How to prepare sugar glass for exploration in your classroom!
My assistant, Mr. Hayden, suggested that we explore a little sugar glass in our classroom. Sugar glass is something that I have never even heard of before so it took a little research to figure out how to make it and to decide how to use it in our classroom. But it was worth the time invested so this post is just an introduction of sugar glass to you and my next post is a how we actually explored the sugar glass. However, I will say right up front that this idea is time consuming to prepare and cannot be prepared in the classroom…
What is Sugar Glass?
Sugar glass looks and feels and cracks almost like real glass only it is made purely of sugar products. People use sugar glass for lots of reasons but one of the most popular reasons is to emulate the look of glass breaking in movies and videos or as pranks. We didn’t use it for any of those reasons but I will share our use tomorrow…
How do you Make Sugar Glass?
First of all, making sugar glass is not [and I mean not] a process that the kids can help you with. Mr. Hayden and I made our sugar glass at home the night before school. And it takes about 45 minutes to make up one batch of sugar glass. And it really needs to be refrigerated until the next morning so the sugar glass doesn’t get sticky but I didn’t refrigerate mine…
Sugar Glass Recipe
Sugar Glass is actually a science more than a cooking process so to make it, you need to use the recipe exactly as shown rather than estimating the amounts needed.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 31/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- Cooking Spray or Foil
- Food Color or Liquid Water Color (Optional) (We used liquid water color so it wouldn’t stain our hands during play)
What you will need
- A large pot with handles
- A candy thermometer
- A prepared pan to pour the hot sugar glass in when it is ready for cooling
What to do
- Pour the water, sugar, corn syrup, and cream of tartar into the pan.
- Stir the mixture while you bring the mixture to a slow boil. Do not cook it too fast or the sugar will caramelize.
- Set your candy thermometer where it will sit up in the pan.
- Keep the mixture at a low boil until the temperature on the candy thermometer reaches exactly 300 degrees (which can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour). The temperature will sit at about 225 degrees forever before finally going all the way up to 300 degrees.
- Once the temperature reaches 300 degrees, then very carefully and using hot pads remove the pan from the burner and pour the mixture into your prepared pan (see how to prepare pan below).
- If you wish to add color, add it either now or stir it in right after you pour it into your prepared pans. I used a plastic spoon to spread the color around my sugar glass and it melted the spoon – that is how hot this stuff is.
The sugar glass mixture is super, super hot and if it spills on your hand, it will cause severe burns. It will stick to your hand and not just wipe away. Do not under any circumstances have small children around while you make this or let them help and keep your own hands protected in the process too.
Either cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with your cooking spray or spray the cookie sheet directly. Whatever heat resistant cooking mold you decide to use, be sure to cover the cooking mold completely with cooking oil so the sugar glass will not stick to it.
In the end, I decided to use aluminum foil cookie pans instead of a metal cookie pan and just sprayed the pans with cooking oil. One batch of sugar glass was enough to evenly fill two of these smaller aluminum cookie pans (about 1/4″ thick). The sugar glass begins to harden almost immediately but it takes about a full hour to completely cool and harden. If you need to store it over night, it is best to put in the refrigerator. After the sugar glass hardens and cools, you can pop it out of your pan. Because we used aluminum pans, we just bent back the edges of the pans and the sugar glass popped out very easily…
A look at the Finished Product
So this was a brief look at how to make sugar glass. In my next post, I will share with you how we explored the already prepared sugar glass in my classroom. It was super cool…
Available on Amazon
Links to Grow On
I highly recommend you watch or read other articles about sugar glass so you get a good idea of what it is like and how to make it.
How to Make Sugar Glass on YouTube
How to Make Sugar Glass on Wiki