This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
Candy may be successfully made without a sugar thermometer, but the use of the thermometer obviates the close watching that is otherwise necessary. The following table explains the terms used in candy making, together with the degrees on the thermometer:
Thread stage, 220 to 225 degrees F., or when a thread hangs from the spoon, when it is lifted from the syrup.
Soft Ball stage, 238 to 240 degrees F., or when a soft ball is formed when a little of the syrup is dropped in cold water.
"Chewy Ball" stage, 250 to 252 degrees F., or when a fairly hard ball is formed when a little of the mixture is tried in cold water.
Crack Stage, 290 to 300 degrees F., or when a little of the mixture rattles against the cup when tried in cold water.