Some cooks prefer to use a candy thermometer and some prefer to use the old-fashioned cold water way to test the doneness of candy. Below there are directions for both.
Look at the bottom of this chart for several candy recipes just for you.
Thread Stage - begins at 230 degrees F. - Makes a long thread when dropped in cold water.
Soft Ball - 234 degrees F. - Forms a soft ball that doesn't hold its shape. Cream candies, fudge, fondants are done at the soft ball stage.
Firm Ball - 246 degrees F. - This ball will only flatten with pressure. Divinity and Caramels.
Hard Ball - 250 degrees F. - This ball will hold its shape when pressed. Taffy.
Soft Crack - 270 degrees F. - Separates into bendable threads. Toffee and Butterscotch.
Hard Crack - 300 degrees F. - Becomes brittle. Peanut Brittle.
Caramelize - 310 degrees F. - Sugar turns dark.
Use Your Candy Thermometer with These Recipes
Thermometer-Free Candy Recipes