Homemade Lollipop Bouquet for Mother’s Day
I have been making candy for years. But only recently did I begin to perfect the consistency and start exploring bizarre flavor and beautiful color combinations. Lollipops are surprisingly easy to make, super fun and they impress toddlers—and who doesn’t want to impress a toddler? Seriously: once you get the hang of handling molten sugar, it’s a breeze.
Today, I’m going to share with you the most basic and versatile lollipop recipe that I know. I should mention that this particular recipe uses corn syrup, which is the norm because it’s a much easier way of making lollipops. It is possible to make them without corn syrup—I do each and every day—but it’s a bit more time consuming, so I’m gonna keep it simple.
* Candy thermometer
* Stainless steel saucepan
* Lollipops sticks (can be purchased at baking supply shops or craft stores such as Michaels or AC Moore).
* Lollipop molds (or cookie sheets!)
* Wooden spoon
* Ladle or spoon
* Metal bowl filled with ice water.
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup lite corn syrup
* 1/4 cup water
* Flavoring (In this case: strawberry extract and rhubarb bitters)
* Food coloring (optional)
* Cooking spray (for the molds and/or cookie sheets)
Since hot sugar is only a manageable temperature for a short duration, I like to make sure I have everything ready to go before I begin.
I also like to measure out my ingredients ahead of time—not that there are many!
Add your ingredients to the saucepan. Over medium high heat, stir the mixture until sugar is fully dissolved.
Once your sugar is dissolved, insert the candy thermometer and leave it alone. The candy will bubble and do its thing for a while. All you have to do is keep an eye on it.
While the mixture is heating up, fill a metal bowl with ice water and put that in the sink. I also spray my cookie sheets and/or molds at this point as well.
Once the mixture reaches 295 degrees or the “hard crack” stage, remove it from the heat and immediately place it into the ice water bath for about 5 to 10 seconds. This will stop the cooking process. Bring the pot back over to the stove, but you’re done cooking. The stove should be off.
Add your flavoring. I usually add a teaspoon (or more) of extract and several dashes of bitters. I tend to lean on the liberal side when it comes to flavor, so don’t be too shy here. The natural color of the molten sugar is usually light amber in color. It picks of food coloring very well. Feel free to add whatever colors you wish. For really vibrant lollipops, you might add two to four drops of food coloring. For lighter colors, a little less. You can always add more if you want. Stir that up.
You’re ready to pour and stick! Some people add the sticks to the molds ahead of time. I choose not to as sometimes the sticks move as you’re pouring. I usually pour two or three lollipops, add the sticks, and then move on. You don’t want to pour too many and wait too long because the mixture firms up rather quickly especially in smaller amounts.
Please note! If you don’t have the time or money to buy lollipop molds, worry not! All you have to do is ladle circles onto a cookie sheet, add sticks and you’ve got yourself a lovely batch of beautiful homemade lollipops.
Serve to child or wrap up and give as a gift to someone you love.