Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Food & Dining
Entertainment Food & Dining

Recipe Finder | Stained-glass candy

Doris Smithson from Greeneville, Tenn., was looking for a recipe for making "Stained Glass" candy. She said she used to buy bags of this colorful homemade treat at a church bazaar in Lexington, Ky., around the Christmas holidays and that it made great stocking stuffers.

Wendy Sutula from Jessup shared her family recipe for what she calls Christmas candy that is almost certainly the recipe Smithson sought. While Sutula said making the candy is a rather time-consuming process, the end result is amazing. She was in her teens (30-plus years ago) when her family got the recipe from the wife of the pastor of their local church. Making the candy became somewhat of a holiday tradition with six or seven family members helping out to make multiple batches in different colors and flavors. She said they would then mix up the flavors and colors and put the candy piece in apothecary jars with ribbons to give as Christmas gifts.

Making hard candy may seem daunting at first, seemingly requiring specialized knowledge about temperatures and flavorings or special equipment. But it really is fairly easy to make a batch of this delicious candy using what you likely already have in your kitchen. A candy thermometer is the only specialized piece of equipment you will really need.

This candy is good any time of year but especially festive at Christmas. It makes a wonderful gift and once you get the hang of making it; the flavor and color variations are limited only by your imagination.


Linda Stingel-May from Bel Air is looking for the recipe for a congealed salad that her mother used to make for holiday meals called a Maryland Ring. She remembers that it contained apples and grapes and perhaps heavy whipping cream. She has searched her mother's recipe collection in vain and had not been able to locate it on the Web either.

Stained-glass candy

2 cups white sugar

2/3 cup Karo light corn syrup

1 cup water

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of pure flavor extract or edible essential oil (cinnamon, clove, spearmint, peppermint, lemon or anise)

1 teaspoon of food coloring

confectioners sugar (optional, for dusting)

Place sugar, corn syrup and water into a very clean, preferabley non-stick, sauce pan. Your pot should be large enough that the sugar, corn syrup and water only take up about a third of the pot, as the liquid will expand when it boils. Set your pot on medium heat (or medium high if your stove usually takes a while to heat up) and mix the sugar, corn syrup and water until the sugar is all dissolved. You will see the mixture go from a milky white to crystal clear. Once the sugar is dissolved, leave it to boil. At this point, place a candy thermometer in the pot to monitor the temperature of your mixture. When the candy thermometer reaches 308 degrees Fahrenheit, immediately remove pot from heat and carefully but quickly stir in desired flavoring and coloring. Note: Always use pure flavor extracts or edible essential oils rather than imitation flavors. The reason for this is that imitation flavoring contains some alcohol that will cause your candy to turn bitter and give it a burnt flavor; pure extracts will not.

Pour your candy onto a parchment- or foil-lined sheet tray or lightly greased glass plate and spread in a thin, even layer with a spatula or spoon. The thickness should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (too thin and you'll end up not being able to really taste the flavor, too thick and you'll end up with an uncuttable slab). Allow your candy to cool completely.

The last part of making stained glass candy is the most fun. You can either cover the top of your candy with more parchment and use a small hammer to break it into small, edible pieces, or you can simply break the slab up with your hands. If you would like to store your stained glass candy, dust it lightly with confectioners sugar and place it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, and The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278 or email If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Play Cafe caters to kids in Hampden

    Play Cafe caters to kids in Hampden

    Parents know that going out to eat with young kids can be a trying experience. In fact, anyone who has ever sat near fussy kids can attest to this.

  • Sake brings steakhouse drama to Glen Burnie

    Sake brings steakhouse drama to Glen Burnie

    In the grand scheme of global cuisine, Japanese steakhouses in America deliver authentic Japanese mealtime experiences about as well as a Starbucks evokes a Parisian cafe. That is to say, not much. But there is no denying that dinner at a Japanese steakhouse is a blast and the food is lovable.

  • Bella Vista is a good addition to the Quarry Lake area

    Bella Vista is a good addition to the Quarry Lake area

    Bella Vista Italian Restaurant is right at home in The Shops at Quarry Lake.

  • At Fox's Den, casual food gets star treatment

    At Fox's Den, casual food gets star treatment

    Just a few years ago, most conversations about the Annapolis food scene were full of sad lamentations that such a fantastic town was so lacking in great restaurants. Was it true, people wondered, that the quality of a restaurant's food is inversely proportional to the view? At most Naptown spots,...

  • Summer cocktails stand out at Sugarvale

    Summer cocktails stand out at Sugarvale

    When Phil Han, the owner of the coffee shop and restaurant Dooby's, announced the arrival of The Hatch — an inconspicuous space in the lower level of Mount Vernon's Park Plaza Building — two summers ago, the Gilman alum envisioned it as something like a permanently rotating incubator space for...

  • Inner Harbor's Shake Shack offers delicious and quick fast food

    Inner Harbor's Shake Shack offers delicious and quick fast food

    Shake Shack has made big headlines over the past few years. The burger joint, which started in New York in 2004 and opened an Inner Harbor outpost this past February, is touted as the world's fastest-growing burger chain. The company receives heaps of praise for both smart management and tasty...