These Crack Grapes (Jolly Rancher Candied Grapes) are a fun snack to make with your kids for any occasion but I love to make these rainbow colored grapes around St. Patrick's Day and Easter! Colorful grapes that are dipped in candied syrup, then coated in classic candy flavors, are the hit of any classroom party!!
food coloring(optional, use food coloring gels not drops)
Prepare your grapes: Rinse grapes and then insert toothpicks or skewers into the stem end of the grape. Set on a paper towel and dry the grapes before dipping in the syrup.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. You should maintain the best rolling boil that you can, stirring frequently, without letting the syrup boil over. Boil for about 5 minutes to reach the right temperature.
You will need a candy thermometer to confirm when the syrup has reached 300-305 degrees F (148-152 degrees C). (see notes) This is the hard crack stage that will allow the syrup to set on the grapes.
Have a parchment paper-lined baking sheet ready to place coated crack grapes on once coated with candy where they can dry (set).
Stir the vanilla extract in to the syrup. Carefully dip each grape into the syrup (the syrup will be hot!!), moving quickly to get the syrup covering over the entirety of the grape and to sprinkle the coated grapes with the crushed Jolly Rancher flavors (or roll in a bowl that is tipped sideways for easy coating).
Set your coated crack grapes on the parchment paper and allow them to dry for about 30 minutes. Carefully remove the toothpicks and serve within a few hours.
*If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can use a digital meat thermometer as long as it will read up to 300 degrees F (148 degrees C).**To know that your syrup has reached the hard crack stage, use a spoon or spatula to drop the molten hot syrup into a bowl or cup of cold water. It should form hard threads that break and do not bend.***To move through the candy coating process quickly, while the syrup is soft and workable, you can place two or more grapes on each skewer to coat simultaneously.Storage testing (below)