I love making lollipops. Growing up my mom and I would make them at least every Valentine’s Day. She had the coolest metal molds that work so much better than any other candy mold I’ve ever seen. I found the same sucker molds once at a craft store in Idaho when I was in college and newly married. I bought a set of heart molds to make my husband lollies for our first Valentine’s Day. Then I couldn’t ever find the molds again.
Well I’ve always wanted to collect more molds in different shapes, and after a couple of the mold clips went missing for my heart set, I decided last year that I had to go on a no-holds-barred, world-wide-web search. After literally hours of searching I found one — JUST ONE — place to get these molds.
Now before I tell you where, I just want you to know that you should feel super lucky that I’m just going to hand over the name of the website to you. You will now be able to go buy the best lollipop molds on earth without spending a single second on Google. Feel special? Aren’t I nice??… okay, enough stalling. It is johnsonflavors.com. As a bonus this website also happens to sell the best flavor oils — these are the same brand my mom and I used way back when, and they too are so much better than any of the other oils I’ve tried.
Okay so now that you know my biggest lollipop secret, on to how to make some lollies! This year with all my other distractions, I didn’t get around to making our traditional Valentines suckers with my girls (not very Supermomish, but that’s life!). So we’re doing them for St. Patrick’s Day instead. I don’t have a shamrock mold so we are using this daisy one. With the green dye, who really notices a couple extra petals, right?
If you’re intimidated by making your own lollipops — don’t be. You can totally do it! Here’s what you need:
:: 20 sucker molds
:: 20 sucker sticks
:: cookie sheet or other flat surface for molds
:: cooking thermometer
:: sucker bags or plastic wrap
First prepare the molds: pull the tab ends together and secure with the little clips (included with the molds). Feed a sucker stick through the hole in the clip. Spray the assembled molds lightly with cooking spray to make sure nothing sticks.
Hard Candy Lollipop Recipe
:: 2 cups sugar
:: 1/2 cup water
:: 1/2 cup corn syrup
:: 1 teaspoon flavor oil
:: food color
Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a saucepan and mix. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking until mixture reaches “hard crack” stage, which is 300 degrees Fahrenheit on your thermometer.
The mixture starts out more opaque and as the sugar dissolves it becomes transparent and bubbly. If I’m feeling impatient, which I usually am, I will turn up the heat to medium-high at this point. I’m not sure if this is the “proper” thing to do, but I just keep a close eye on the thermometer and everything seems to work out OK.
I’ve seen differing opinions on whether you should be stirring continuously while waiting for the mixture to get to 300 degrees. I’m pretty sure my mom and I stirred the whole time because the tedious stirring, that seemed to take F-O-R-E-V-E-R, was usually my job. These days, I just check in periodically, give a little stir and most importantly watch that thermometer so the mixture doesn’t scorch.
The only real problem occurs when I forget about the pan completely and let the mixture cook well passed 300 degrees — now that is a no-no! When this happens the whole thing is ruined and you have to start over. (Maybe the pro-stirring people just do it so they won’t forget?)
Once the mixture reaches hard crack stage/300 degrees, remove from heat and place the pan on a trivet. Add flavoring and then food coloring. Stir well and pour into the molds. The lollipops take about an hour to set up. In a pinch, I have put them in the freezer to speed things up (again, just don’t forget), but if you have time, it really is better to let them set at room temperature to avoid issues with the candy “sweating.”
Wrap the lollies in plastic wrap or stick in clear plastic baggies and tie with a festive bow.
See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? And trust me, making your own lollipops will definitely feel like a Supermom Moment!