Rock Candy Recipe
It was a case of a rock star gone pop. Lollipop, that is.
My girls were raving fans of a successful experiment we did out of a science kit, growing rock candy crystals in a jar. In that experiment we hung a sugar-coated string down into some sugar syrup, which results in crystals coating the string and jar. But when you all told me on facebook that you wanted a Spinning Cook rock candy recipe, I knew that it had to be lollipops.
The biggest complaint I’ve seen regarding other rock candy recipes, is that they sometimes don’t successfully form crystals, or take a really long time to do so. While I hate to criticize, many recipes simply have the wrong sugar ratio, or unclear instructions. But you and your young scientists deserve a reliable outcome. I can assure you that after extensive testing, this method works. It has also been simplified down to a minimum of steps; follow them carefully and you’ll have a household of happy scientists.
|Rock Candy Lollipops Recipe|| || |
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups white sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- food coloring (optional)
- ½ teaspoon flavor extract, such as cherry or vanilla
- Special Equipment:
- 2-3 small to medium heat-proof canning jars (jelly jars work well)
- 4-12 round bamboo skewers or cake pop sticks
- clothespins or tongue depressors, for holding the sticks
- 2-3 small plastic bags
- Start heating the water in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Pour the sugar into the center of the pan, and continue to heat without stirring, until it boils. Let it continue to boil rapidly for two full minutes, then remove it from the heat. The syrup should now be clear, not cloudy or grainy (if it is not clear, continue boiling for another minute or two).
- Carefully pour the hot syrup into your canning jars to an equal depth, which should be at least 3 inches in each jar. Add the flavoring extract to the jars (you can use different flavors in each, but ½ teaspoon is about right for the total amount). Add a different type of food coloring to each jar, and give each jar a quick stir. Cover each jar loosely with a small plastic bag.
- Dip each stick into the syrup about three inches, then sprinkle it on all sides with granulated sugar over a piece of parchment paper or wax paper (you don't want these sugar crystals getting into the jars at this point). Set the sticks on the parchment or wax paper to dry. Set the timer for one hour, which will allow the syrup to cool while the sticks are drying.
- After an hour has passed, use a spoon to gently lift off any hard coating which has formed on the surface of the syrup in the jars and discard (don't scrape or chip away, just lift away the big chunks). Next, prepare the sticks to be inverted down into the syrup. If you only want 2-3 lollipops per jar you can simply pinch each stick with a clothespin, and set the clothespins across the mouth of the jar. If you want to make more than this, use tongue depressors, two-sided tape, and scotch tape as follows. Apply two-sided tape to two wooden tongue depressors, place three lollipop sticks between them with the tape facing in, and then wrap scotch tape around the two tongue depressors to hold them tight. Using either tongue depressors or clothespins to hold them, now place the sugared sticks down into the syrup so they are at least ½ inch from the bottom of the jar. Cover each jar again with the plastic bag.
- Place the jars somewhere out of the way, and gently jiggle them about once per day to ensure that they are not connecting to crystals on the bottom, top, or sides of the jar (or each other). Wait 3-5 days for the lollipops to reach your desired size, then remove, and dry for a couple of hours before serving. Drying can be done on wax or parchment paper, or hanging inside a clean jar to avoid a flat spot. If using long bamboo skewers, these should now be trimmed down to a reasonable handle size of 3-4 inches. Once fully dried the lollipops can be kept indefinitely in a sealed container.