Hard candy is made of pure sugar – by melting, shaping and cooling it, whatever sugar you like to lick can be transformed from grains to liquid to solid with little effort. Add some wooden stir sticks or lollipop sticks from the craft store and you have your own homemade lollies. How about that?
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. golden or maple syrup
1/4 c. water
a few drops of flavouring oil (optional)
wooden stir sticks or paper lollipop sticks
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, syrup, water and flavouring over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it reaches the hard crack stage (300 to 310°F on a candy thermometer). If you happen to have lollipop moulds, use them, or butter a pan, or line it with parchment or foil.
Let the sugar mixture cool enough so it’s pourable but not too runny; lie the sticks on the sheet and pour puddles of molten sugar over them, enveloping one end of each stick but leaving the other exposed for a handle. Let the lollipops cool, then peel off the parchment or foil. Makes lots, depending on how large they are.