There's just something about lollipops that put a smile on people's faces. Well, now you can up your lollipop game by making them with edible flowers encased in the candy. The flowers make them both a tasty and visual treat. Wait a minute, did I just suggest you can make your own lollipops? Yes! They're surprisingly easy to whip up, even if you're a novice Willy Wonka.
Things You'll Need
Sugar, 2 cups
Corn syrup, 2/3 cup
Water, 2/3 cup
Candy flavoring, 1 dram
Step 1: Prepare the Flowers
Flowers from the florist, or even fresh from the nursery, are typically sprayed with pesticides and should never be eaten. Instead, look for organically grown edible flowers. They can be found in plastic containers at higher-end supermarkets like Whole Foods or Gelson's in the fresh herb section of the produce aisle. The petals are the tastiest part of the flower, so separate them from the stems. Besides, individual petals fit into the lollipop mold better than the entire bud.
If you are allergic to flowers, ingesting them can cause a severe reaction. Just because flowers are deemed "edible" does not mean that everyone can eat them.
Step 2: Boil the Sugar Mixture
Add two cups of sugar, 2/3 cup of light corn syrup and 2/3 cup of water to a saucepan. Heat to a boil without stirring.
Allow the mixture to continue boiling until it reaches 300 degrees. It's imperative that you use a candy thermometer, as this temperature must be exact and cannot be estimated. When it reaches 300 degrees, which is considered the "hard crack" temperature, take the pot off the stove and stir. The mixture will be bubbling a lot at this stage. Continue stirring until the bubbles settle down.
Step 3: Add Color and Flavoring
Use an oil-based candy coloring, which you can find in the handmade candy section of your crafts store, or online. Start with a few drops in the heated sugar mixture, and increase the amount as you stir until it is your desired color.
For flavoring, use flavor oils made especially for candy. You can purchase them online in sets of different flavors. They typically come in small 1-dram sizes. Pour the entire dram into the sugar mixture and stir.
Step 4: Prepare the Mold
Silicone lollipop molds make the job so easy. While the sugar mixture is boiling, apply some cooking spray to the mold, and have the edible flowers nearby and ready to go.
Step 5: Spoon Sugar Mixture into Mold
With a spoon, fill the mold halfway with the sugar mixture. Work quickly; I find that the sugar mixture in the saucepan remains liquid and pourable for about ten minutes as long as you keep stirring it.
Step 6: Add Flowers
Place a flower petal, or several smaller petals, in the mold. Use a popsicle stick to press down on the petal.
It helps to have another person help you place the flowers while you pour the sugar mixture. This helper does not need to be an Oompa Loompa.
Step 7: Finish Filling the Mold
Spoon the sugar mixture over the flower petal, filling the mold to the top. If you have drips that extend past the mold, don't worry. Those drips will just snap off when the candy hardens.
Step 8: Insert the Lollipop Sticks
Insert the lollipop stick into the candy, and rotate the stick so it is covered on all sides.
Once all the sticks are inserted, allow your lollipops to harden for about 30 minutes.
Step 9: Pop Out the Lollipops
The lollipops lift right out of the mold when the candy is hardened. Thanks to the mold, you have perfectly shaped lollipops.
For easy clean-up, soak the saucepan in hot, soapy water, and the sugar mixture will dissolve.
Give them as gifts and party favors, or offer them as a novelty dessert for a brunch or dinner party. After all, everyone's a sucker for lollipops.