Lollipops a really quick and easy candy to make that is perfect for every occasion although they require some specific tools.
Its October and that means it’s time for candy!! I wanted to make some homemade candy because what better way to celebrate Halloween than with some delicious homemade treats?
The first candy I wanted to make is one of the easiest: lollipops! Lollipops are just hardened sugar syrup with different flavoring and coloring. And a stick coming out of the end. They are easy to make and delicious so it’s hard not to enjoy them.
But just because it’s easy to make doesn’t mean that aren’t room for errors. I definitely made a couple of mistakes in my choice of molds since I didn’t have any dedicated lollipop molds. But the candy was an amazing, sweet treat that I wanted to eat more of in a heartbeat.
There are only three core ingredients needed to make lollipops: sugar, water, and light corn syrup. The fun comes in with the extracts (but they are optional)! I found I had a lot of different flavorings in my pantry, and I decided to go with green apple for the green lollipops and mango for the red lollipops. I know mango isn’t red, but I wanted to work with what I had.
boiling the ingredients
The only process needed to cook up some lollipops is boiling. So all you need is a pan! Throw the water, sugar, and light corn syrup into a pot and let it boil. I like using a medium heat because boiling the sugar too quickly can cause the sugar to burn at the sides.
And burnt sugar doesn’t go so well in lollipops. I honestly don’t know what burnt sugar would go well with. I like to stir the mixture during this step to make sure not of the sugar crystals get stuck to the sides of the pan.
But once all the sugar is dissolved, it’s time to walk away. Not literally, I just stopped stirring. The sugar needs to boil and reach the hard crack temperature of 310° Fahrenheit (see lessons for more).
createing the lollipops
After reaching the proper temperature, it’s time to pour in the flavoring and color for a splash of personality and fun! This step is totally optional, but you have to do it quickly and don’t be surprised if the additions cause the mixture to flare and sizzle. You’re adding something room temperature to something very hot, it would be surprising if there wasn’t a reaction!
I stirred the flavor and color until I felt it was fully mixed into the syrup. Then it’s time to pour the mixture into the molds. Time is crucial to this step. Moving fast is a necessity or else you’re going to have a lot of hard candy stuck in your pot.
There are two ways to create lollipops. Either pouring the syrup into prepared molds or freeform pouring the mixture onto a prepared surface. When pouring the mixture into a mold, you can either put down the stick before or after pouring.
I don’t have dedicated lollipop molds, so I ended up pouring the mixture into the molds that I had. And then precariously placing the sticks in after. I did wait a moment to let the mixture set up slightly so the sticks would actually take and not just slowly move out.
I used wax paper for the free form method, and I would not recommend it. It’s fine if you need to get by but the wax paper will more than likely stick to the side of the lollipop. I would highly recommend using a silicone mat if possible. For this method, I placed down the lollipop sticks and poured the syrup onto the paper around it to make a lollipop-ish shape.
This was a really simple, easy, and fun process that I really enjoyed making. It was a delicious, sweet treat that I could make in minutes and is perfect as a gift for guests or a sugary snack during a get together.
Definitely something I’ll try again but maybe next time I won’t make them so impossibly large…
What are the Sugar Stages?
When a sugar mixture reaches different temperatures, different stage are reached which are then used to make candies and desserts.
|Stage||Temperature (° Fahrenheit)||Appearance / Uses|
|Thread||223° – 234°||Syrup that will create a loose thin thread. Used for sugar based syrups.|
|Soft Ball||234° – 240°||Syrup will form a sticky and soft ball than can be flatten when removed from water. Used to make caramel candies, fudge, pralines, fondant, and butter creams|
|Firm Ball||242° – 282°||Syrup will become a firm but pliable and sticky ball that will briefly hold its shape. Used to make caramels, butter creams, nougat, marshmallows, Italian meringues, gummies, and toffees.|
|Hard Ball||250° – 266°||Syrup will become a stick and hard ball that will hold its shape. Used for caramels, nougat, and toffees.|
|Soft Crack||270° – 290°||Syrup will form strands that are firm but pliable. Used to make butterscotch, nougat, and taffy.|
|Hard Crack||295° – 310°||Syrup will form threads that are brittle (stiff and will break easily). Used to make brittles, toffees, glazed fruit, hard candy, and pulled / poured / spun sugar.|
|Caramel||320° – 360°||Syrup will charge from transparent to a darker color ranging from light golden brown to a deep amber. Use to make pralines, brittles, caramel-coated molds, and nougatine.|
- 14 Lollipop Sticks
- Silicone Lollipop Molds optional
- Silicone Mat if doing free form
- ¼ Cup Water
- 1 Cup Sugar
- ¼ Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract optional, can be whatever flavor you want!
- Red Food Coloring optional
- Prepare lollipop molds. If you don’t have lollipop molds, prepare normal silicone molds or a silicone mat to do freehanded lollipops
- In a small to medium pan, add sugar, water, and light corn syrup.
- Heat over a low to medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Boil mixture until sugar reaches 300° Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat and add extract and food coloring if desired.
- Quickly pour into the molds and allow to cool.
- Remove from Molds and Enjoy!!