I do have some warnings to go with this candy, I learned the hard way.
Warning 1: Try as hard as you can not to have your face or any other body parts close to the hot sugar when you add the cinnamon oil. A facial is nice, but having pure cinnamon oil infused into your open pores is miserable. It's much worse if it goes up your nose, much worse. Trust me, I tried to stay away from it tonight and a little got on my face. My cheek is a little hot, and my hand is red and tingling a bit. I smell very nicely of cinnamon though.
Warning 2: Try to use a very deep pot, or make sure you have on a shirt you don't mind to ruin with the food color. Once you drop the food coloring into the hot sugar, it will start sputtering and erupt like a volcano of red dye.
The past few years I used a wooden spoon and was so disappointed that my candy didn't have a nice cinnamon, well honestly, any cinnamon taste to it. This year I used a stainless steel spoon, and my candy is so nice and Cinnamon flavored.
Ok, with the warnings out of the way, lets move on to the good part. Making candy! YUMMY.
Rock Candy or Broken Glass Candy
3 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 cup water
1 small bottle of Cinnamon oil (find in Pharmacy or bulk food store)
Red Food Coloring
Sheet pan with sides
aluminum foil (optional)
Have the sheet pan prepared before you start boiling the sugar, also have the cinnamon oil bottle opened and close by as well as the bottle of food coloring. Things move quickly once hard crack stage is reached, be prepared.
Mix sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil
Stir constantly until thermometer reaches 300-310 degrees
Immediately stir in cinnamon and food coloring
Pour into sheet pan that has been oiled (or place a piece of aluminum foil on sheet pan and butter it)
Once cool take the handle of a butter knife, or case knife and crack the candy into pieces
This recipe is very versatile, you can use any sort of flavored oil you like. Peppermint, wintergreen, anise....likewise, you can use any color food coloring you like as well.
If you are making a Gingerbread house, you can pour the candy into pre-made little molds to make the window glass and "glue" it in with royal icing. Place a light inside the house (single corded lights can be found at craft shops all around. They have one socket for a Christmas light bulb) and you've made a magical gingerbread house for Christmas.
You can also form foil into a circle and pour the candy into it to make a lovely pond for skaters to skate upon in front of your gingerbread house or Christmas village. Simply tint the candy blue instead of red, once cool dust lightly with powdered sugar to look like snow covered ice. My Mom always did those things when she made our Gingerbread houses. She really is creative.