What should one do when feeling a desperate urge to make something sweet but has no time to wait for the butter to come to room temperature, not to mention there is something else in the oven? Candy. In my case, bright red and very, very sweet lollipops.
These might look tricky, but believe me, they are not. The lollipops were fun to make and I think they would be a great treat for birthday parties – not only for kids, of course. :D
from The Christmas Candy Book
1 cup (200g) sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1-2 drops oil of anise, cinnamon, clove, lemon or orange – I used vanilla extract
few drops of red, yellow, blue or green food coloring
Oil a marble slab or baking sheet. Have ready at least a dozen wooden sucker sticks.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and stir to blend. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and boil for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and insert a candy thermometer in the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 143ºC/290ºF. If sugar crystals form on the pan sides, wash the down with a pastry brush dipped in warm water.
Remove the pan from the heat and immediately dip the bottom of it into a pan of cold water to arrest cooking, removing quickly before the mixture gets too cold. Place on a dry kitchen towel. Add the flavoring and coloring of choice.
Using a large metal spoon, immediately spoon a little less than 4cm (1½ in) pools of syrup onto the prepared marble slab/sheet*. Lay one end of the lollipop stick in each pool of syrup while still soft and push gently to secure in place. Dot a little extra syrup on the embedded end of the stick. Let cool at room temperature until completely set, about 2 hours.
Wrap each lollipop in cellophane or waxed paper. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
* once the mixture got cold and difficult to mold, I returned the pan to medium heat, stirring, until it became soft again (30 seconds or so)
Makes about 12 – I got 16