What are lollipops made out of? As you can well guess, the main ingredient is sugar! It is possible to make lollipops at home, but in addition to having the right recipe and tools, you also need to know how to wrap them. Once you get the hang of it, it's simple to do.
How Manufacturers Make a Lollipop
How is a lollipop made? Manufacturers make them in enormous quantities and start by heating sugar until it dissolves in hot water; this is then combined with corn syrup. That mixture is then heated to about 228 degrees Fahrenheit in a pre-cooker and then sent is to a final cooker. There, it is further heated to 290 degrees Fahrenheit under a vacuum, and the excess moisture is removed.
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Flavoring, color and citric acid (or malic acid) are added next, and the whole batch gets mixed with a machine's mechanical arms. This mixing process distributes color and flavor, removes air bubbles and reduces the temperature. A batch roller extrudes the candy into cones and rolls it out into fat ropes. The ropes are reduced by sizing wheels and are then sent to a forming machine. This forming machine creates the familiar spherical-shaped lollipop heads and inserts the paper sticks; these machines can produce up to 1,000 lollies a minute.
Making a Lollipop at Home
You can make DIY lollipops at home with only four ingredients, and these treats will taste even better than store-bought ones. You'll need a cup of light corn syrup, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, liquid food coloring and flavored extracts, along with a saucepan, candy thermometer, lollipop molds and lollipop sticks. Add the first two ingredients to a small stainless steel pan and put it on medium-low heat. Occasionally stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and use the candy thermometer to check when the temperature has reached 300 degrees Fahrenheit (hard crack stage). Do not stir the mixture at this point. In the meantime, prepare a few bowls based on the flavors and colors you want, adding drops of your extract and food coloring in each. Pour the mixture into the bowls, stir quickly and then pour it into your molds.
Now, you can set your lollipop sticks into the molds. If you'd like, add sprinkles. It only takes a few minutes for the lollipops to harden.
Adding Your Lollipop Wrappers
Unless you are serving the lollipops shortly after making them, you will want to wrap each one up individually. Clear cellophane wrap will do the job, but you need to cut it into individual pieces. You can secure the bottoms with baking twine, string or pretty ribbons, depending on the aesthetic you're going for. If you are making a large number of lollipops, you can reach out to a few candy supply outlets and order them.
Some lollipop wrappers have built-in closures on the bottoms, which are fast and convenient. You might be able to find some that slide over the tops of the lollipops, which are the easiest to use. Otherwise, you'll want to lay the pops down on the wrappers, cover the candy and tie the bottoms. If you have your own candy business, consider ordering personalized wrappers with your company name on them.