My exploration of molten sugar continued recently with lollipops. It was a friend’s birthday and I thought some homemade lollipops would make a fun present. Because the rest of his family tends to become candy thieves when homemade candy arrives, I sent them little bags also. I made coconut (his favorite), strawberry, and apple.
It turns out that lollipops are the easiest candy I have made so far. A batch also makes a lot of lollipops. I did have a few problems and a couple of batches went awry for some reason. Although I am not sure what I did different, a couple of batches went from about 290 degrees to 320 in a matter of seconds, scorching and burning the mixture, even if I took the pot off the heat. Oh well, there aren’t many ingredients. I have not figured out how to make crystal clear versions. If anyone has an idea for this please let me know.
Now that I know the basic recipe I can experiment with other flavors. I know I will try salted caramel. A friend suggested limoncello and that sounds like a good flavor,; I just have to figure out how to infuse alcohol into hard candy.
I did find that I preferred 1/2 the flavoring and coloring called for (already adjust for in the recipe). If you make these you will just have to try some with different levels. I also found that, contrary to the original recipe, you don’t need to oil the molds. When I sprayed a little oil on the mold the lollipop surface looked crinkled, like the texture of the oil. I also found that you need everything ready to go and sticks in the molds before the sugar is hot. It cools very quickly. Also, make sure you are using hard candy molds and not chocolate molds.
Like with most hot sugar based recipes, a good, calibrated, candy thermometer will make life easier. Mine has an alarm on it that I can set for different temperatures. This makes life much easier once the sugar mixture is bubbling away. An appropriately sized heavy sauce pot will also make thing easier.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- ¾ cup water</li
- ½ teaspoon flavoring (this is ½ of what the recipe I used called for)
- ¼ teaspoon coloring (this is ½ of what the recipe I used called for)
In a large sauce pan gently mix together sugar, corn syrup, and water. Over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Then bring mixture to a boil without stirring.
Get your molds ready and insert sticks if using.
Add coloring when the mixture reaches 260 degrees F. DO NOT STIR, the bubbling will mix the color through.
Remove from heat when the mixture reaches 300 – 305 degrees F.
Add the flavoring when the mixture stops bubbling. The mixture will steam up when the flavoring is added so be careful. Pour into molds.
Carefully remove from molds when cool. They should be cool enough after 15 – 20 minutes.
Because of the high temperatures for hard-crack sugar, and because it is so sticky, it really isn’t kid friendly. Kids can help measure the ingredients and put the sticks in the molds, but someone older should pour the hot sugar. The good thing is they cool enough to take out of the molds in 15 minutes or so. A little after that and everyone, regardless of age, can feel like a kid again.