Original jawbreaker candies are made using a process called hot-panning, where the layers of sugar are slowly added to constantly-rotating pans until the candies are at the right size. The jawbreakers start from a single grain of sugar and slowly increase in size as more sugar is added. The cooking process used to last for several weeks, but has since been reduced to approximately six days.
Some jawbreaker manufacturers start off with either a hard candy or a gum for a core, as opposed to starting with plain sugar. The colors and flavors of the jawbreakers are also added as layers during the cooking process. The following shows how the original jawbreakers are made:
Pour and layer the sugar
To start, sugar is poured into large, wide-mouthed, round copper pans that are rotated over high heat, allowing the grains of sugar to slowly crystallize in a spherical pattern. The panner then pours liquid sugar around the edges of the pans. This liquid sugar will adhere to the crystallized sugar, forming the first layer. As many as one hundred layers may be added by the panner until the jawbreakers reach their ideal size.
- Add flavors and colors
Towards the end of the cooking process, the flavors and colors are added by the panner, in the same way as the liquid sugar is added. The continued rotation of the pans ensures that the flavors and colors maintain an even consistency.
- Finish and wax
It can take several weeks for the jawbreakers to reach the right size, however when ready, they are transferred to another revolving pan where food-grade wax is added. This wax gives them a nice, polished sheen, and once it is set, they are packaged up for consumption.