Super basic recipe with a whole lot of wow when you top your root beer float with these fun candy shards. Grab a couple bottles of your favorite local root beer, the number of bottles will depend on how many floats you are making but for the candy you will only need one bottle.
Making the candy takes about 30 minutes start to finish including clean up. We are not the most patient people, so we let our candy set in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to cool off. Speeding the process up considerable. If you let it cool on the countertop, it will take a little more time.
Cooking down your root beer isn’t an exact science. In our opinion, it’s hard to gauge how much liquid is in the pan once it gets going. The goal to get as close to one cup of liquid as you can a little over or under isn’t going to make or break this recipe.
You must bring your candy mixture up to a hard crack stage. If you have a candy thermometer hard crack is reached at 300-310 degrees Fahrenheit. Most candy thermometers are also labeled and say hard crack. No mystery there. In the event you don’t have a thermometer no need to run out and buy one. The stage of your candy can be tested with a cup of cold water. Once your sugar syrup has been at a rolling boil for about 10 minutes, take a cup of cold water and drop in a spoonful of your sugar syrup. You should see sugar threads. Remove the spoonful of candy from the water and try to break it in half. You should feel hard and crack when you snap it. Hence, hard crack. If you do not feel a hard texture with a crack keep boil to raise the temperature until you get the desired texture for your water test.
Common Sense Warning
Bring your A game because sugar syrup is hot and will burn you in a way, we hope you have never experienced in your life. Think hot glue on steroids. Please do don’t attempt this recipe around small children, animals, in a moving vehicle or under generally hazardous conditions. In all seriousness, sugar syrup is crazy hot so be careful.
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Root Beer Floats with Candy Shards
Candy Shard Ingredients
- 20 ounces of root beer
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- Small cookie sheet with an edge
- 1 piece of parchment paper
- Candy thermometer (not 100% necessary but recommended)
Root Beer Float Ingredients
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Root Beer
Candy Shard Instructions
- Add 20 ounces of root beer to a small saucepan and cook down to 1 cup of liquid over medium heat.
- Next add sugar and maple syrup stirring until dissolved. Turn burner up to medium high heat boiling until you reach hard crack. Stir occasionally to keep from boiling over. Remove from heat carefully pouring onto parchment lined cookie sheet and let cool. Be sure to cool your candy on a level surface.
- Once cooled, lift candy sheet above a hard-flat surface and smack it down in one fast even motion. This will give you the best sized candy shards without tons of little pieces. Make sure your candy is completely cooled before putting away for storage.
Root Beer Float Instructions
- Place 2 scoops of ice cream in a chilled glass, pour cold root beer over ice cream and garnish with a candy shard.