How to Make Flavored Homemade Lollipop
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For my daughter’s 6th birthday, I made a cake entirely by scratch, topped with decorative lollipops. I didn’t just want to use store-bought lollipops, since I wanted to personalize them and make them special for my daughter’s birthday and all of her guests. This was my first time making lollipops and can be quite challenging if you don’t have the right tools and know-how. Because of this, I tried a test batch before starting the real lollipops, which I highly recommend.
For the lollipops, they are made of mostly corn syrup, sugar, and flavoring, while the decorations on the inside are fondant and sprinkles. I made multiple batches of lollipops with different flavorings and colors, so I had a chance to improve my lollipop making skills over the course of a few batches using this recipe.
This recipe may seem fairly complicated, but after doing a few batches, it becomes easier and you’ll start to understand the process and get the hang of making lollipops. Aside from following the recipe, I find that there are many tips and tricks to make the lollipop making process easier, along with using specific kitchen tools.
Firstly, the silicone mats are very important in making sure your lollipops come out as perfect as possible. When using silicone mats instead of parchment paper, you don’t have to grease it up, as they are already able to be peeled off the silicone mat pretty easily. In addition, there’s a specific way to peel off the lollipops to ensure that they don’t break. When peeling off each lollipop, you can both lift the lollipop off and pick the silicone mat up at the same time, while curving the silicone mat off of the lollipop for a nice clean break. If you try to peel off the lollipop using the stick, the lollipop will most likely break off of the stick.
When putting in fondant decorations, I tried multiple ways to get the best-looking lollipop. First, I poured out the candy onto the mat then placed the fondant decoration on top of the hot lollipop mixture. While this may seem like the best way, I found that first placing down the fondant decorations face-down on the mat and pouring the lollipop mixture to cover the decoration is far easier and effective. If you’re pouring the mixture then placing the decorations, you may find that the lollipop mixture cools way too quickly in time to place down your decorations. Doing it in the opposite order lets you have the decorations already positioned and ready for the lollipop mixture, so you don’t have to race the clock so much. If you fear that your lollipop mixture is becoming too hard to pour, it is best to leave it be and start on another batch. If you try to re-heat the mixture, it will become cloudy in color, which wasn’t good for my picture-perfect lollipops, so I found myself always acting quickly when pouring the lollipops.
I also looked to specialize my utensils a bit when cooking these lollipops. I used a special saucepan with a pouring lip so that I could directly control how much lollipop mixture would be coming out of the pan. Using a spoon is tougher since you have to use your hands for two different things, instead of just using both on the saucepan to control the mixture. When preparing the mixture, I used a candy thermometer to accurately find the temperature of the mixture so that the sugar wouldn’t caramelize, since that would ruin the entire batch. When using this thermometer, I always placed it into a cup of room-temperature water, so that the sugar mixture wouldn’t harden on the thermometer or make a sticky mess when taking it out.
The lollipops, despite being a bit hard to make, were a hit at my daughter’s 6th birthday party. I wrapped them up and left them on the front table as well as sticking them into the top of my daughter’s winter-themed cake. You can use natural fruit-flavorings for the lollipops, but I used artificial ones for the sake of time- the pink lollipops are strawberry-flavored and the clear one’s lemon. Using fruit juices to both color and flavor these lollipops cuts down on ingredients and simplifies the recipe, in addition to making a much more tasty lollipop.
- Place 3 large silicone mats onto a flat surface.
- Place the fondant decorations face down on the silicone mats, with enough space to form full lollipops.
- Pour the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Gently stir until the mixture comes to a boil, making sure to not splash the mixture around the sides of the bowl.
- Once boiling, stop stirring (and do not stir for the rest of the cooking) and use a silicone brush moistened with warm water to wipe down the sides of the saucepan, to wash away any crystals forming.
- With a candy thermometer, check the temperature of the mixture. When at 300F, take the saucepan and put the bottom into a tub of room-temperature water for 30 seconds.
- Mix in the flavor extracts and coloring that you want into the saucepan.
- Pour out the mixture onto the cookie sheet on top of the fondant decorations.
- Lay the lollipop sticks in the center of the lollipop, and spin the stick so it is completely surrounded by candy.
- Repeat with remaining candy, doing 3 at a time.
- Let harden for 20 minutes.