Spring is in the air in a big way here in the North Carolina mountains. The days are getting longer, there are now more warm days than cold ones, and everyone just seems to be in a good mood. It’s awesome.
So, to celebrate Spring, Jason has been wanting to make something cute and bunny-shaped. So he decided that he wanted to try his hand at hard candy. We found some adorable little bunny lolly pop molds, and this is what he came up with:
Now, since we try to use as many natural ingredients as we can, and since all the candy recipes we found called for a lot of artificial colors and flavors, we weren’t sure what to do. But Amanda, my boss, suggested trying fruit juice in a hard candy recipe to replace the water, flavoring, and color. So we tweaked some old-school recipes , and we were really pleased with the results.
If you want to make these Bunny Lollipops with Real Fruit Juice at home, you’re going to need:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup (organic, if you can find it)
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons pure fruit juice (we used a blend of cranberry and blackberry)
1/8 teaspoon citric acid (we used Tart and Sour Flavor Enhancer, from LorAnn)
So what you do is:
1. Wipe two lollipop molds with a clean soft dishcloth to remove any dust. Lightly coat the insides of the molds with nonstick cooking spray and insert sticks.
2. Stir together sugar, corn syrup, and juice in a medium-size saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, swirling the pan once or twice. Cook to 300ºF (hard-crack stage) and immediately remove from heat.
3. Allow the bubbling to subside, then check the temperature and cool to 260ºF. Now add the citric acid and swirl the pot to incorporate.
4. Spoon mixture into molds, filling all the way to the top.
5. Allow lollipops to harden at room temperature for about 30 minutes before unmolding. Transfer to wax paper and cool completely. Yield: 8-12 suckers, depending on your mold.
It’s as easy as that! We definitely expected this to be a project we regretted starting at 9:00 pm, but by 10:15 we had awesome, adorable, fruit-flavored lollipops!
Oh, and this recipe is really customizable. If you want a different flavor, you can make them with any kind of clear juice you want. And if you want a sour lollipop, just up the citric acid to 1/4 teaspoon per batch.
Doesn’t someone in your life deserve these? Make them and sit back basking in the adoration of your loved ones today!