Jawbreakers, or gobstoppers, have been satisfying sweet teeth for over a century. Penny candy shops started to make jawbreakers in the late 1800s, and Nestlé started large-scale production of Everlasting Gobstoppers in 1976. Candy lovers can enjoy a single jawbreaker for hours, letting each layer of the sugary treat dissolve to reveal a new flavor and color.
Although nowadays we often turn to corporate offerings, it's possible to make jawbreakers at home. They won't necessarily be ball-shaped - you would need expensive equipment to accomplish this - but they'll provide hours of unbreakable and delicious fun. Read on for a fun rainy day activity!
To make jawbreakers, you'll need:
- A muffin tin or other oven-safe candy mold
- 8 cups of sugar
- 2 ½ cups of water
- Liquid hard candy flavorings
- A spoon for stirring melted sugar
Before continuing, it's useful to understand how people make jawbreakers with professional equipment. When professionals make jawbreakers, they start by dropping a single sugar granule into a large rotating pan. As the sugar crystal spins, sugar with different colors and flavors collects around it to form another layer. The process is repeated hundreds of times. It takes several weeks to make jawbreakers professionally.
Obviously, when you make jawbreakers at home, you cannot replicate this process and produce perfect spheres. However, you can choose to make jawbreakers with just a few colors and flavors or with many, many layers. Here are the basic steps for making jawbreakers at home:
- Mix three cups of sugar and one cup of water together in a pot. To make the most flavorful jawbreakers, use filtered water.
- Turn the stove on high. Add two teaspoons of flavoring and stir frequently.
- When the jawbreaker mixture acquires a syrupy consistency, pour a thin layer of the liquid into each of your molds or muffin tins.
- Cool the jawbreakers for about half an hour in the refrigerator.
- Repeat the steps until you make jawbreakers with the desired number of layers and thickness.
- When the candy has completely cooled in the refrigerator, twist the muffin tin or candy mold as you'd twist an ice tray to release its contents.
- Enjoy your jawbreakers and remember: don't bite!
If you want to make jawbreakers that look personalized or more professional, experiment with different ways of packaging them as gifts. You can also make jawbreakers in particular colors for holidays or other special occasions.