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Patriotic Sprinkle Lollipops

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Sprinkle lollipops are one of those candies that doesn’t look that hard to make.  I see beautiful varieties in different mold shapes and colorful additions in stores all of the time.  It’s really just molded sugar.  How hard can that be, right?  

They are also one of those classic candies that kids adores.  How many times do we go to the hair dresser and the kids think they’ve struck gold when I let them choose the lollipop.

But, what’s not to love?  Melted sugar, flavoring, sprinkles.  It’s sounds so dreamy.

And this delicious candy also makes a wonderful party favor and treat.  You can even customize your sprinkle lollipops to match any celebration theme and event.  Think pink sprinkles for a baby shower.  Or red and green for Christmas.

I was so excited to try out my lollipop making skills with these patriotic sprinkle lollipops.  We tend to visit family during Fourth of July and I love to bring my nieces and nephews a little something special.  These sprinkle lollipops are perfect.  They are patriotic and yummy to eat.  

You can also use them as a favor or party treat at your Fourth of July party.  Add them as a special sweet on your dessert table, hand them out as party favors as guests leave or even bring them along as a treat for the Fourth of July parade.  

Now, I had my doubts about making my own lollipops.  I’ve attempted some candy making before.  I’ve created black tie truffles, chocolate mustache lollipops (chocolate lollipops are a little easier, but not as much fun) and every year (when there is snow) we make maple on the snow

It turns out that making maple on the snow is not that different from making lollipops.  The boiling temperature is a little lower so you get more of a taffy candy than a hard crack (as professional lollipop makers call it) version.  Otherwise, you are still boiling sugar at a very hot temperature.

I will also suggest that this isn’t a project I would do with my kids.  Very hot boiling sugar and tiny fingers doesn’t seem like a good combination.  Even sprinkling the final jimmies on top before they harden seems daring.

If you do want your kids to help, I recommend the set up portion.  You can have them spray the lollipop molds, lay down the lollipop sticks and add the first layer of sprinkles.  They can also help make the patriotic sprinkles mixture ahead of time.  From there on, though, watching from a distance is probably best.

The other note of caution when candy making is using an old pot.  After you have finished melting the sugar and filling the lollipop molds, clean up can be complicated.  The remaining candy mixture can harden quickly and it might not come out for several days.

I usually soak the pot in hot water and then remove it in layers.  There are other suggestions here.  But, whatever you do, don’t use a pot that you love.  If the candy remnants don’t come out in the end, you might lose the pot.  

That being said, I have never had a pot get completely ruined by my candy making adventures.  Only messy for awhile.  

Next, let’s talk sprinkles.  You can find many awesome patriotic sprinkles mixes (affiliate) online.  When choosing a sprinkles combination, aim for smaller sprinkles.  The larger ball sprinkles don’t work nearly as well as the jimmies of non-pareils.   

If you can’t find a mix that you like (or don’t have time for delivery), you can also make your own.  I used red and blue jimmies, white non-pareils and the patriotic stars.  It worked great.  

Okay, so are you ready to make some patriotic sprinkle lollipops?  Check out the recipe below.  And I promise, they really aren’t that hard to make.

You Will Need:

Cooking Spray (I used my normal olive oil spray, but you could also try this special baking edition from Wilton)

2 cups of sugar

2/3 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

Patriotic Sprinkles Mix (affiliate) or make your own

Flavoring (Optional – 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or other summer flavor – strawberry, watermelon or even root beer)

Food Coloring (Optional – I love the look of the clear lollipops with the sprinkles inside.  But you could color the lollipops in red or blue to make them even more patriotic.)

Candy Thermometer (affiliate)

12 Six Inch Lollipop Sticks

2 Round Lollipop Molds (affiliate) – I discovered through this experience that lollipop molds are not built with efficiency in mind.  There is only room to make six lollipops in one mold.  So, to make 12 lollipops you will need 2 lollipop molds.  This set of two lollipop molds is the best deal that I’ve found.  I wish I would have planned in advance.  And the silicone material makes it easier to pop out the lollipops without breaking them.

1. Spray the lollipop molds with cooking spray.  Place a lollipop stick into each of the lollipop cavities.

2.  If you can’t find a patriotic sprinkles mix at your local crafts store, you can create your own.   For my mix, I chose red and blue jimmies sprinkles, white nonpareil balls and sprinkle stars. 

I used one tablespoon of each type and mixed them together.

3.  Before making the sugar mixture, add some of the sprinkles into each mold.  This will guarantee that your sprinkles will be evenly dispersed in the lollipop.

4.  Combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup of water in a pot over medium heat.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot to monitor the temperature as it heats.

5.  Bring the sugar mixture to a boil.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Dip the pastry brush in water and wash the down the edges of the pot as the mixture boils.  This prevents the sugar crystals from forming on the edge the pot and makes clean up a little easier.

6.  Boil for 5 to 7 minutes watching the candy thermometer carefully.  You don’t want the temperature to increase too quickly or you could end up with caramel. 

7.  Wait until the mixture reaches between 275 degrees and 310 degrees – somewhere between the soft and hard crack stages.  I took mine off at 275 degrees because I wanted a clearer sugar.  I noticed that the longer the sugar mixture boiled, it started looking a little bit more like caramel.    

8.  Remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool a little.  It needs to stop its rapid boil process.  The sugar mixture should be clear and glossy.

9.  Spoon the sugar mixture into your lollipop molds carefully.  It’s still very hot.  Use a metal spoon for less sticking and be sure not to overfill the molds.

10.  After your molds are filled, sprinkle each lollipop with additional sprinkles.  Leave the lollipops to harden for 2 to 3 hours.

Once your lollipops are completely cooled, pop them out of the molds.  You can serve them as a dessert for the kids at your Fourth of July party.  Or wrap each lollipop in a small cello bag, tie with baker’s twine and hand out as Fourth of July party favors. 

You can also just enjoy them yourself.  They are an enjoyable sweet treat after a long summer day of play.  Enjoy!

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