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Root beer and vanilla bean lollipops

Certain foods seem to have sprung, ready-made, from a cosmic conveyor belt to the dining table. Ketchup? It comes from a factory in Pennsylvania. Goldfish crackers? From Pepperidge Farms, right? And lollipops? Worcestershire sauce? Only God can make those. But ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Makes 48 small lollipops
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon root beer candy oil (available at candy supply stores)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 2 to 3 drops brown food coloring
  • 48 lollipop sticks (available at candy supply stores)

Step 1In a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the corn syrup, 1 cup water, sugar, and lemon juice. Place over high heat and stir, with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes to a boil, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high and wash any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization (don't allow crystals to go into the candy mixture). Do not stir from this point on. Place a candy thermometer in the saucepan. Cook the sugar mixture until it reaches 300 degrees or "hard crack" stage, about 30 minutes.

Step 2Immediately remove the pan from the heat, remove the thermometer and add the root beer oil, vanilla bean seeds and food coloring. Swirl to incorporate the flavorings and coloring into the sugar mixture. Let the bubbles subside before pouring the hot mixture into the molds.

Step 3To form the lollipops, use either molds or a Silpat mat. If using a mold, pour the hot syrup into the pan-sprayed molds, filling each one to the top. Let the sugar mixture cool for 3 to 4 minutes, until it reaches a tacky consistency. Insert the lollipop sticks, supporting them upright, and let cool completely. If using a Silpat mat, pour the hot syrup onto the Silpat mat, forming 2-inch rounds. Insert a lollipop stick into each round, and let cool completely. Best served the same day; they will get sticky overnight.

Note: From Scooter Kanfer-Cartmill of Naya. In addition to root beer, we recommend tangerine and grapefruit flavors. You will need plastic candy molds or a Silpat mat on flat sheet tray, and pan spray if using the molds.
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