The liquored lollipops took almost no time to make.
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp liquor (vodka, gin, rum,scotch,tequila)
2 tbsp cold water
3/4 c sugar
3 tbsp corn syrup
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp food color (optional)
In a small saucepan, mix together 1/4c of alcohol (I used Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka) with the water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir together using a heatproof spatula and bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, bring mixture to 300F without stirring. It may take 15-20 minutes to reach this temperature which is the hard crack candy stage.
The hard-crack stage is the highest temperature you are likely to see specified in a candy recipe. At these temperatures, there is almost no water left in the syrup. Be careful not to go too much higher. The liquid begins to turn darker in color and if the temperature gets too high, say, 338 degrees, it will turn brown and the sugar will caramelize. Watch out if you hit 350 degrees. The sugar begins to burn and develop a bitter and burnt taste.
*A word of caution. Use a small saucepan. I didn't realized my pot was too big for the amount of ingredients. The candy thermometer barely touched the mixture. I had to tilt the pot to get an more accurate reading. I didn't realize how long it would take for the water to boil off.
Once you reach 300 degrees, remove from heat and work quickly to add any additional alcohol or food coloring. I didn't add any more alcohol - I actually forgot to, both times I made them.
Drop by the tablespoonful onto a silicone pad or mold. Insert a lollipop stick after each one, turning the stick so that it's covered in candy syrup. This recipe makes about 20 lollipops depending on the size of your spoon drop.
|Don't know what happened here with that odd shape|
Let the lollipops cool completely until they are hard. *Be careful when removing from the silicone pad. Mine stuck (suction) to my granite countertop and I had to first lift up the silicone and then remove the pop which was really easy to do.
Store between sheets of parchment paper in an air tight container. The flavor develops more if left for the next day.
|As for adding the food color, I think the amount stated is too much. I wanted blue lollipops for that red, white and blue effect so I added 1/4tsp of blue food coloring.|
Oh, and I ran out of sticks to make red lollipops.
For a more decorative look, you can wrap individually in plastic wrap or cellophane and seal with ribbon or twist ties and store in a cool, dry place.
To my surprise, these lollipops tasted better than a lot of hard candies. They have a subtle and intriguing flavor. One that I enjoyed sucking on. Lick, lick. Crunch, crunch! Yummeeeeee!
The most sophisticated sucker ever!
Enjoy your Fourth! I know I will!
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