2012 at 8:23 pm)

    I found your sight while searching for an alternative to using candy in stained glass cookies – want to make my own. My original idea is to use pomegranate juice as the water/coloring and wondering if you think that will work. Also, I think the store bought candy is crushed and then put in the middle of cookie dough and melts to liquid during baking and then hardens when cooled. Would I harden the the homade candy first – crush it and put into the hole in the dough. Haven’t researched that all the way so… Do you think it will work to use pomegranate juice? I’m trying to make some gifts from our pomegranate orchard – tell me it will work -k? Thanks in advance!

  248. Chica said: (December 3rd, 2012 at 7:27 am)

    Sandy, I wish I could tell you if the pomegranate juice would work or not, but I have no idea. It seems like it might, so you should give it a try. My gut tells me that the coloring would work but the flavor might not be strong enough to be noticeable. Maybe you could simmer the juice first to concentrate it so it has more flavor? As for the cookies, it would probably be easier and less messy if you made the candy first then crushed it and used it in the recipe as intended. I’m afraid if you tried to pour the syrup into the cookies directly that you’d be rushed to finish before the syrup cools, and then you’ll risk messing up the cookies. Please come back and let us know how this goes, because I love your idea!

  249. Ashley said: (December 7th, 2012 at 2:32 am)

    Hi Chica,

    We were wondering if we could get the jewels to stick on a fondant base with just a water/sugar mixture because we are going to keep most of the jewels clear for a diamond effect. We will also have buttercream leftover, could we possibly use that?
    So glad we found your site, our first batch of sugar turned out bad, we used water and isomalt. It said to heat to 320 & then cool for 2 minutes, well we did that and it turned to rock LOL. So we kept trying to play with the sugar to see if we could get it to work with varying cooling times but it was just a mess.
    We’re going to try again tomorrow with your techniques & possibly a homemade sugar syrup, we shall see how it goes. THANKS, Ashley & Amanda!! :D

  250. Chica said: (December 7th, 2012 at 10:00 am)

    Ashley, you could definitely use your leftover butercream to attach the jewels. If you want them to appear as clear as possible, my recommendation would be to use an icing that’s the same color as the fondant, so that it will look like the fondant is just showing through. You could try using a batch of candy syrup as “glue”, but honestly that sounds like it would get quite messy :) Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  251. marvenia said: (January 1st, 2013 at 1:26 pm)

    Worked awesomely!!! Using organics, this would make great cough drops. Thanks so much!!!

  252. gina_bethann said: (January 5th, 2013 at 6:31 pm)

    I will be using this to make the crown and taira on my daughter’s wedding cake in June. My only concern is the humidity. I will be in the middle of Louisiana. Humidity is often 90 to 100%. Any suggestions? Should I wait until the day of the wedding to add the jewels? I am sure the cake will be inside except the few minutes from the house to car, then car to reception.

  253. Chica said: (January 6th, 2013 at 11:36 am)

    Gina, the real danger with hard candies and humidity is that it will cause them to stick together. I don’t think it will be an issue once they are on the cake, since they’ll already be placed where you want them. However, it is an important day, so you might want to take every precaution possible ;)

  254. ami said: (January 6th, 2013 at 11:55 pm)

    i was wondering about the yield — did you fill all three trays with this much syrup?

  255. Chica said: (January 7th, 2013 at 7:19 am)

    Yes, Ami, I filled all three trays with one batch of syrup, and had some left. It will depend on what types of molds you use, of course, but I can regularly fill 3 or 4 trays of candy from one batch. However, the syrup usually gets too hard to pour before I finish the fourth tray, so be sure to fill your favorite trays first!

  256. Pam said: (January 15th, 2013 at 11:20 pm)

    I made homemade gumdrops this year by simply pouring into a glass pan, but I would have LOVED the chance to make shapes like these! They are incredibly sticky until rolled in sugar, but do you think they would pop out if I sprayed the sheets like I do the glass?

  257. Chica said: (January 16th, 2013 at 7:25 am)

    Hard to say, Pam, but if you try it out please write back and let us know how it goes!

  258. Haley said: (January 21st, 2013 at 4:43 pm)

    Do you think it would be possible to make small candies, let them set, then place the smaller candies in a larger mold and pour a different colored candy around, without melting the smaller, set candies? I would like to suspend a small, colorful circle inside a large, clear one.

  259. Chica said: (January 21st, 2013 at 5:38 pm)

    Hmm, that’s a tough one, Haley… I don’t know if it will work or not. If the syrup is too hot, you run the risk of melting the first candy, but if you let it cool too much, then it will be hard to pour around it. If you try this out, please come back and let us know how it goes!

  260. violett said: (January 23rd, 2013 at 8:32 am)

    hi,did your candy today,fantastic!!!!this is so great.only my candy had bubles inside,and yours are so nice and clear,I mean,dont get me wrong everything went fantastic,but I would love to do it as perfect as you did.any ideas,what I have done wrong?thank you

  261. Chica said: (January 23rd, 2013 at 9:21 am)

    Violett, I”m glad you enjoyed this recipe! The only thought I have about the bubbles is that maybe you started pouring the syrup too soon. You’ll want to let it sit in the Pyrex for a few seconds until it stops boiling and settles down, and the bubbles are mostly gone. Hope that helps!

  262. Pat said: (January 29th, 2013 at 11:00 pm)

    I have not read every single post on this thread…but I will. Thank you SO much for your excellent instructions. QUESTION: How will these do if placed on buttercream instead of fondant? (my bride does NOT want fondant!) Will they ooze? Lose their shine? Go cloudy? Disintegrate? I really need to know…hard to believe it will really work, but I think I trust you :) Thanks….

