My sister Suzy has made these before and I wanted to eat them all myself, so I’ve been wanting to make some of my own. Tonight I finally got around to it. (Then I couldn’t wait until morning for better light before I blogged about it. This falsely implies that I take good photos in good light–but at least the photos would have been brighter if I had waited).
I used this recipe:
See’s Candy Butterscotch Lollipops
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 lollipop sticks
12 shot glass- size molds
Combine the first four ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture boil until it reaches 310ºF on a cooking thermometer (this is called the hard-crack stage), or until a small amount dropped in cold water separates into hard, brittle threads. Stir in the vanilla, then remove from the heat.
Coat the molds with nonstick spray and pour the mixture in. (If you are using shot glasses, be sure to cool the mixture first so that the glass won’t crack.) Place a small piece of aluminum foil over each mold and press a lollipop stick or popsicle stick in the center. When cool, remove from molds.
Makes 1 dozen lollipops.
(I would credit the recipe, but since I found the identical recipe in several places on the internet, I’m not sure which was the original source.)
As you can see, I used lollipop molds instead of shot glasses, and the recipe doubled made just under 3 dozen.
Get your molds ready ahead of time, because once the mixture is cooked, you have to work fast. It’s best to use a candy thermometer, since you don’t have a lot of time to test the hardness by dropping candy into water when it’s close to the right temperature. At 310ºF, the toffee will be very dark and viscous. I sprayed the insides of my molds with cooking spray. I also placed the molds quite close together, with the sticks pointing away from each other, to make it easier to pour the candy by moving quickly from one mold to the next.
I used regular whipping cream instead of heavy cream, because that’s what I had on hand, and my resident chemist said it wouldn’t matter. Maybe some time I’ll try it the other way to compare. These turned out delicious, but maybe heavy cream would make them even deliciouser.
Update: I just did a little research and a little math, and even if you didn’t get your whipping cream on sale, these are much cheaper than See’s.
2nd update: For the next batch, Dean talked me into adding orange oil and citric acid instead of vanilla. They’re pretty good–although I think I like plain toffee better. (Dean and Mabel are saying they need even more orange flavor, but then that would drown out the toffee flavor completely, and what would be the point?)
3rd update: In case you miss seeing this tip in the comments, Suzy says that at our Utah high altitude, testing her candy thermometer in boiling water (to find out what boiling temperature is so far above sea level) showed that the candy should be cooked to about 12 degrees lower than what recipes say. (Water boils at 212ºF at sea level, but at about 200ºF in our part of Utah.) Also: the above recipe calls for the candy to be cooked to 310ºF, but another lollipop recipe I have calls for 300ºF, and I don’t know if it’s because cream needs to be cooked longer, or somebody just likes their candy a little harder and more brittle. So you’ll have to decide for yourself which temperature to aim for. (I’ll update if I learn more from testing.)
4th update: I ust found a site that says the hard-crack stage is from 300º-310ºF, so I think from now on I’ll aim for the low end of that range. (Which, subtracting 12 degrees for Utah’s lower boiling temperature, would make me aim for 288ºF.) I think the syrup will be easier to work with this way–and also won’t smell slightly burnt. My previous lollipops fortunately didn’t taste burnt, but they did smell a little overdone.