1 c. sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. flavoring
1/2 tsp. Citric Acid (optional)
Grease inside of molds with shortening or non-stick cooking spray. Position lollipop sticks in trays.
In saucepan, briefly stir together sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to full boil over medium heat, until mixture reaches 280 degrees (hard crack stage). Remove from heat and allow to stand until bubbles have simmered down. Add flavoring and color and stir until blended. Pour into molds on flat surface. Allow to cool until candy is set.
For extra special lollipops, use embellishments such as sprinkles, frosting (royal icing) or candies for decoration. Sprinkles can be placed in molds before candy liquid is poured. Frosting should be applied after lollipop has cooled. Candy can be attached using royal icing.
Here are some additional things I’ve learned from making suckers that might be helpful to others:
1. Use 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. flavoring depending on concentrations of flavoring. Oils are stronger than regular flavorings or extracts.
2. Citric acid may be added to fruit flavors to add tartness. Use 1/2 tsp dissolved in 1 tsp water. Add at same time as flavoring.
3. Suckers can be stored properly with plastic sucker bags secured with twist ties or scotch tape. Remember to label sucker with appropriate flavor.
4. Lollipop molds are not necessary. To improvise, line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour liquid onto paper into desired shapes and sizes. Insert sucker sticks. Let cool.
5. Once liquid candy arrives at desired temperature (280 degrees), it will continue to cook and the temperature will rise even if the burner is turned off. To reverse this, removed from burner and place saucepan over a bowl filled with cold water. If candy hardens and thickens too quickly, warm over hot water or microwave in microwave safe bowl.
6. Use caution when making lollipops with children. Liquid candy will be extremely hot.
7. An aromatic steam will be released when flavoring is added to hot mixture. Use caution not to put face into steam as some flavors such as cinnamon or peppermint could burn throat and eyes.
8. To clean saucepan after making suckers, fill pan with water and let soak until remnants dissolve.