  263. Chica said: (January 30th, 2013 at 7:25 am)

    Pat, I actually attached the gems to the cake I made using buttercream as the “glue”, and they stuck fine and I didn’t see any problems. If you are doing this for something as important as a wedding cake, though, I suggest you do a test run first. Frost one of your cake pans and stick some gems on it, and leave it at room temperature for a few days and see if anything goes wrong. Then you can be confident about your cake on the big day. I don’t think the color would ever bleed, but if you happen to be planning dark-colored gems on white frosting, a test would be an especially good idea.

  264. Dawn said: (February 11th, 2013 at 9:27 am)

    Comment 149 asked about using Crystal Light to flavor the candy. In response to that, I would like to share that I used Kool-aid drink mix packets to flavor and color the hard candy. You quickly add and stir it in as soon as you turn off the heat. (I got this idea from . Her recipe makes a smaller batch (one cup of liquid) but it is the same type recipe.
    Thank you so much for your tutorial! I felt much better attempting hard candy lollipops after reading all your do’s and don’ts and prep suggestions. The hubby even figured out how to make heart shaped molds for me out of aluminum foil– complete with a hole for the stick! Haha! (I only had one mold and still too much liquid candy :( )
    My kindergartener will be taking the lollipops to school for Valentine’s day. :) …. in cherry and grape Kool-aid flavors.

  265. Chica said: (February 11th, 2013 at 9:37 am)

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Dawn. You said you used Kool-Aid but you didn’t say how good it tasted. I guess it held up okay if the kids like it? How many packets did you use for one batch of our recipe, and was the flavor strong enough? Also, did you have any problems with the powder dissolving and leaving little specs?

  266. Dawn said: (February 13th, 2013 at 11:50 pm)

    Sorry about that.
    The Kool-aid gives a very strong flavor and a very deep color to the candy. I had tried cherry in one batch and grape in another. The cherry was very valentine-y red, and the grape is a super dark purple– heading to the blackish end of the purple spectrum. If one does not like the basic flavor of the Kool-aid as a drink, then I suppose one would hate the Kool aid as flavoring in the candy. My girls and I enjoyed the lollipops very much. :)
    I used one packet of Kool-aid per batch based on the recipe I linked in the previous post… because, as I had noted, her recipe made a smaller batch than your recipe (basing this on amounts of ingedients used) and I only had one mold then. And there were no little specks of powder to be seen in the candy, so it dissolved completely. You do a quick stir in of the powder as soon as you turn off the heat to the candy.
    I used your site for all the great tips and preps. I did not use your actual recipe as is posted on this site. But I mentioned the Kool-aid to be helpful since the recipes were so similar… to let the other commenter know to fear not if she wanted to try the drink mix out.
    Haha… I was just thinking… I can barely get the cup of liquid candy poured before it becomes unpourable… I can’t imagine managing more than that! :) Of course that could just be because the less liquid candy there is in the container, the faster it’s cooling off too.

  267. Chica said: (February 14th, 2013 at 7:06 am)

    Thanks so much for the detailed response, Dawn! I definitely want to try using Kool-Aid for the flavoring/coloring. Sounds like an fun and affordable way to try new candies. And I think your suspicions are right about the smaller batch cooling more quickly. When you have a larger mass of candy in the cup, it holds temp longer.

  268. Joyce said: (February 22nd, 2013 at 10:01 am)

    Awesome, thanks so much for such detailed directions. I’m definitely going to try these in the near future. I was looking for something different for an upcoming baby shower.

  269. Bond said: (February 24th, 2013 at 11:47 pm)

    Thanks so much for sharing! I was having a really hard time trying to find green hard candy to melt down for a baby shower cake. Gonna make this and pour it onto a cookie sheet to make shards for krypton on a superman cake :)

  270. Angie Lu said: (February 27th, 2013 at 6:23 pm)

    Honey, honey, honey… I just had to come on and thank you from the bottom of my heart. This was my very first time trying making candy and using molds of any kind and on my first time I got it right with minimal mess. Although I did end up boiling my sugar mixture for too long I was doing clear gems so it came out this beautiful gold color that is going to fit perfectly with the color scheme of the cake that I’m putting them on. And I must mention that with all the searching I did online you are the only person that made these with actual sugar instead of isomalt. I appreciate that! And the cake you made with these is so pretty! I love it!

  271. Chica said: (February 27th, 2013 at 6:47 pm)

    Angie Lu, your comments made my day! I’m thrilled to hear that you got it right the first time, and hope you continue to enjoy some of the other fun project ideas we have on the site :)

  272. Sabrina said: (March 1st, 2013 at 4:17 pm)

    This is a awesome recipe it taste yummmmmmmy too.looooooooooooooooooooooove it too

  273. Patricia said: (March 4th, 2013 at 5:19 pm)

    I did mine today and it doesn’t become hard it’s still gooey and sticky what did I do wrong I followed everything you said to do

  274. Chica said: (March 5th, 2013 at 3:31 pm)

    Patricia, if your candy isn’t setting up hard, it’s probably not cooking to a high enough temperature. I recommend you calibrate your thermometer like I suggested above to be sure it’s accurate.

  275. Mrshaert said: (March 9th, 2013 at 12:26 pm)

    Made candy ice cubes today with your recipe! Again, great success. I made a tray out of foil and poured the candy in it. Waited a while and used a pizza cutter to score it. Waited a while more and cut the cubes apart with scissors. I probably could have waited longer and broke them. But I was impatient. They turned out great. I did a slight blue tint, got a pretty light coke bottle color due to the yellowing, but on e blue background they will look great! Thanks again for sharing this with everyone! P.s. if anyone wants to try this, make sure and grease the foil, pizza cutter and scissors with Pam. Makes the job much easier.

