Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hey Sucker!

The candy-making in my family during the holidays is quite astounding. For generations, the women on my mom's side of the family have been making hard candies, toffee, truffles... the list goes on and on. But these lollipops are so colorful and fun, I just had to include them on this blog. The molds for these suckers were a cherished item of my grandmother's (she even engraved her name into the sides so there was no question as to who they belonged to) - along with her special candy-making pot that has spouts for easy pouring. My mom inherited the gear, and thus the tradition. Of course, you don't need these industrial-grade molds, nor the Christmas spirit to make these suckers - they're a great, fun, easy treat any time of year that's always a big hit with the kids. And - according to my Uncle Randy, a big hit with the ladies, too! (He used to borrow grandma's molds and have sucker-making date nights. Inexpensive, interactive, domestic... according to him, a winner every time!)

Grandma's Suckers
Contributed by Judy Angell
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon artificial flavoring (cinnamon, butterscotch, cherry, grape, etc.)
  • Artificial coloring, to desired amount*
  • 1/8 teaspoon citric acid dissolved in 1 teaspoon water (optional)**
Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook on medium-high until mixture registers 300 degrees on a candy thermometer (hard crack stage). Remove from heat and let cool to 275 degrees. Add flavoring and coloring. Pour into greased molds, insert lollipop sticks. Set molds on a greased surface in case of overflows. Allow candy to cool and set completely prior to removing from molds.

*To make opaque colors, add 1/2 teaspoon liquid white food coloring.

**Citric acid is added to enhance fruit flavors and give a more tart flavor. Add at the same time as the flavoring.

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