Whether you’re in the market for a fun new hobby, a way to bond with friends and family, or even a new business venture idea, candy making may be the right activity for you. Making candy is a perfect thing to try for both the craft-minded person and the aspiring scientist. Candy making requires careful considerations for chemistry and a creative mind that’s willing to venture outside of the box and into new and exciting territories. Check out this guide to learn what you need to start making candy, whether you plan to do so on a small, just-for-fun scale, or a larger, business-minded scale. In this guide, you’ll learn what it takes to get a start in candy making. Candy making is a fun and exciting way to spend some extra time or even make some extra money. There aren’t a ton of ingredients or equipment necessary that most kitchens don’t already have, making it the perfect new hobby or career.
A Positive Attitude
The first step in starting to make candy is to have a positive mindset and some determination. As clichéd as it sounds, starting off with confidence and a positive attitude is actually crucial to successful and fun candy making. Decide what your reasons for making candy are. If it’s a new hobby to try out, consider inviting some friends to try along with you so there's no pressure to make it turn out perfectly. The first try in candy making can be extremely fun but rarely turns out to be a candymaker's best batch ever—although, it is the best batch yet! If you’re considering turning candy making into a career, you may want friends or family around to serve as emotional support and to act as your sous chefs. On the other hand, you might do your best work alone. This is totally up to you, and the only thing you truly need to start making candy is a passion and desire to learn. Once your positive attitude, sous chef(s), and intentions are ready to go, you can move on to acquiring candy making supplies.
Once it’s time to begin, there are a few supplies you need to start making candy. These vary a tad based on what type of candy you want to make. Check out the brief supply and ingredient breakdown below for a few of the best candy types for beginners to make. These ingredients might not cover everything you need, depending on the type of candy you plan to make, but it is a great start!
- Sugar syrup (you can buy this or make your own)
- Candy thermometer
- Chocolate (milk, white, dark, and unsweetened)
- Candy flavorings
- Food coloring (optional)
- Brown sugar
- Corn syrup
- Unsalted butter
- Heavy cream
- Whole milk
- Half and half
- Nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, macadamias, cashews)(optional)
- Baking pans
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Microwavable bowls
- Dipping utensils
- Storage containers for food
- Kitchen scale
- Large knives
- Large spoons
- Wax paper
If you have all these supplies, that’s a great start to your candy making arsenal. There are, of course, more things you may find you need along the way. These ingredients are basic necessities for making most types of candy, although each type may require a few more additives to become a delicious piece of candy. Many candymakers find that they eventually need fruits, salt, and spices as they become more comfortable with their flavor experimentations. Flavors are essential when it comes to candy. One thing to keep in mind when you first start candy making is to keep the flavors simple. Then, as you find the right base recipe, you can start to experiment with multiple flavors in one candy and bold new palettes.
Your laboratory is where you’ll make the magic happen—that is, the magic candy flavors! Some people and most real estate professionals refer to this room as the kitchen, but we prefer to call it the laboratory since it’s where you’ll mix and create new candies and delectable treats! In your kitchen, you’ll need some of the basics:
- A refrigerator: This will cool and store your candy at the right temperature to ensure it sets correctly and doesn’t melt before you get a chance to enjoy it.
- A stove: This will melt down your ingredients and get them well on their way to becoming a solidified candy treat.
- An oven: While you may not use this one for every treat, it’s good to have on hand when needed.
- A freezer: This one is crucial. It will solidify different elements in your candy and cool it down into the right shape and mold after you heat it to high temperatures.
More than just your basic appliances, you’ll also need a workspace, such as a big countertop or kitchen island. A table also works perfectly. Candy making can get messy, so you’ll want to put down a table cloth, plastic wrap, or another material that can protect your surfaces from the mess that often comes with first attempts at candy making—and even later attempts!
If you’re thinking about selling your creations or even just giving them to friends and family as delicious little gifts, then you may want to think about your packaging methods. Packaging candy can be a bit tricky. You have to decide if you will wrap each piece of candy individually or if you will wrap multiple pieces together in a pack. Material is also important to keep in mind. The packaging materials for candy shouldn’t be too hot, as it could lead to the candy melting, and it shouldn’t stick to the candy, which would make the treats hard to open and enjoy. Consider using a plastic baggie with a cute design or wrapping individual candies in small pieces of wax paper.
Making candy can be a great way to get families to bond or friends to hang out. It can make you some extra money, and it’s a great way to decompress and destress after a long day. No matter your reasons for stating to make candy, be sure to stock up on your essential supplies, such as our delicious candy flavoring.