Grease a cookie sheet or two metal containers (e.g. bread pans) well, but not too heavily. Make sure to grease the sides where the candy may touch, up to 1/4 inch.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom. If you have a candy thermometer like mine, you can bend the metal holder to fit the glass and prevent it from sliding.
Bring mixture to a boil without stirring and let it bubble until the temperature reaches 260º F. You may need to turn the heat up slightly after a couple minutes. Immediately add a few drops of food coloring. I used three blue and one or two green drops to make the teal color. Do not stir; the boiling will naturally incorporate color into syrup.
The longer it boils, the hotter the mixture should get. Remove from heat at exactly 300° F, or until drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water (hard crack stage).
Wait for the boiling bubbles to die down before adding the flavor. Stir and keep away from the steam. You don't want to breathe it in!
Carefully pour the syrup onto the prepared cookie sheet.
Once the candy has set up (about 5 minutes), score into bite sized pieces. If you start too early, the lines will melt back into the candy, like this:
The later you start, the more difficult it will be to score the candy. Once you find the sweet spot, score it through twice. Start at both edges and work your way into the middle. Every so often, remove any sticky candy from your knife or pizza cutter and rinse in cold water. Wait for it to set up naturally on the counter before breaking it apart; don't refrigerate.
When the candy is completely cooled, tap it along the score lines with a knife. Then, see how much you can push out of the pan without it breaking apart. So, if you used bread tins, flip each tin upside down and press down on the bottom of the tin to pop out the candy. If you used a cookie sheet, slide a butter knife under the candy to pry it from the sheet. Remove excess grease from the candy with a paper towel.
Scoring the candy into squares prevents you from getting pieces that could potentially cut someone's tongue. Break the candy over a clean cookie sheet into bite-sized pieces, discarding any shards that are too sharp.
Toss the candy pieces with powdered sugar and rub scoops of it between your hands to get rid of excess sugar. Package it and store in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator).
This recipe makes about 2 pounds of candy. Pictured below are the variations I made: wintergreen, cinnamon, and licorice. Makes a perfect, last minute gift!
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