Lollipops, even for the most novice candy maker, are very simple to make. As a precaution, adults should handle the melted sugar because it is very hot. Children, however, can arrange the lollipop sticks, direct the color and flavoring choices, and lift the cooled lollipops from the baking sheet. Lollipop sticks can be purchased at craft stores or from candy-making supply shops.
Yield: Makes 18 lollipops
5 tablespoons butter
½ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 teaspoon cherry or mint extract
6 to 8 drops red or green food coloring, or as desired
Using 1 tablespoon of the butter, grease a large baking sheet. Arrange 18 lollipop sticks on the sheet, allowing at least 2½ inches between each stick.
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, corn syrup, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Insert a candy thermometer in the mixture and cook, stirring, until the thermometer reads 270°F. Remove from heat and stir in the flavoring and food coloring.
Let cool for about 1 minute, or just until the syrup is easily pourable, but slightly thickened and able to hold its shape once poured.
Drop 1 tablespoon syrup onto the end of each stick, alternating ends.
Let cool thoroughly before lifting, about 10 minutes. To store, wrap each lollipop in clear cellophane and tie with a ribbon, Pack in an airtight tin, where they will keep for up to 3 weeks.