  276. Chica said: (March 10th, 2013 at 3:21 pm)

    Thanks for sharing your results, Mrshaert. Those ice cubes sound pretty cool!

  277. Stacey said: (March 11th, 2013 at 4:00 pm)

    Tried 1/2 the recipe and it’s def. all about the temperature. I followed your excellent instructions and calibrated my thermometer first . I only had golden syrup to try it on and added blue colouring. First try, I went over 300 slightly and needless to say ended up with green candy and a burnt aftertaste lol. Second attempt was better though. Got a bluish teal colour and a better taste. Now I’ m going to wait for my hard candy gem molds I just ordered to come and pick up some white syrup to try it again.
    Super great instructions – thank you very much. :-)
    A much cheaper alternative to the isomalt –
    Ps, I did get a bluer result from some drippings off of my spoon that was taken out of pot at a lower temperature but that piece ended up going dull instead of staying shiny. I was using my turkey deep fryer thermometer but just ordered a proper candy thermometer and hoping for even better results next time.
    Thanks again.

  278. Chica said: (March 11th, 2013 at 5:31 pm)

    Thanks for your comments, Stacey. As you saw, a few degrees can make a huge difference!

  279. Julie Crawford said: (March 13th, 2013 at 12:02 pm)

    I made green jewels last night for a cake for the queen of the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The jewels came out perfect & look real!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.
    It’s perfect!

  280. Chica said: (March 13th, 2013 at 12:53 pm)

    You’re welcome, Julie. We’d love to see a photo of your cake if you want to submit one to our Flickr group for reader projects!

  281. verdy said: (March 22nd, 2013 at 9:41 am)

    thank you so much…

  282. kyle said: (March 26th, 2013 at 7:30 pm)

    I love this candy! Although when preparing the molds i have learned it is better to use flower to line the molds than the cooking spray. By doing it that way everything pops out like normal and no wiping off the candy after. Just use a minimal amount of flower by turning the mold upside down and tapping it. Hope that helps evverybody

  283. Chica said: (March 27th, 2013 at 7:10 am)

    Thanks for sharing that interesting technique, Kyle. Does the flour residue make the candy cloudy afterwards, or does it remain clear?

  284. Caren said: (April 7th, 2013 at 3:04 am)

    Thank you for posting this tutorial, it is very helpful!! I did 1/2 the recipe to test it out and it worked great. I cooked he sugar slihtly over 300* since inread pots about others not cooking it enough. I used a little too much andy color so the gems were dark so i couldnt tell if it yellowed. My cake was covered in homemade buttercream and I attached the gems the night before. However when I woke up the next morning he gems we’re extremely sticky, and they started to slide off!! Help, what happened?!? I added the photo to Flickr, pls look at it closely and you can see te melting/ jewels sliding off :(

  285. Chica said: (April 8th, 2013 at 7:54 pm)

    Caren, hard candy is very sensitive to humidity. If you leave them out any length of time — especially in a humid environment — they will absorb water from the air and become sticky. A very wet buttercream will have a similar effect and the candy will absorb the liquid. it looks like that’s what happened to yours. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent it except to wait and add the gems at the last minute if possible.

  286. Caren said: (April 12th, 2013 at 10:35 pm)

    Thanks for your response Chica! Sorry for all of my spelling errors, yikes! My buttercream was wet when i placed on the jewels. I live in Long Beach, Ca about 11miles from the coast, so that most likely affected the jewels as well. Since I live so close to the coast, could I make the jewels the night before and them not be sticky he next day? If so, how would I store them to prevent stickyness? Thanks!

  287. Chica said: (April 13th, 2013 at 1:06 pm)

    Caren, if you keep the jewels in an air-tight bag or container, it will keep them from becoming sticky.

  288. Michelle said: (May 8th, 2013 at 5:22 pm)

    Thank you so much for all of the tips. I’ve tried the isomalt sticks and it was disastrous but now I’m ready to give it another go. I’m still wondering if anyone has tried luster dust on these? I’m concerned that the oil residue on the candy will make a mess of the dust? I need to make about 300 ruby red gems for a July wedding and they need to sparkle! :)

  289. Nancy said: (May 9th, 2013 at 11:39 am)

    These are beautiful! I wonder , do they stay nice and hard, or if I were to put them on wedding favor cookies, would they become sticky? I have tried to make gems before but failed because they did become sticky. Oh== how I am desperately wanting to try this! I looked all over online for recipes, and all I could find were those using isomalt, which I do not have access to where I live in Japan

  290. Nancy said: (May 9th, 2013 at 11:40 am)

    OOPS, I see that my question has already been answered! Thank you so much for this post! I will try it!

  291. Chica said: (May 10th, 2013 at 7:02 pm)

    Nancy, I’m glad we could help you with an alternative to Isomalt. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  292. Lynne said: (May 31st, 2013 at 11:01 pm)

    I was just wondering how you would use this to get more of a crystal ball look instead of putting them in the molds because the molds have the flat bottom?

    Thanks for your help

  293. Kelsey said: (June 4th, 2013 at 12:30 pm)

    I would love to use these on my brothers wedding cake! Is there any way to make them metalic instead of colored?

  294. Masha said: (June 5th, 2013 at 6:10 am)

    How can I Pin this? I want it on my Pinterest! :)

  295. Chica said: (June 5th, 2013 at 6:53 am)

    Sorry, Lynne, but we don’t have any experience with making crystal balls. Perhaps you can find a mold for such a thing online?

