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.
In a 2-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. 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.
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. 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.
Pour syrup onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.* As the sugar mixture begins to set up, you may want to score with a large knife to mark squares. Do not refrigerate. Cool completely. Lightly dust with powdered sugar on both sides, brushing off excess. Break into small pieces, and then toss with more powdered sugar.
Store in airtight containers between waxed paper.
*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.
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