Do any of you know if splenda caramelizes and melts like regular sugar? My parents are doing a low-carb, low-sugar diet and I'd love to surprise them with some diet-friendly hard candies.
On the Splenda website it says that Splenda doesn't caramelize like sugar. Admittedly, it is talking about getting the golden brown colour in your baked goods, but I suspect since it doesn't happen in that instance, it wouldn't work in a hard candy.
It's my understanding that sucralose (what makes Splenda sweet) is REALLY sweet, so much of what's in a measure of Splenda is fillers to bring the volume up so similar amounts of sugar and Splenda sweeten things a similar amount. I very much doubt that the fillers would behave as sugar does in a candy.
You can bake with it in situations where sugar isn't chemically necessary for the success of the dish, but otherwise it's not much like sugar.
Sugar-free candies that use sucralose most likely have a bunch of other stuff in them that is the "hard candy" part, and the sucralose is only the sweetener.
Splenda does not work for making hard candies, I learned this the hard way. I tried to make peanut brittle for my grandmother and it turned into a sticky mess... twice. I thought maybe I did something wrong the first time, but after looking it up discovered that splenda (even the boxes branded "for baking") will not be good for candy making.