  296. Chica said: (June 5th, 2013 at 6:58 am)

    Kelsey, we haven’t tried making metallic candies, but I know there are food-safe metallic powders and “paints” that are often used in cake decorating. Perhaps they would work for candies as well?

  297. Chica said: (June 5th, 2013 at 10:14 pm)

    Masha, we’ve just added a “Pin it” button to the top of each post. Hope that works for ya, thanks for the suggestion!

  298. Sunni said: (June 7th, 2013 at 6:05 pm)

    Is there edible glitter? And if there is, would it work on the candy gems?
    Thank you!

  299. Kelsey said: (June 9th, 2013 at 12:31 am)

    Thanks ill give that a try:)

  300. Chica said: (June 9th, 2013 at 1:46 pm)

    Sunni, I haven’t worked with edible glitter before, so I’m afraid I don’t know!

  301. Michelle said: (June 9th, 2013 at 3:11 pm)

    We are making a pirate cake for my daughter’s pirate princess party. It was going to cost a fortune to buy the edible jewels so I decided to take it on. Your directions were perfect. Thanks for posting them! :)

  302. Chica said: (June 9th, 2013 at 3:20 pm)

    So glad this worked for you, Michelle! We’d love to see photos of your cake.

  303. Tisha said: (June 13th, 2013 at 6:14 am)

    I’m making a special cake with clear candy decorations for my sister and I have never been able to make candy right I always seemed to burn it. Thank you so much for that tip about calibrating the thermometer turns out water boils at 204 here, I just did a test run and I have a sheet of beautifully clear candy!

  304. Chica said: (June 14th, 2013 at 8:31 am)

    So glad we could help, Tisha. Learning to check my thermometer made a world of difference for me, too!

  305. violett said: (June 29th, 2013 at 5:26 am)

    hi,just took candy out of fridge and 2 hours later its started to melt,and coloured cake in pink!!!!what you think could go wrong????

  306. Kimbereley said: (June 29th, 2013 at 4:42 pm)

    Thank you so much for putting your recipe online. It was so easy to follow. I am making a very non-traditional wedding cake mirrored to the bride’s dress…. It should be amazing with the candied jewels.

  307. Chica said: (June 30th, 2013 at 11:54 am)

    Violett, the candy should not need refrigeration, so if your candy wasn’t hard at room temperature, it means you didn’t boil it to a high enough temperature. Be sure to calibrate your thermometer next time!

  308. Michelle said: (July 10th, 2013 at 6:44 pm)

    I made some ruby red candy gems for a friends wedding cupcakes. I used the gel color ( red-red) that I use for frosting. I added the color to the bottom of the measuring cup and poured the hot sugar over it…stirred a bit and voila! The color was perfect! I bought some edible dust to dust them and keep them from being sticky. There are different types of ” glitter” …some are not edible, some are non- toxic and some are food grade. Usually the food grade glitters and dusts have a heat shrink seal AND a seal under the lid. They are also about twice as expensive as the non food grade. I pay $7 for a 1/2 oz jar. Thank you for posting this recipe! I tried the isomalt and that was nothing but a hot mess!

  309. Chica said: (July 10th, 2013 at 7:02 pm)

    Thanks for the compliments and for the useful feedback and tips, Michelle!

  310. Jo said: (August 17th, 2013 at 12:18 pm)

    Thanks for the great tips! I’ve been making hard candies for a little while and am trying to perfect the recipes. Do you know how to make hard candy PURE white donut is a solid colour? I live in the UK and only one answer I can find is lorann gourmet food white colouring but as I would need to ship it in it is very expensive.
    Jo x

  311. Chica said: (August 18th, 2013 at 8:15 am)

    Jo, we haven’t experimented with making white candies, but we do like Lorann’s products. If you have specific questions about whether or not their white coloring would work, you might want to email them before placing your order.

  312. Ashley said: (September 9th, 2013 at 10:06 pm)

    Hi Chica, um I’m planning on making a batch of these jewels to sell at my school’s fair, and i had many questions in mind…
    First, should I keep it in the fridge overnight, or the pantry?
    Second, How long do i have to boil the candy mixture?
    And third, could I use Lock n Locks to store the candies?

  313. giulia said: (September 10th, 2013 at 6:10 am)

    hello from italy, we have no corn syrup here, as far as I know. Have you ever tried honey? Thank you

  314. Chica said: (September 11th, 2013 at 6:03 pm)

    Hi Ashley! There is no need to refrigerate the candy, but make sure it’s in an airtight container so that humidity doesn’t get to it. I don’t know what a Lock n Locks is, but if it’s a container that will store it airtight, then it’s probably a good solution. As for the boiling, you need to boil it until it reaches the right temperature, as described in the tutorial.

  315. Chica said: (September 11th, 2013 at 6:05 pm)

    Giulia, I have never tried using honey, but look up at comment #213 from Allison — she said she had good results replacing half of the golden syrup with honey, but noted that the resulting candy color was darker. If you try it out, please let us know how it goes!

  316. giulia said: (September 12th, 2013 at 4:56 am)

    i tried it out: 50 gr (non cups here:))sugar, 1 heaped teaspoonful of honey 15 dl water. I used blu color as an indicator and, withou a thermometer, when the syrup got densei tried it out in droplets on a greased plat. It worked very well! Thanks for the idea. But…I wanted to make crystals for a cake I will decorate with gems and the next day they were all sticky. I know lots of people had the same problem but I notice people do use them. How do they prepare them ahead, I wonder.

  317. Chica said: (September 12th, 2013 at 7:08 pm)

    Giulia, thanks for the update! Glad the honey worked well for you. If your candies start out good but then turn sticky, it’s because of the humidity in the room. For best results, you need to leave them in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.

