It really doesn’t fall into a cake category, but making lollipops is just so much fun! The kids and I make lollipops every Valentine’s Day for their teachers, grandparents, and classmates.
It all started when I was a girl, about 10 years old living in North Carolina. Lollipops were all the rage! Do you remember when those big round pops were being sold everywhere? Well, moms everywhere started buying lollipop molds and making them for school fundraisers, and just for fun! My mom developed a special hard candy chocolate lollipop that is our favorite to this day.
In 1990, Jennifer, one of my sister’s best friends, battled and lost to brain cancer at age 15. My sister Sarah and the other girls from the original foursome started a scholarship fund in Jennifer’s name. This scholarship fund still exists today. Each year, a scholarship is awarded to a Watertown High School student who exemplifies Jennifer’s exceptional scholarship, leadership, and diligence. The girls made thousands of lollipops in our family kitchen to earn money for the scholarship. The kids and I felt proud to have made a mere 5 batches (all the same kind and shape, even!) If you want to try your hand at lollipops you will need just a few ingredients and tools.
- A good candy thermometer
- A nice thick sturdy pot
- Candy flavorings
- Nestle’s Choco bake (for chocolate lollipops)
- Lollipop molds
- Liquid white food coloring (for opaque pops)
- Lollipop sticks and bags
- A marble slab (for cooling)
- Sprinkles or other adornment
Lollipops are quick and easy to make, but they do require some patience and a lot of adult supervision. Plan on some sticky clean-up after you are finished with this activity.
First, prepare your molds. Place your sticks in the molds, and lay on the marble slab. Take care to spray the inside of the molds with cooking spray for easier release. A single batch of lollipops will make 12-15.
Now, start the lollipops. Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup Karo Syrup, and 1/2 cup of water in a pot. Clip your candy thermometer into the pot and set it for the Hard Crack stage (300 degrees). Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Then, you may leave the mixture unattended while it bubbles to reach the temperature you’ve set (this takes approximately 8-10 minutes). When the thermometer beeps, you’ll need to work quickly. Remove from heat and stir in flavorings. To make flavored lollipops, add 1/2 teaspoon flavoring and any desired color. To make chocolate lollipops, stir in 1 package of well mixed Choco bake. Mix the candy mixture until it is no longer bubbling and then gently pour into your prepared molds. If you plan to have sprinkles for adornment, it is important to get them on right away. When I make them with the kids, my daughter comes right behind me with sprinkles and we go down the line of lollipops.
Allow the pops to cool in the molds for an hour or more. Remove from molds and place in lollipop bags. You may use ribbon or tape to seal your lollipops. Share with friends or enjoy yourselves!