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How to Make Broken Glass Candy

Audrey is a cook who loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients.

Broken glass candy is a classic holiday treat!

Broken glass candy is a classic holiday treat!

A Holiday Favorite

This is a traditional hard candy recipe that goes back decades. I had a friend once who made it for me, and I had to have the recipe!

Broken glass candy is made as most hard candies are: with sugar, corn syrup, and water. They are traditionally cooked for about 40 minutes until they harden.

This recipe, however, is enhanced by three additional factors: the cooking oils (not extracts) that you add to the candy to give it its flavor, the food coloring you add to each batch to bring out the deep color to match the flavor you've chosen, and the powdered sugar that each piece is rolled in.

This makes a great gift, and the more batches you make, the more colors you gain!

Broken Glass Candy Recipe

This is one of my favorite Christmas candy ideas for adding to gift baskets during the holidays. This recipe is a more difficult one because it involves temperature and cooking to the hard candy stage. A candy thermometer is all that is needed though to have great success with it.

To get the best 'look' for this particular candy, you will want to have at least 4 to 6 different colored candies so you will need to make multiple batches. Also, you will need to make 4 to 6 different colors.


  • 3 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light Karo syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon OIL flavoring (available at pharmacies or online; not to be confused with extracts)
  • Suggested flavors: cinnamon, anise, wintergreen, spearmint, lime, peppermint, clove, try to match with the food coloring that you select.
  • Confectioners' or powdered sugar

NOTE: When you add the oil at the very end to a batch of the candy, make sure you do not inhale or stand directly over the mixture as the oil meeting the hot mixture becomes extremely aromatic, to say the least. It can also burn your eyes!

For each batch, you use the above ingredients, cook them all separately and pour them out separately once the color and oil have been added for that particular color of broken glass. Then when you have made all your batches, you mix them all together.


  1. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar on 2 (15x11-inch) lipped cookie sheets
  2. Combine sugar, Karo syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 290°F on a candy thermometer. (It works best to have a snap-on thermometer and it can take up to 45 to 50 minutes to reach that temperature)
  3. Remove from heat and add food coloring to the desired intensity of color and the desired oil flavoring (1 teaspoon)—TRY NOT TO INHALE over the boiling liquid!
  4. Pour onto cookie sheets, cool, and break into small pieces.

NOTE: You can score the candy in diagonal patterns before it hardens to make cutting it or breaking it apart easier. If you use kitchen scissors to cut apart, a good idea is to make sure that they are very flexible (well-oiled) as it can take a while to cut the candy apart—scoring is preferred to trying to cut through the candy once it has hardened.

The 'cut glass' comes from the random sizes of the pieces of candy and when you have finished the candy cutting, you will have variously sized and shaped sugar-dusted delicious pieces! The beauty of broken glass candy is having many colors and flavors mixed together and it lasts forever. (The added bonus is that your house smells wonderfully for days from the oils.)

Chocolate Lollipops

What You Need:

  • Chocolate (melted bar of high-quality chocolate—see below)
  • Lollipop molds
  • Lollipop sticks


  1. Put chocolate into the top pot of the double boiler.
  2. Turn the heat on low. Gently melt the chocolate until it becomes liquid.
  3. Stir the chocolate as it melts. Continue to stir the chocolate so it does not burn or stick to the double boiler.
  4. Lay your candy molds out on a flat surface.
  5. Place one lollipop stick in each mold. Fit them into the slot for the lollipop sticks.
  6. Pour the melted chocolate into the lollipop candy molds until they are filled.
  7. Allow the chocolate to cool. Fill in with more chocolate if it settles unevenly as it cools. Make sure the stick is covered.
  8. Pop the chocolate lollipops out of the candy mold once they have cooled for about one hour or become hard.

Pans Do Matter

I use the jelly roll pans as noted below because they are super sturdy and are easy to handle with the hot liquid candy that you are pouring onto the powdered sugar. Regular cookie sheets are 'okay' but I find them too flimsy and think that the burn hazard is too much of a risk with hot liquids. These pans really do the job!

© 2009 Audrey Kirchner