Sunday, October 24, 2010

Basic Hard Candy

When the librarian at school asked my class to make 500 lollipops for Halloween, I somehow thought that sounded like a good idea. In reality, it has turned into cut fingers from handling sugar shards and spending every spare moment either making lollipops or packaging them. It's been a fun experience and the two kids in the advanced class have enjoyed making them, but I think we're all ready for it to be over!!
Thanks to Gram and Granddad (I think Gdad was the taste tester in this situation:) and their extensive research, we are plugging along on these. I remember that Gram used to make them when we were growing up, so I asked her for her recipe, and she went all out and even made a batch herself to check on yield and flavorings. Then, she even emailed me a picture of them!! So helpful!
The best part of this whole experience is that I discovered a cake shop that I have never been to. When I walked in and breathed in the scent, I knew I'd have to go back--it had everything a baker or candy maker could ever want or need!
We used the basic Lorann Oils recipe and have been flavoring them a bunch of different fun flavors and coloring them colors that have nothing to do with their flavors. Hey, they're high schoolers, they'll like whatever flavor they get!!
Thanks for your help, Gram!

Basic Hard Candy Recipe
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup clear corn syrup
3/4 cup water
oil flavorings (they suggest 1 tsp per batch)
colorings (takes us about 8 drops to get the right coloring)
Blend sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until the mixture reaches about 280. You need it to hit 290, and it will do that when you remove it from the heat since it's still so hot. If it doesn't, stick it back on the stove and be sure it hits 290. (we didn't let it hit 290 with one batch and our taste tester about lost a tooth because they were so sticky!!)
After the bubbles have subsided, flavor and color as desired. Work quickly and stir minimally, because as you stir, the mixture cools and gets sticky.
Pour into lollipop molds (those metal ones work the BEST!) and let cool (takes about 20 minutes). Package in airtight containers.
*oh, and whatever you do, don't put your face over the hot pot after you have already flavored it--you will clear your sinuses plus breathe in cherry all day long!

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