Old Fashioned Hard Tack Candy

by Katie on December 2, 2014

Tis the season for some holiday baking! And don’t just stop there…it’s also the season for candy making! You will love this Hard Tack Candy recipe!

I really got into baking a few years after I got married, but I stopped there and didn’t venture into candy making because I was super intimidated by it. It seemed so scary and particular.

Once I tried it I realized there really isn’t much to it if you follow your recipe closely, but I did learn a few lessons the hard way and want to save you from the same nasty clean-up mess.

Old Fashioned Hard Tack Candy - The Cutting Back Kitchen

Here are my two candy making tips:

1. Use a good non-stick pot

I learned the non-stick pot lesson the hard way. I used a regular stock pot to make hard tack candy the first time and it was a nightmare to clean that pan. And I do mean a nightmare. Horrible. I promptly went to TJ Maxx and purchased a big non-stick stock pot and have used it ever since with ease and easy clean up.

2. Use a good reliable candy thermometer 

My candy thermometer worked great for years until last year – when I learned that you should probably test it before you use it.  It took FOREVER for the candy to get to the right temperature.  It seemed like it was done, and then it really seemed like it was done and then it was too late – burnt candy!  I tried again…because I’m a glutton for punishment…and the same thing happened.

It’s time for me to get busy making candy, but I will be purchasing a new thermometer before I do!!

This Hard Tack Candy is a great old-fashioned candy that is delicious, but it’s also so beautiful. Especially when you make a mixture of different flavors! I personally like cinnamon and mint flavors, but it’s also great with fruity flavors if you prefer that.  Just make sure you store mint flavors with mint flavors and fruity flavors with fruity flavors because the flavors mix with each other a little when all in one tin!

Old Fashioned Hard Tack Candy


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bottle candy flavoring
  • food color
  • powdered sugar


  1. Mix together sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add candy thermometer. Heat to 300 degrees and remove from heat. Add color and flavoring. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet. Dust with powder sugar. Let cool and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
  2. This candy has a long shelf life, so you could make it up several weeks before Christmas with no problem!
  3. You also want to use a non stick pan! I have one and I always use it when I am making candy. It is no fun to have candy stuck to your pan!

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