Jacques Torres, the pastry chef at Le Cirque 2000, shares his recipe and technique for these sweet favorites.
Source: Martha Stewart Living Television
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- Lollipop molds of your choice
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 5 drops flavored oil of your choice
- 1 drop food coloring of your choice
Lightly spray each mold with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Use your fingers to spread the spray around inside the mold and into all its little crevices. Set the prepared molds aside while you cook the sugar.
Combine sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a 2-quart heavy-bottom saucepan, and place over medium-high heat. The corn syrup will make the cooked sugar harder and crunchier. It will also help prevent the cooked sugar from melting as quickly. Stir the sugar mixture gently and slowly to ensure that it cooks evenly (if you do not stir it, there will be hot spots where the sugar will cook faster than in the rest of the mixture). Dip a clean pastry brush in cold water, and brush the inside of the pan clean several times as the sugar cooks to prevent the sugar from recrystallizing. Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture, and cook until mixture is 310 degrees to 320 degrees, known as the "hard-crack" stage.
Remove the pan from the heat, and pour sugar mixture into a heatproof measuring cup with a spout. Add the desired flavoring and food coloring to the hot sugar, and carefully stir it in using a wooden skewer or chopstick. Immediately pour the hot sugar into the molds, filling them to the top. Set the sticks in place by inserting them just far enough to be secure within each mold. Set the molds aside to allow the sugar to cool completely. When cooled, simply pop out the lollipops.