Making Hard Candy Jewels Using doTERRA Essential Oils
Great / easy recipe for making hard candy and infusing your favorite doTERRA essential oils.
You’ll need to pick up a couple of custom supplies for making hard candy. First, you’ll need some hard candy jewel molds (small chocolate candy molds will work as well). Then you’ll need some liquid food coloring that’s suitable for use with hard candy and then your favorite doTERRA essential oils (Wild Orange, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime and even On Guard work great!)
The rest of the items you’ll need are quite simple: light corn syrup, sugar, water, a pan, non-stick cooking spray, a candy thermometer, and a Pyrex 4-cup measuring cup.
Before we even think about turning that stove on, we have some prep work to do. The prep will make this so much easier, so get everything ready to go before you start. The first step is to spray the molds with the non-stick cooking spray. I put my molds in the sink to keep from spraying my counters. Don’t be too stingy, but don’t let it puddle, either.
Next, you want to cover your work area with aluminum foil. The candy won’t stick to the foil, so it’s a great surface to work on. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the counter next to your stove, making sure it’s close enough to catch any candy drips later. Put the Pyrex measuring cup right on the foil. Then put another big piece of foil on the counter and put your molds on top.
Now go ahead and mix up your ingredients in the pan. You’ll need:
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup water
- food coloring as desired
Stir it all together so that it is mixed well and the color is uniform. Then clip your candy thermometer to the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Okay, all set? Everything greased and covered and set up and ready to go? Then go ahead and turn the burner on high and get it going. By the way, do not leave this unattended. Stay put!
When the mixture first starts to boil, the temperature will rise to 212 really fast, and there will be lots of steam as the water boils away. If your thermometer is anything like mine, it will be covered with condensation and hard to read. That’s okay, though… you’ll see why in a sec…
As it continues to boil, you’ll see the the temperature rises much more slowly now. (Don’t use that as an excuse to leave, though… please stay and watch it for your safety!) You’ll also notice that the steam dies down as the water goes away, and soon there is no steam at all. You’ll also notice that your thermometer is suddenly dry and easy to read. Awesome.
Now this part is critical, so pay attention. Let the sugar boil to 275 degrees F but not a bit more! (I’ll explain why at the end of this post). The minute you hit 275, take the thermometer out and set it on the foil (aren’t you glad you had that ready?). Then immediately dump the boiling sugar into the Pyrex cup. We do this for two reasons. First, it’s easier to pour from the spout. Second, we want to stop the cooking process, so we need to get that liquid out of that hot pan or else it will keep cooking.
NOTE – This sugar syrup is VERY hot, so make sure your measuring cup is made of something heat-proof like Pyrex. Also make sure it’s at least the 4-cup size so that you have enough room for the bubbling liquid.
At this point, you can add your doTERRA essential oils, and stir them in quickly. (I recommend approximately 70-90 drops)
Now you’ve got to work pretty fast to pour the sugar into the molds before it hardens. You’ll have a few minutes of working time, so don’t trip over yourself to rush, but don’t waste time either.
Just pour the sugar slowly and carefully into the molds, taking care not to overfill them. Do your absolute best to not leave huge puddles or trails of sugar between the pieces, because they will be nearly impossible to remove later.
When you fill the “breakaway” molds (those with the pieces right up against each other), you need to be really careful not to overfill. If you cover up those little white lines between each jewel, I can pretty much guarantee that they will shatter when you try to break them apart later.
While you wait for the candy to set, let’s talk about cleanup. That pan looks awful with the caked-on sugar, right? Fortunately, all you need to do is fill it up with hot water and let it sit a few hours. Go ahead and toss the thermometer and spoon inside, too. The sugar will all dissolve after a good soak.
After five or ten minutes, your candies will be set. Just flip the mold over onto the foil and give it a gentle bend, and the candies should pop right out.
And that’s it, your candy jewels are done! They will have a slight film of oil on them, which will help keep them from sticking together, but you can wipe that away with a paper towel if you like. As long sure to store them in an air-tight container, they shouldn’t stick at all.
BONUS – lessons I learned:
Now that I’ve shown you how to make these candies the right way, let me share with you some lessons I learned while figuring it out.
#1 – Don’t overfill the molds
Those molds are labeled as “breakaway” and you might think that you can just snap the candies apart when they are cool and everything will go great. That is not the case at all. If you put too much candy in the molds, you’ll end up with a huge slab of hard candy that breaks into every shape imaginable EXCEPT the one you were trying for! Here’s what happened to me on my first attempt. What a mess it made.
#2 – Don’t undergrease the molds
When I made my first batch of candy, I didn’t have any non-stick cooking spray, so I tried to just wipe some oil onto the molds with a paper towel. The result was a film of oil that was no where near enough, and the candies stuck like crazy. Take another look at the picture above and see the bits of candies stuck to the mold. Ugh!
#3 – Don’t overheat the syrup
You can get decent candies with varying temperatures, but for decent and true COLOR, you need to stop at exactly 275 degrees. On my first batch, I let it go to 300 and the sugar started to caramelize. The syrup was yellowish by the time I added my blue food coloring, and the result was quite green! Then I tried again with 280 degrees, and it was still too much. I ended up with a greenish tint that I didn’t like. Finally I hit the jackpot with 275 degrees, and I kept my true blue.
Here’s a picture of the three batches I made with the exact same amount of blue food coloring, but I let them cook to different temperatures. Can you believe the difference? If you want your colors true and bright, be sure to stop at 275 degrees.
#4 – Don’t leave the syrup in the pan
As I mentioned earlier, you need to dump the syrup into another container when it has reached the proper temperature. Otherwise, the hot pan will continue to cook the syrup and you’ll go over 275 degrees and it will start to turn yellow. If you don’t believe a few degrees will make that much of a difference, take a look at this picture of my pan. After I had dumped it out and made my candies, I went back and looked and the small amount of sugar left in the pan started to turn yellow just from sitting there. Discoloration like that will ruin a batch of candies fast!
I hope you guys find these tips helpful and if you try your hand at hard candy, let me know how it goes!