Hard Tack Candy - Stop burning your hands or cutting your mouth.
Many people still cut their Hard Tack Candy with scissors and oil, burning their hands and loathing the process. Still others insist on pouring the candy into a small pan and when it is hard, Smashing it with a hammer. This leaves the candy in sharp shards that can cut your mouth and much of the candy is lost as tiny fragments. This is a simple way to make perfectly cut pieces without the hassles of the other methods.
Place a piece of silicone (parchment) paper on a HEAT RESISTANT surface. If desired sprinkle the top of the paper with powdered sugar. Powdered sugar will make your final product less likely to stick to each other depending upon the humidity of where it is stored. Remember your grandmother's candy dish always having one large piece of candy made from the smaller pieces sticking to one another? This happened because of the rooms humidity.
We use a formica cutting board and it has held up for years but remember this candy gets to 300° and may harm some counter tops and will ruin a wooden table!
Pour the candy over the paper and powdered sugar in a zigzag motion. The candy does not have to be pour on top of itself it will spread apart and touch the other lines you poured. Let the candy spread naturally, do not try to spread it with a spatula unless you are not using the powdered sugar on the parchment, if you pull powdered sugar into the candy it will make a soft, chalky final product.
once the candy has spread as much as possible sprinkle the top of it with powdered sugar. This should be done when the candy has been freshly poured. If you wait too long the sugar will not stick.
use a basting brush to smooth the sugar over the entire surface. make sure that you do this with a very light touch.
Once the surface is covered wait a little bit before the next step
Use a Pizza cutter to score the candy vertically into the size of piece you prefer, we do about 1" pieces. If the candy is still too hot the lines will ooze back together and will need to be gone over again.
When the lines hold their own you can continue with the horizontal cuts.
When both cuts are made be sure to wait until the candy is completely set before breaking the pieces apart at the scored lines.