Do you call these lollipops or suckers? I grew up calling them lollipops, although it seems like suckers may be more common.
I also grew up saying soda, although my mom’s side of the family called it sodapop or just pop.
Whatever you like to call hard candy on a stick, they are easy to make and so much fun when you use these nifty molds!
A year or so ago, a friend showed me a homemade lollipop that was unlike any I had seen before. It was a beautiful train, and when I decided that I wanted to make my own, I asked her if she could show me how she did it.
She graciously invited me over to make a batch of lollipops with her. (Or as she calls them, suckers.)
The key to the neat shapes were metal molds that her mother passed down to her.
Now, one of my many weaknesses is all things food/kitchen/serving related. When I discovered that these lollipop molds existed, I had to have them!
As you can imagine, the recipe is straightforward, but I’ll share some tips and tricks that I learned from my experience and also from my friend.
Total time to make these lollipops is about an hour. That is because it takes at least 30 minutes for the sugar to come to temperature. You need the recipe to reach the hard crack stage, which is 300 degrees.
While you are waiting for this to happen, you can prepare the molds.
The molds come in packs of 10. In each pack there is a metal shape and then a little metal bracket thing. You place the bracket over the end of the mold, and then place a lollipop stick through it.
Place the molds in a circle on the back of a level cookie sheet and spray everything with cooking spray.
The shorter lollipop sticks (4.5 inches) are the best length for these lollipops.
After the recipe has risen to 300 degrees, take it off the heat and let it cool to 275 degrees. At that point, add your food coloring and flavoring.
I chose cherry flavor since all three of my kids love that flavor. But man, my house smelled like a cough drop factory!
Having them in a circle facilitates the pouring of the candy since you can just move from one mold to the next with minimal mess.
As you can see, it took me a little practice to get it down!
However, don’t despair!
Even these ones that were super messy I was able to salvage. The spilled parts broke off easily, leaving me with nice, neat-looking lollipops!
To package them up, put a little treat bag over the top and then seal with tape. I used washi tape because I have a ton of it and it is easy to tear off later.
I bought these treat bags from Gygi’s as well, but I did not like them that much. They are poly bags (instead of celo) which means they are not as sparkly-clear. Also, they have this very unattractive seam at the top. Not such a big deal, but I will not be buying more of these style bags.
Silicone molds also work fantastic for making hard candy lollipops.
A few additional tips:
- It is best to remove the molds while the lollipops are still warm, but not so hot that you burn your hands.
- One recipe makes about 12-15 lollipops.
- I found that about 1/2 of a 1-dram bottle of concentrated candy flavoring was the right amount for one recipe.
- Prepare more lollipop molds than you think you will need, just in case. You don’t want to pour all of your lollipops and then discover that you have extra candy and no molds prepared!
- I simply wiped off the cooking spray from the lollipops after they had cooled completely with a clean paper towel.