  318. pollycakes said: (September 15th, 2013 at 11:07 pm)

    Hey im so happy I found this page… im making some jewelry and need some diamonds. I tried it with 1/2 cup of sugar lemon juice and two tbsp of water. Didnt keep it on the stove that long… they came out okay lite yellow but a little sticky but the next day they melted.. I was so sad.. whats a good airtight container I can use?… im trying your way tomorrow lol… Im going to buy a thermometer also… have you try the tiny diamond mold pan cause thats what I have and its hard to put the sugar in the small squares….?

  319. Medicgirl said: (September 16th, 2013 at 9:46 am)

    Hi, I have been making this candy for years (since I was a child) usually every Christmas, I make a green which I flavor with apple. A red I flavor with cinnamon oil, and deep red which I add a drop or two of green to the red color which is cinnamon apple, and a few other flavors. Before I found a candy thermometer, which I didn’t discover until I was grown, I would boil it until a drop of candy placed in a cup of water made a ball and tail. That was how we tested the right temp back then. If you dropped a small bit into a cup of cool water and it sank to bottom immediately it was not cooked enough. Candy thermometers are great I wish I had one years ago. We also used liquid color but if all you have is gel color just take a bit of the gel mix it with a little clear alcohol (like light rum) make sure you get all the lumps out, and it turns into a liquid color and the small amount of alcohol you used just evaporates away without causing any change in taste if candy. Alternately you can try mixing it with water but I don’t know how well it will dissolve with water. I add my color just before I take it off stove and just before I put my flavor in. Also, if I remember correctly, the tiny bottles of Lorann flavor oils have a recipe for hard candy on the back of the package. I always called this candy “crack candy” because we just made it in a pan and once it hardened we cracked it into small pieces with the handle of a butter knife. We also sprinkled it with powdered sugar to keep it from sticking together but I’ve never tried to make jewels with it and love the idea! I am definitely going to try it as soon as I can get some molds. I live in southeast GA now where it’s humid most of the time so it will be interesting to see how that affects the outcome of the candy and stickiness….I’m trying to think of a way to keep the sparkle of the jewels but not have it stick together when stored…since I want it sparkly, I won’t be using powdered sugar this time…any ideas besides oil? Thanks, I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the ideas y’all have!!!

  320. Chica said: (September 16th, 2013 at 3:44 pm)

    Polly, as long as your candies are hard and non-sticky after you make them, any air-tight container should keep them that way. We have not tried the diamond molds.

  321. Chica said: (September 16th, 2013 at 3:46 pm)

    Medicgirl, thanks for sharing your story! For a powdered sugar alternative, I’ve found that a little vegetable oil will also keep the candies from sticking while keeping them clear. If you don’t object to them being a little oily to the touch, that might work for you.

  322. Leslie said: (September 22nd, 2013 at 9:59 am)

    I saw a couple ppl add cream of tartar or lemon to their recipes… what does that help with? Is it necessary? I also watched a video and in that video it said to not turn the heat up the whole way to high or it will turn yellow/brownish? … I also heard that it is hard to get good looking pinks … I need to make a Dark Pink & a Light Pink… any advice for that? I’m also making a clear so I think I am mostly nervous about that! I can not wait to try your recipe and I love this page!!!… I’m waiting on my molds in the mail… thought I would ask these questions before I get started! =}

  323. Chica said: (September 23rd, 2013 at 7:14 pm)

    Leslie, I’m glad you’re excited about this project! We have not tried cream of tartar or lemon juice in the recipe, so I have no advice to share on that. I also haven’t tried making a pink, but I can definitely see how a slightly yellow candy would alter it into an orange, which is probably the trouble people have with it. Best of luck to you in your experiments!

  324. Laura Sanchez said: (September 24th, 2013 at 10:59 pm)

    Hi my name is laura I really would love to try this for my daughters bday bt I work n don’t have the time do u knw if I can buy them online ?

  325. Chica said: (September 25th, 2013 at 7:01 pm)

    Laura, we’ve never looked for them online, but I’ll bet you can find them on Etsy!

  326. Holly said: (September 26th, 2013 at 9:03 pm)

    Thank you very much for posting this. I made clear candy glass last night and it turned yellow… now I know why and what to do next time to avoid this happening.

    Thank you!!!!

  327. kyle said: (October 3rd, 2013 at 7:45 pm)

    In reply to post 283, it does not make the candy cloudy at all, sorry for the delay, i thought your site was down for a little while? I hope this can make things easier.

  328. Chica said: (October 4th, 2013 at 11:52 am)

    Thanks for the reply, Kyle! We had some database issues recently, and you must have caught us at a bad time. Our site should be up all the time though :)

  329. Cindy said: (November 1st, 2013 at 3:33 pm)

    I’m making candy plates and I don’t want to use powdered sugar to keep it from sticking. Checked everywhere on the web to find a edible sealer or something to preserve the plates till Christmas. What would you recommend I use as a sealant or a preservative?

  330. Chica said: (November 3rd, 2013 at 7:48 pm)

    Cindy, the biggest enemy to hard candy is moisture, which will make it sticky. The best thing to do is keep it in an air-tight container when not in use, to protect if from the humidity in the air. This was not intended to be a long-term decoration, so if you want to keep it out on display all the time, it’s going to be tough. You might be able to coat it with a light layer of oil and keep the moisture at bay, but I’m not sure how well it would work.

  331. Gina said: (November 8th, 2013 at 10:38 am)

    I have made hard candy for years but never in a mold and want to try it this year. About how many molds will this recipe fill? I don’t want to be under prepared.

