Here's what you'll need to make your own hard candy lollipops:
- Candy molds tempered for high heat.
- Lollipop sticks
- Candy thermometer
- Flavoring, 1 dram
- Sugar, 2 cups
- Light corn syrup, 2/3 cups
- Water, 1/3 cup
- Liquid food coloring (optional)
While you're waiting for the syrup to reach the perfect temperature, put your lollipop sticks in the molds so you are all set and ready to go. Kids like this part and it is safe for them to do.
Remove from heat precisely at 300 degrees F. After the boiling action ceases, add your flavoring and stir. From about 220 degrees F to 300 degrees F will seem like an eternity. The first time I made my own hard candy lollipops I was certain the syrup would never get hot enough to reach the hard crack stage (300 degrees F). It does, be patient. When it hits around 280 degrees F, it happens quick so be ready.
Carefully pour syrup into lightly oiled molds (***syrup is nearly as hot a molten lava - keep the kids away and be careful yourself!***). Once you have poured the syrup into the molds, I like to make sure the sticks are completely covered, so twirl them and dunk them down some if needed.
There have been times where I have forgotten to oil the molds and the lollipops came out fine, although they needed some gentle encouragement. So don't panic if you forgot this step.
After a while the syrup you poured will cool and harden, then you can pop the lollipops out by gently pushing from behind the mold. You'll see where they are lifting off and where they may be sticking a bit.
Now be happy. You just made your own hard candy lollipops! Congratulations!
This project is a great opportunity to teach your children a little science too. They are probably in the kitchen waiting as patiently as they possibly can for the yummy end result, so it's a good time to show them how solids become liquids, and then liquids become solids with heating and cooling! And you thought lollipops were just empty calories.
Jana : )