Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homemade Hard Candy Lollies

" Oooo-da-lollie, Oooo-da-loolie, gollie what a day." Does anyone else remember that song? It was on the old Robin Hood Disney movie and every time I ever think of lollies, that's the song that pops in my head. It then stays there for forty-seven days. It may be the sign of a very simple mind, or, I hope some unprecedented sign of unfathomable genius. I'm going with genius until further notice.

My grandma used to make hard candy suckers with her eight grandchildren in a cozy little kitchen in the seventies. We'd dawn gingham and flour sack homemade aprons and gather around her gas stove as she showed us how to boil the syrup. Last week when my sons where in a heated debate over the question, "Can you make candy at home?" I had to interject my know-it-all chefie attitude and tell them about my grandma. Aside from thinking I was just spouting off old stories, they got really quiet. Any chance to keep my prattle mouths quite is well received. So...we headed out to the craft store and quickly picked up a few items needed for homemade candy making. Not because I thought my kids needed more sugar, but because they had a hole in their "fabric of knowledge" when it came to all things foodie related. We most definitely can't have that!

I mentioned in my last post about the oil based flavors.( https://www.lorannoils.com/ ) These are what we use exclusively for hard candy making. I like a fire invoking cinnamon, but the kiddos prefer butterscotch, grape, apple, and English Toffee (to name a few).

Shameless product plug here...but I love it in frosting too. I can't live without it in fudge. My truffles...well, they are well acquainted. It doesn't change the consistency of a frosting, but adds a huge dimension of flavor, since it bonds with the fat. Same with fat in chocolate. I dare say the fat on my patootie probably has a nice infusion. Orson H. Gygi's in Utah has a huge display of them and I almost died when I visited my parents and saw my ol' favorite cooking store full of such a shocking display (in a good way...my patootie was not included on the display rack). Remember the name. Stock up. We use them all the time.
On the back of the package there was a nice little recipe for old fashioned hard candy. Do I really need to type it out or can y'all just read the box? Okay. I'll type it out.

You can find the recipe here:
(Using 1-dram (.125oz) bottles)
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 dram LorAnn flavoring oil (1tsp.*) (or as desired)
LorAnn liquid food coloring (as desired)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Sucker bags (optional)
Twist ties (optional)
Use of a candy thermometer is recommended

*Please note that LorAnn Cinnamon, Clove and Peppermint flavors are particularly potent. You may wish to reduce the amount used for these flavors. I like my cinnamon really hot. My kids go cross eyed and start to spray flame out their ears when they eat my cinnamon-berry pops. This is of course how I keep them from eating too much sugar.

Before you begin, I recommend reading LorAnn's suggestions on candy making found in the "Tips" section of Gourmet Recipes on their website. Hard candy making requires the use of very high cooking temperatures. Caution should be used at all times to avoid being burned. Don't let the kids pour the syrup or stir the pot. Be smart here. Really.
Have all ingredients and tools assembled and within easy reach of the stove. The use of metal spoons and measuring utensils is recommended. Lightly spray cookie sheet* or the cavities of clean, dry candy molds with cooking spray (LorAnn recommend PAM). Insert sucker sticks. (If using two-piece plastic or aluminum molds, insert sticks after candy has been poured into molds.) If using molds, you may also want to spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. If after pouring the candy into the molds you have excess candy, you can pour it onto the foil. We do that almost every time...and end up putting some "free form" circles of candy on the foil and popping in some sticks for suckers without molds. They look really artsy and almost make me homesick.
In a 2-quart kettle or large saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Insert candy thermometer if using, making certain it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, without stirring.
No stirring. I did maybe once, but that was it...and it was just at the beginning. NO stirring after that. Don't do it. You'll get really gritty grainy candy.
Clamp your candy thermometer onto the side of the pan, into the syrup but not touching the bottom of the pan. You want to read the syrup temperature, not the pan temperature, right?
Early in the cooking process, you can "wash down" any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. I use a silicone brush so I don't get any loose hair in there too. Continue to cook the syrup until the temperature reaches 260º F; add color. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup.

Remove from heat precisely at 300° F (temperature will continue rising), or until drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water. After boiling action has ceased, add flavor and stir. USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM.

Pour candy into prepared molds. I lightly spoon it into individual lollie molds. Do not refrigerate.

Cool completely. Remove from molds. Place in sucker bags and secure with twist ties.

There you go. Oooo-da-lollie!


Ann in NL said...

Could you show us what the molds look like? I haven't seen one before so I'm having a hard time picturing it.

Chef Tess said...

Yes, I'll go ahead and pop that into the top of the post. Great question!

Ann in NL said...

Thanks, that helps me picture it...although really your ones made without the mold look pretty good too!

Dolphin Girl said...

Those look SO good Miss Stephanie!!!