  332. Chica said: (November 10th, 2013 at 7:12 pm)

    Gina, the molds vary so much in how big the candies are that it’s hard to say. For example, the mold I have that makes round candies doesn’t take much sugar to fill, but the one that makes the rectangular emeralds holds quite a bit more. If I had to pick a number, I’d say you’ll need anywhere from 3 to 5 molds, but that’s just a guess. Hope that helps!

  333. Brenna said: (February 20th, 2014 at 11:08 am)

    I am having trouble finding a place online that sells hard candy molds of all shapes. Any suggestions? Also, will colored flavor adjust the color of the product (I’ve never done this) and if so where is a good place to buy clear flavoring? Thank you

  334. Chica said: (February 21st, 2014 at 7:28 am)

    Brenna, you can find lots of hard candy molds and candy flavoring oils on Amazon. Yes, colored flavoring will affect the color of your candy. My niece and I made grape candy once and the oil was already purple and we didn’t need to add any coloring to it. I’m not sure if you can find any flavor in clear oil or not, but LorAnn is a brand that we have used a lot and like quite well.

  335. Debbie said: (February 22nd, 2014 at 2:53 am)

    I was just on google looking where I could find jewel candies for the center of some Bow cookies I will be making to match a baby shower invitation … but now, I am going to make them myself !! (thanks to you, ha ha) … I will attempt this in a couple of weeks and let you know how it works out. Thank you for posting this, I am super excited to try this !!

  336. Chica said: (February 24th, 2014 at 11:13 am)

    So glad we could help, Debbie, and can’t wait to hear how they come out.

  337. Jess M said: (March 12th, 2014 at 10:33 pm)

    Thank you so much for the tips! I found this on Pinterest and tried it tonight. My 4 year old has requested jewels on her 5th bday cake. I’m a DIY type so I had to give it a go. They turned out perfect. She has now requested a bunch more flavors. Good thing I have until May to practice some more. Any idea how long they will keep in an air tight container?

  338. Chica said: (March 15th, 2014 at 11:18 am)

    Jess, since the candies are basically just sugar and water, my thought is that they’ll last for months in an airtight container.

  339. Lisa said: (April 19th, 2014 at 2:33 am)

    Thank you for the detailed instructions and tips with pictures. It was super helpful. Although I didn’t follow all of the instructions on my test batch a week ago (I was trying to make “ice” for a Frozen theamed cake and I just wanted to see how it went). The candy worked, but came out teal. Today I followed ALL of the instructions/tips: Checked my thermometer in boiling water before the using it in the candy (it was off), took it off the heat just a little shy of the temp, and poured into a pyrex measuring cup. The color came out a nice bright “icy” blue and will be perfect for the cake :) Thanks again!

  340. Chica said: (April 19th, 2014 at 8:45 am)

    A faulty thermometer will get you every time, Lisa! So glad you stuck with it and got the results you wanted. Thanks for sharing!

  341. Jillian said: (June 8th, 2014 at 6:09 pm)

    Thanks so much. I used this recipe to make ice fountains for my adopted sons second birthday. Inspired from frozen the movie, used a silicone mat and was amazing.

  342. Becky said: (June 26th, 2014 at 12:37 am)

    Looking forward to making these for a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” bridal shower.
    Will the 3 molds in the package of Lorann molds be enough to use one batch of candy?
    Also, I loved your blue/teal and want that exact color. What color did you use to get it?

  343. Chica said: (June 26th, 2014 at 7:23 am)

    What a fun shower theme, Becky! The set of three molds will probably be just about right for one batch, but it will depend on how much you fill the individual pieces. You may have a little candy left over. I used 20 drops of Lorann’s liquid food color in blue to create the candy pictured.

  344. Becky said: (June 26th, 2014 at 11:47 pm)

    Thanks for your quick response. That gives me time to order the molds and food coloring.

  345. melissa said: (July 1st, 2014 at 7:40 pm)

    How much of the candy color did you use please?

  346. Chica said: (July 1st, 2014 at 7:50 pm)

    Melissa, I used about 20 drops for this blue candy, but you may need more or less depending on the color you’re using and how dark you want it.

  347. Christine said: (August 4th, 2014 at 7:41 am)

    I’ve made hard candies for years. I have a few tips to share, you may want to add them to the original post since it was hard for me to see if they were already in the 300+ posts.

    1. While the sugar is boiling place a lid on your pot for 1 to 2 minutes. The steam will condense and wash down the sides of your pot so the chances of crystilization will be reduced.

    2. You can paint the backs of the gems with silver or gold highlighter (an edable metallic dust) mixed with confectioners glaze or vodka. This will give the candies more of a gem appearance.

    3. You can dust with any edable decorating powders such as pearl dust but if the dusting is too heavy you will loose the depth of color.

    4. Humidity can cause the candies to get sticky. Try to store with food grade desiccant bags or make your own with a new (unused) stocking filled with white rice.

    Just some food for thought.

  348. Elley Yarroll said: (September 25th, 2014 at 2:08 am)

    HELP!!!! Any tips on calibrating your candy thermometer. I have made a few batches with this recipe but the mix is going dark and when I remove from the moulds it is really dull…not shiny like yours. Any help would be awesome.

  349. Chica said: (September 25th, 2014 at 6:33 pm)

    Elley, you can find our tips for calibrating your thermometer in the 5th paragraph of the tutorial above. Best of luck!

