Friday, March 23, 2012

Easy Homemade Lollipops

I made lollipops yesterday and I am still super impressed with myself.  Never thought I'd be spending nap time making candy.  Especially since I was torn between making lollipops and basking in the sunshine on such a beautiful day.  Lucky for you, lollipops won.

Lollipops won because it is almost Easter, you know.  I used to be all anti-Easter bunny since I have no idea what a bunny who delivers eggs has to do with the risen Savior...know what I mean?  Well, having kids has changed my mind on the whole thing and now I just see the bunny stuff as one more special time of the year to do some super fun stuff with the kids.  We will be making sure they know the REAL meaning of the holiday is much more important.

But back to the lollipops.  My kids are still a little young (18 months next week, eek!) for the traditional candy-filled basket but we did discover they had a liking for lollipops while over at Great Clips trying to wrangle them into hair cuts.  Of course a bag of Dum-Dums may have been a slightly easier route but I'm telling you these are really super easy and if you're anything like me you'll be really proud of yourself when you can present them to people.

Like this phone conversation:
  Mr Pears:  Hi honey, what are you doing?
  Me:  Oh, just making some lollipops

Sounds cool right?  Ah I'm a dork.  oh well.

But they did come out great and I am excited to put a few of these babies into the kids' baskets come Easter.

Cherry Lollipops, adapted from Paula Deen
makes 20 lollipops (or more if you make them a bit smaller)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 (3 oz) box cherry gelatin (you know...Jello)
Non-stick vegetable cooking spray

You'll also need
lollipop sticks (craft store carries these)
plastic wrappers (I used Pretzel stick wrappers I found at the craft store) or just plain plastic wrap
clip-on thermometer for your pot

Normally I'm pretty bad about reading directions thoroughly.  It's best to read these through and get out everything you need in advance so you don't get flustered while cooking hot sugar.

First set up your candy sticks.  Lay parchment paper on two baking sheets;  I cut the paper to fit so the paper laid inside nice and flat.  Spray the paper with the cooking spray and lay out your sticks.  I staggered mine so I could pour the candy on first one side then the other to give me some more space.

Next spray the inside of your liquid measuring cup with cooking spray and then measure out your corn syrup. Pour that and the sugar into a small saucepan and put it over medium heat.  Stir them together to dissolve the sugar and bring to a bowl slowly on medium.  Once you hit the boiling point, put in your thermometer.  Continue cooking until the sugar gets to 300 F.  Stir frequently.

Once you hit 300 F quickly remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cherry gelatin.  Moving quickly (but be careful this stuff is HOT!) spray a metal tablespoon (measuring spoon) with cooking spray and use it to pour the hot candy over the sticks.  Just pour the candy right so it covers the top portion of the stick.  It will spread out nicely into circle lollipops!  This stuff  hardens quickly so don't dally! :)

Now they just need to cool and then you can wrap them in plastic.  Be careful to note the size of your wrappers before you start pouring candy.  I got a little carried away and some of my pops didn't fit into my wrappers.  No biggie, I just wrapped those in plastic wrap instead.  The pretzel wrappers did work well for the others though, I just trimmed them so they were a little shorter than the lollipop.  They came with little twist ties which was nice.  I have no idea if they sell actual lollipop wrappers because for some reason these were the only ones I could find.

Here's your end product....

Nice, huh?  And they taste really good too. :)  The perfect Easter treat for your snuggle bunnies.  Enjoy!

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