Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat foil with nonstick
Spread the jelly beans evenly over the foil.
In a very large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring
to a boil over medium heat, without stirring, boil for 10 to 12 minutes, or
until the syrup begins to turn golden and reaches the hard crack stage*.
Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter, baking soda, and
salt (the mixture will foam). Continue stirring for 4 to 5 minutes, or until
the mixture is shiny.
Pour over the jelly beans and spread quickly with a spatula that has been
coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Allow to cool completely, then invert onto a clean work surface.
Remove the foil, then break into bite-size pieces.
Serve, or store in an airtight container.
* To determine the hard crack stage, drop a bit of the mixture from a teaspoon
into a glass of cold water. If it hardens and forms strands in the water, then it
has reached the hard crack stage. If not, continue to cook the mixture, then test
it again after a bit.