  350. Susan Rutherford said: (September 30th, 2014 at 5:02 pm)

    Thank you for this tutorial I feel much more confident!! I’m getting ready to make some jewels for our girls event at church – I have 2 of the break away octagonal molds & 1 jewels mold, approximately how much does this make & how many molds would it fill – I know that’s a hard question – I’m probably going to buy another jewels mold but wasn’t sure I needed it – any thoughts?

  351. Mae said: (October 7th, 2014 at 6:23 pm)

    Love your article…the best I’ve read by far!! About how many pieces did you end up with, with this particular recipe? I’m trying make sure I have enough for a project I’m working on. Thank you in advance!

  352. Chica said: (October 8th, 2014 at 6:59 pm)

    Mae, so glad you like our tutorial. The number of pieces will depend on the size of the individual molds you use. I filled about two and a half molds with the ones I used. Check out the pictures of the pieces dumped onto the foil at the end, because that shows a full batch of candies.

  353. Orialy said: (October 12th, 2014 at 12:00 pm)

    Hi! Thank you so much for this tutorial I couldn’t have done this without your tips, the candy gems came out perfect!

  354. Chica said: (October 12th, 2014 at 1:04 pm)

    So glad to hear it, Orialy!

  355. stacey said: (October 13th, 2014 at 9:36 am)

    Thanks so much for this detailed post ! I experimented the other day making blue sugar glass for a ‘Frozen’ birthday party. My sugar turned green. I’m going to watch my temperature much more carefully when I try it again today.

  356. Christy said: (October 13th, 2014 at 4:38 pm)

    hi I’m so excited to use ur recipe but just a quick question can I use a silicone tray and if so do I still spray with nonstick .? I need to make just ice cubes and this was my alternative since I don’t have isomalt ????

  357. Chica said: (October 15th, 2014 at 7:32 pm)

    Christy, I have never tried silicone so I have no idea what to tell ya! If you try it out, let us know how it goes.

  358. Deanna said: (October 16th, 2014 at 1:06 pm)

    Have you tried drying it in sheets and trying to cut out shapes after it’s cooled?

  359. Chica said: (October 18th, 2014 at 10:41 am)

    Deanna, the candy dries so hard that it will be pretty much impossible to cut into shapes after it’s cooled. However, I did make large sheets of candy and break it into long shards to decorate a Frozen-themed birthday cake recently. Check out my Frozen candy cake topper post.

  360. Janalyn said: (October 20th, 2014 at 2:56 pm)

    Have you ever used a slightly larger mold and tried adding a filling?

  361. Jo said: (October 22nd, 2014 at 3:17 pm)

    We have not. What kind of fillings are you thinking about adding to the hard candy?

  362. sue said: (November 2nd, 2014 at 2:12 am)

    Hi just wondering if the pieces go tacky after awhile? I am maki g a frozen ake and love your sugar glas idea. I am also goung to make smowflakes using cornflouras the mould… this i have used before for regular sweets and works well as a mould.

  363. Chica said: (November 8th, 2014 at 9:07 am)

    Sue, the candy will get tacky if exposed to heat, moisture, or humidity.

  364. Julie said: (November 17th, 2014 at 9:15 am)

    Thanks for the recipe! Do you have any suggestions for creating metallic/mirrored gems? I need to create a disco ball for a “70′s” themed cake. I’m thinking create clear gems & painting the back in some type of edible metallic… But I have no idea what that would be, that would dry and actually look “clean”… Thanks for your help!

  365. Chica said: (November 18th, 2014 at 7:26 am)

    Julie, the only thing I can think of to add to the back to make them metallic would be aluminum foil. You could just get the gems a little wet and the foil would probably stick. Of course, this would render the candy unedible, so be careful!

  366. Jen said: (November 18th, 2014 at 4:36 pm)

    Thanks for the tips! I made some batches last Christmas, but the candy was a bit soft, so calibrating the thermometer was a tip that I needed! Another thing I did was added powdered Citric Acid to the powdered sugar coating, then you get sour candies!

  367. Hayley said: (November 27th, 2014 at 5:54 pm)

    I just made this for the first time and it was a success!! Beautiful clear blue icicles for my frozen cake. I added the colouring as soon as I took it off the heat and dumped into a different bowl, quickly mixing it was really bubbly but as soon as I poured it out it was crystal clear. Thanks for all of your tips!!

  368. Chica said: (November 30th, 2014 at 8:40 am)

    So glad to hear it, Hayley!

  369. Delia said: (December 17th, 2014 at 5:08 pm)

    I tried to do this with the (beautiful and delicious) cherry and pineapple syrup left over from making candied fruit (which was pretty close to the recipe for candy). I checked my candy thermometer and it was accurate. By the time I got to the “hard Crack” stage my syrup was not only darkened, but it also tasted like burnt sugar! I tried boiling to a bit lower temp on the next batch but that batch didn’t harden up all the way (and they had a slightly burnt sugar taste as well…). Can I not use syrup from real fruit to make candies? The good news: silicone candy molds work like a charm!

  370. Tiffany said: (December 18th, 2014 at 9:55 pm)

    I make about 40-50 pounds of hard candy every year for Christmas gifts! I don’t use food coloring and I make my own molds! To make the molds I put 2 pounds of powdered sugar in a large aluminum disposable pan and spread it out evenly. Then I use The bottom of a measuring spoon and press wells in the sugar making little dips or holes. In each pan I get about 45 wells to fill. I prepare 2 pans for one batch.

  371. Chica said: (December 20th, 2014 at 12:42 pm)

    Delia, I tried this recipe once with fresh lemon juice and got very similar results to what you described. I think the natural juices just burn too quickly, unfortunately.

  372. Chica said: (December 20th, 2014 at 12:45 pm)

    Great idea for making your own molds, Tiffany. Thanks for sharing!

