Everyone makes Christmas cookies or maybe even a fruitcake or two when the holiday season rolls around. But how many of you have ever thought of making Christmas lollipops? I hadn’t ever considered it until watching a PBS holiday cooking special, and it looked so easy and fun that I knew it had to become part of my own holiday traditions. This is definitely a project the kiddos can help with…in the beginning. Later on your dealing with very hot sugar. So, the second part of the project should be handled by mom and dad. There is, however, plenty of mixing that kids can help with to get the ball rolling.
Before You Start
The very first thing you’ll need is some lollipop molds. Plenty of these can be found online, and I’m sure some stores in your area carry them too. The other item you will need is lollipop sticks. Again, these can be found online or at a local shop. Finally, you’ll need a candy thermometer to keep track of your candy’s temperature throughout the process. Once you have these three very important items, you’re ready to get cooking.
Making Your Lollipops
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup white corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. Flavoring (Used oil based flavoring as the alcohol in alcohol based flavors will burn off and flavor will be lost)
food coloring
Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in saucepan. Cook on high heat until mixture reaches 280 degrees F. Lower heat to Medium High. Continue to cook mixture to 300 degrees F. Remove from heat. Let stand until bubbles subside (approximately 265 degrees F). Add flavoring and coloring. Stir until blended. Do not over stir.
Once your lollipop mixture is prepared, you simply pour it into the molds.
For enclosed molds: Coat both sides with vegetable oil or Crisco so that the lollipops will release easily when cooled. Put the two halves together and secure them by tightly wrapping a rubber band around the center of the molds.
For cavity molds: Coat the inside of the mold with vegetable oil or Crisco so that the lollipops will release easily when cooled.
For “open” molds: Open molds, like these, are shapes and are not in a tray like cavity molds or enclosed. For these, you will need to coat the molds with vegetable oil or Crisco so that the lollipops will release easily when cooled. You will also need to coat the surface you rest them on as well, or cover it with aluminum foil. It is suggested that you rest them on an upside down baking sheet. You turn it upside down to create a layer of air underneath the sheet, which will help the lollipops cool.
Once you have poured your molds, you can just let them sit out to cool, or you can place them in the refrigerator or freezer to speed the process along. Now all you have to do is wait for them to cool, pop them out of the molds and enjoy! If you get some nice clear wrapping and some ribbon, you can tie them up and give them out to friends and family as a holiday treat.