Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homemade Lollipops

As you can imagine, everything does not go the way it's etched out, displayed all pretty in the back of one's mind. The other day, I had about 18 different things running through my head, unique ideas to post, creative models to click, conceptualizing the truckload of ingredients hauled from the store finding way into every corner of my kitchen, unable to reach any sort of palatable destiny (sigh.). Further to, there sits largely untouched the dried fruit bounty, those of which star in my greatest year end production ( read*bomb* referral that ended my last post). And while I'm getting there, yes, I will and shall, I thank you friends for the patience you possess, in coming over to page through and say hello. Who can deny, really life's rolls and dips? Where some months, more than not (the not's in December quite evident, right?) seem to ring in a tide and frequency of their own. But I assure, in these few weeks working to the holidays, all the stuff up there will download over to this hyperbright screen, typed and published to go.

So where shall we go? To two simple, sweet ingredients that get metamorphosed to translucence, and perched to sit atop paper sticks. Here it is, a most awesome, straightforward lesson in homemade lollipops.

At one point in my life I held major grievance on boiling sugar for confection's sake on the stove top in my own kitchen. With more misses than hits and dangerously so, my fifteen minutes of candymaking  would end in clunkers too hard, and so beyond chewy. Tough, sweetened mass which would inevitably lodge into the recesses of one's molars for several hours, either to melt or eventually resurface as choking hazard.

Indeed, it was Christmas of last year, that I knew I had arrived, on just the right amounts of sugar and  syrup mixed to certain confection perfection. The miracle of the candy thermometer was the sole essential, and my new best friend, that stopped me in my disastrous tracks from further designing nuggets of concrete, and instead pave the way to a new and improved lollipop structure. Here, be the wholesome candy (if there is such a thing) I so desperately wanted to eat make.

That being said, this is just about the easiest in terms of staple ingredients; one- sugar, two-corn syrup. Assuming the water you pour in is free, so, it has not been counted. Instructionally, your time spent will be stirring these few ingredients, boiling those to a melt, followed by that 10 or so minute simmer, pulling through to a faultless 295° F,  pre-hard crack stage. This syrup will then be poured to shape, set with a stick, finalizing in on 10 delightfully crisp lollipops.

Candy making is more like a sport. Deft hands and swift motions are musts, all to a tune of refined exactitude. Astuteness to reach the desired end product that best resembles molded glass creations will be your ideal goal. Pouring in right amounts of translucent gorgeous at breakneck speed into molds, maybe cookie cutters, even trying a hand at free form art requires NBA precision. Ready, set, go!

Say hello to your newly developed skill, and may the knowledge of the lollipop keep you fa-la-la'ing all season long.

Beautiful enough to be framed, instead theirs was a destiny of crunch destruction, all by some very happy mouths.

Ingredients:
(Recipe Adapted from here)
  • 1 c sugar
  • ½ c light corn syrup
  • ¼ c water
  • ½ tsp flavor extract of your choice (I used peppermint)
  • Candy thermometer, decorations, cookie cutters, lollipop sticks
Brilliant gift giver you will be to many a gleeful recipient with these enchantingly edible works of art.

Directions:
  • Prepare two or three cookie sheets by lining them with parchment. 
  • Combine sugar, corn syrup and water and boil over medium- high heat. Stir gently until sugar dissolves. 
  • Continue to boil without stirring until mixture comes to boil and reaches 295-300°F on  a candy thermometer.
  • Remove from heat. Let bubbles subside a bit, and pour in flavoring. 
  • Pour into either greased cookie cutters arranged on the parchment lined baking sheets or just free flow into circles of 4" diameter, (1/8 " deep)
  • Immediately top with sprinkles or other decorations.
  • If using cookie cutters, gently pull them out at this point.
  • Press sticks and slightly twirl into the bottom end of candy. Sticks can also be dipped in the melted sugar and glued on.
  • Let cool and take off parchment.
Notes: 
The candy mixture is very hot, having all intention for serious burns. So it's a barehands- no- no, trust me on this, I learned the hard way and numerous times.

You can also mix in color, once it is taken off the heat. for a pretty kaleidoscope effect add bits of color right after pouring in the center of your candy and swirl with a toothpick.

Like I said, a lot happens in quick succession so keep your equipment on hand and ready to go - baking sheets, thermometer, extract, sprinkles, sticks, etc.

Beauties need to wrapped immediately on cooling to avoid picking up moisture. 

Unlike caramel making, sesame chikky and jam, I learned that simply winging it through with eyeball exactness will not reach you the right end. Hard crack perfection happens only when the thermometer reads so. 

******

“From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” Isaiah 43:13(NLT)

6 comments:

  1. the pictures looks damn beautiful.. i could just keep staring at them... gorgeous!!!

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  2. treat for all... u might've enjoyed making it too... unique christmas gift :)
    Noel collections

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Reshmi , yes, it was fun and so easy too.

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  3. What a beautifully presented Christmas present :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!