  373. Amy said: (January 2nd, 2015 at 8:49 pm)

    I am wondering if you can help me please? We have made this twice now. The first time it was way too hot and went brown and burnt. The second time the temp is better but the candy is cloudy, not clear. Do you know what causes this? We have replaced the corn syrup with sugar and water. Thanks :)

  374. Chica said: (January 4th, 2015 at 10:57 am)

    Amy, please try calibrating your thermometer (see the how-to in the tutorial) to make sure you are cooking to the correct temperature. Also, the corn syrup is critical to this recipe — do not replace it with sugar and water. Hope that helps!

  375. Amy said: (January 4th, 2015 at 11:53 pm)

    Thanks Chica, we did calibrate the thermometer but don’t have corn syrup available and google said I could swap it for sugar and water. Anyhoo, the kids loved the clouded “frozen” ice so phew!

  376. Crystal said: (January 5th, 2015 at 4:25 pm)

    I have made a batch of cinnamon candies, but the flavor isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be. Can I remelt the candies and add more flavoring or do I have to start over? If I can remelt them, do I need to bring them back up to 300° or do I just need to get them liquefied?

  377. Chica said: (January 11th, 2015 at 6:55 pm)

    Amy, as long as the kids loved the results, you’re good :)

  378. Chica said: (January 11th, 2015 at 6:55 pm)

    Sorry Crystal, but I have no idea if you can remelt or not. If you try, let us know how it comes out!

  379. Bridget said: (January 17th, 2015 at 1:44 am)

    way before 300 the mix turned yellow. NO AMOUNT OF BLUE would make it any less green. DARN.

  380. Chica said: (January 17th, 2015 at 1:31 pm)

    Bridget, did you calibrate your thermometer?

  381. Christine King said: (January 19th, 2015 at 11:42 pm)

    Hi I can’t thank you enough for this tutorial!!! I tried reading through all the comments… No way I could get through them all. Where did you get your molds? Thanks so much!!!!

  382. Chica said: (January 22nd, 2015 at 7:31 pm)

    Christine, we’re so glad you like this tutorial. There are a lot of comments, and some of them contain great tips from our readers. Here’s a link to the perfect hard candy jewel mold set on Amazon.

  383. Bonnie S. said: (January 28th, 2015 at 9:25 pm)

    Hi Chica :) loved the tutorial and tried making this tonight. I need to make blue, but it turned amber. My thermometer is off, I thought by 10 degrees and I took it off the heat at 290 and poured into pyrex. I noticed it had brown liquid floating at the top way before I took it off the heat which I skimmed off. Could it have been the Karo syrup? And, my Karo syrup is a little cloudy and light yellow. Is that normal? Never made candy before. Should I put the blue coloring in after it reaches 290? Thanks

  384. Chica said: (February 5th, 2015 at 12:05 pm)

    Hi Bonnie! My experience shows that if it turns yellow, it’s because it got too hot. Maybe try turning the heat setting on the burner down and cooking it more slowly at a lower temperature. As for the Karo, it should be almost clear — not quite as clear as water, but certainly not yellow. Next time you’re at the store, look at a fresh bottle and see if it compares to what you have at home. That could be what’s causing your problem.

  385. mandy said: (February 9th, 2015 at 3:14 am)

    Im thinking about using this and pouring into ice cube molds for a beer bucket cake i am making this week. Do you think the molds will stand up to the heat or would it be better to pour the mixture onto a flat sheet then just break up with a hammer for a “crushed” ice look?

  386. Chica said: (February 9th, 2015 at 7:27 am)

    That’s a pretty clever idea for the cake, Mandy! Unfortunately I have no idea what your molds can hold up to. If they are plastic, then no way. If they are silicon, there’s a chance. If you still have the packaging, you could try looking it up to see the temperature range is. If all else fails, I do like the crushed ice idea, too!

  387. mandy said: (February 9th, 2015 at 9:54 pm)

    I am making them now so i will let you know how it comes out!! Fingers crossed!! Thanks for this awesome tutorial!!

  388. Nagera said: (February 17th, 2015 at 8:42 pm)

    Hi, Chica. Have just read your super tutorial, thanks for sharing you knowledge :) I have one question: how do these candy gema behave when they contact fondant? Is it safe to put them together for a long time or is may it lead the fondant to flow or something like that? Thanks in advance for your answer. Regards from Spain :)

  389. Chica said: (February 20th, 2015 at 8:54 pm)

    Nagera, I’m afraid I have no idea how the candy will react with fondant. Any results you can share with your fellow readers will be most appreciated.

  390. anastasia said: (March 4th, 2015 at 5:24 am)

    Dear Chica, thank you for such a great candy tutorial! I will make a birthday cake soon (the theme is frozen) and I will use hard candy to decorate the cake. My cake will be covered with whipped cream. Therefore it definitely needs to be put in the refrigerator a few hours before the party. Would that destroy my hard candy decorations??? Is there any way to prevent this fail? Also, I want to make the hard candy a few days earlier. Is that a problem? What’s the best way to store my hard candy before using it? Thank you in advance for your quick reply!!!

  391. Chica said: (March 6th, 2015 at 7:00 pm)

    Anastasia, I’m not sure exactly what would work best for you, but my gut response would recommend that you keep the hard candy in an airtight, sealed container until the day of the party, then add it to the cake when you’re ready to serve.

  392. ashlynne said: (March 7th, 2015 at 7:58 pm)

    im trying right now :)

  393. Athenna said: (April 14th, 2015 at 8:52 am)

    wow! so informative and great demonstration. Thanks in sharing all your tips how to make hard candy.

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