Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines Day!

As I'm sure you are all well aware, a very sweet holiday is arriving on Monday of this week.  Everywhere I look lately I see hearts and candy.  Lots of candy.  My wide-eyed daughter saw it too and requested that we make three very specific things for her Daddy for Valentines day (which I'm sure is only slightly selfish in nature):  Lollipops, cookies, and heart-shaped chocolates.  And seeing as I got a candy thermometer and a linzer cookie cut out set for Christmas/Birthday from my ever-supportive mom . . . I said sure!!

So I picked the most interesting of the three to show you . . . lollipops.  I have never made hard candy before because it always looked so difficult.  It turns out that its actually not as bad as it looks.  And its gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and nutt-free.  Now if only it was sugar-free and low-calorie it might be the perfect dessert. :)

Its a short shopping list for lollipops.

Hard Candy Molds
Lollipop sticks
2/3 C Light Corn Syrup (Not pictured)
2 C Sugar
3/4 C Water
1/4 tsp Food Coloring (gel or liquid)
Flavoring Oil - One Dram (LorAnn is a premium retailer)
Spray Vegetable Oil
Candy Thermometer
Small Saucepan (I suggest a 3 or 4 quart)

You begin by lightly oiling the candy molds.  Depending on the size of the molds, you will need several.  The bigger mold pictured you would need at least five, the smaller mold I would say closer to seven.  Since I wasn't sure how much the batch would make, I had four molds (two of each) and a greased cookie sheet.

Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup.  Stir it over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Once its dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil without stirring it by raising the heat.  At this point I would insert the thermometer and clip it to the side of the pan.  The bulb of the thermometer should be submerged in liquid but not touching the bottom of the pan.  

When the temperature on the thermometer reaches 260 degrees, add the food coloring.  Allow the natural boiling of the liquid to disperse the color for you.  

Allow it to continue to boil until 300 degrees and immediately remove it from the heat as the candy temperature will continue to rise while it is still boiling.  Wait until the liquid is no longer boiling, then add the flavoring oil and stir.  

Pour the liquid into the greased molds and/or onto the greased cookie sheet.  In the case of the cookie sheet, score marks for easier breaking later on.  I need some practice to make sure its the correct amount of liquid, but overall this step is fairly self-explanatory.  Put the lollipop sticks in the molds before or after pouring, it didn't seem to have too much of a different outcome.

After 30 minutes to an hour the molds/sheet should be cool enough to remove the candies.  And wha-la!  Lollipops!

And for an added bonus, cover them in little bags and use decorative twist-ties or ribbon to tie them closed.  

My daughter has already eaten two and given many to friends.  What a great gift idea!!

And just for pictures and a few more ideas . . .

Molded Chocolate Candies . . . 

Linzer Cookies (Well actually, sugar cookies with buttercream frosting)

And if you need more ideas check out Bakerella's site and the Pioneer Woman.  That should be enough for you to get the creative juices flowing, right?? :)

Happy Baking!!

Hard Candy / Lollipop
light corn syrup
food coloring
Lightly oil hard candy molds (vegetable oil).
In a large saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Bring mixture to a boil without stirring.
When syrup temperature reaches 260o F, add color. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup.
Remove from heat at 300 degrees or when drops of syrup form hard brittle threads in cold water. (Temperature will continue to rise after removing from heat, so remove precisely at 300 degrees).
After boiling action ceases, add flavoring and stir. USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM.
Pour into lightly oiled candy molds (not chocolate molds), or onto greased cookie sheet and score to mark squares.
When cool, unmold or break into pieces. You can also dust with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Store in airtight containers.
Servings: 24
Degree of Difficulty
Degree of Difficulty: Difficult
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/24 of a recipe (1.2 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe's ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (2%)
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.21g
Saturated Fat 0.03g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6.26mg
Potassium 0.5mg
Total Carbohydrates 23.94g
Fiber 0g
Sugar 19.17g

Protein 0g

1 comment:

  1. Looks so yummy!! ~Mom ♥ ♥ ♥