Hard Christmas Candy

Hard Christmas candy recipe

​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 24 servings

This flavored hard candy makes wonderful and delicious homemade Christmas gifts for friends and family. Before you start, have all your ingredients and tools ready near the stove. Lightly spray your cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray before you begin.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon flavoring oil
  • 4 drops food coloring
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for hard Christmas candy
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, mix together the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.

    Mix together sugar, corn syrup
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Insert a candy thermometer, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Remove the syrup from the heat as soon as the mixture reaches 300 F, or when drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads when dripped into cold water.

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. After the boiling has stopped, add several drops of food color and flavoring. Stir to combine. Be careful of rising steam when adding the flavoring.

    Add food coloring
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Pour syrup onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. An alternative is to pour the hot candy onto a heat-resistant surface covered with sifted powdered sugar. When the candy is slightly cooled, it can be cut with generously oiled scissors into small squares.

    Pour syrup in sheet
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. As the sugar mixture begins to set up, you may want to score with a large knife to mark squares. Cool completely, but do not refrigerate.

    Let set
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Lightly dust with powdered sugar on both sides, brushing off excess. Break into small pieces, then toss with more powdered sugar.

    Lightly dust
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • Store in airtight containers between waxed paper to prevent the candies from sticking to one another.