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1. Line a 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.
2. Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. This should take about 5 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of saucepan.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 290 degree F, soft-crack stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface. Reaching soft-crack stage should take 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat; remove candy thermometer from the saucepan.
4. Quickly stir in desired food coloring and flavoring. Immediately pour mixture into the prepared pan. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until a film forms over the surface of the candy.
5. Using a broad spatula or pancake turner, begin marking candy by pressing a line across surface. Repeat along other three sides of pan, intersecting lines at corners to form squares. (If candy does not hold its shape, it is not cool enough to mark. Let candy stand a few more minutes and start again.)
6. Continue marking lines along all sides, 1/2 inch apart, until you reach center. Retrace previous lines, pressing the spatula deeper but not breaking film on surface. Repeat until the spatula can be pressed to bottom of pan along all lines. Cool completely. Use foil to lift the candy out of the pan; break candy into squares. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds.