I just tried to make some root beer flavored hard candies. I was somewhat improvising the recipe, and I ran into a weird issue I haven't seen before. When I added the root beer flavoring to the heated sugar mixture, the entire concoction bubbled up, then dried up and hardened, producing a thick layer of crumbs. I was left with what I can only describe as a dry root beer crumble.
What could have caused this? Do I need something to prevent crystal growth when I stir the mixture at the end?
Here's the process I was following:
Mix 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a small pot.
Dissolve sugar in water and bring to a boil.
Heat mixture until it reaches the hard crack stage (about 295 degrees Fahrenheit at this altitude).
Remove mixture from heat and quickly mix in 2 teaspoons of root beer flavoring.
Pour into molds and let cool. (I didn't reach this step.)