As I was surveying my sprinkle collection the other day, my eye caught a small package of sucker sticks. I was excited! I didn't realize I had any of those left, and the wheels started turning. It wasn't long before I pulled out my sucker molds, fitted them with sticks, and started a candy-making session. I decided on a half batch, since I wasn't sure how many suckers a full batch would make. Plus I was thinking that a second batch in a different flavor might be fun for another day as well.
Believe me when I say that I made homemade lollipops in about 15 minutes, and completely delighted my children. I started with corn syrup, sugar and water, and cooked it, stirring occasionally, to 300ºF on my candy thermometer. I added a few drops of strawberry candy flavoring and color and then drizzled the scalding hot syrup into the molds. By the time Zander and I arrived back home from picking up Abigail, they'd cooled completely, and the kids were beyond excited. I'm not particularly thrilled with this strawberry flavoring, but overall, I love being reminded how simple something is. These homemade lollipops took very little time and ingredients. If you wanted to try making these without the molds, you could drop circles of hot sugar syrup onto a well-greased cookie sheet (or use Reynold's Release Foil and no grease) and then press a sucker stick into each circle. Remember to work oh-so carefully with hot sugar syrup. It will melt your skin like butter. Homemade Lollipops
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
Combine ingredients in a sturdy saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook the sugar syrup mixture to 300ºF- or hard crack stage. Remove from heat. Carefully stir in flavorings* and colorings.
Fill sucker molds with hot sugar syrup, or carefully pour hot syrup into little circles on a well-greased baking sheet. Set sucker sticks into each circle. Allow to cool completely before handling.
Makes about 20 lollipops.
*You can purchase specialty confectionery flavorings at some craft stores, candy supply stores, or at my favorite online store Country Kitchen Sweet Art. For most flavorings you want to use 1/8 teaspoon of flavoring per batch of lollipops. For added tartness you can also add a pinch of citric acid, also available at a specialty store.