Homemade Old-Fashioned Candy with a Huge Nostalgia Factor
This recipe and the Dot Candy from Sweet Thingsby Annie Rigg caught my eye right away for the nostalgia factor. As I read her description it brings me back to about age 10 when I used to frequent a “penny” candy store during the summers near the shore. Even back then not many of the candies were an actual penny, but that didn’t dissuade us from pulling out our nickels, dimes and quarters. Making these at home takes some attention to detail, but you and your friends and family will be amazed at the result. The citric acid might seem like an odd ingredient, but it is what gives the powder dip its incomparable and addictive sourness. Also check out the homemade Dot Candy.
Excerpted with permission from Sweet Thingsby Annie Rigg. Kyle Books 2014. Photographs by Tara Fisher
This recipe is pure nostalgia. I have vivid memories of eating powdered candy from little packages with a lollipop dipper. Somehow one always used to run out before you could finish the other—usually the stick went first and then you tipped the powder right from the package into your mouth for a full-on sugar fizz sensation. Look for lollipop molds in different shapes and sizes and remember to grease them well. You could also make free-form lollipops by spooning the syrup onto greased parchment paper.
- 2½ cups superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons citric acid
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- a few drops of lemon or orange extract
- yellow and pink food coloring pastes
- natural raspberry flavoring
- sunflower oil, for greasing
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon orange or lemon extract
- red or pink food-coloring paste
- 12-hole small lollipop mold (optional)
- sugar thermometer
- lollipop sticks
- Make the powder first. Tip the superfine sugar into the bowl of a food processor and blend for 1 minute until the sugar is finely ground. Add the citric acid and baking soda and blend again to combine thoroughly. Pour half of the powder into a bowl and set aside. Add a few drops of lemon (or orange) extract to the food processor bowl and a tiny amount of yellow food-coloring paste. Blend again until thoroughly combined and the powder turns a delicate pastel color. Remove from the food processor and repeat with the reserved powder, this time adding pink food coloring and raspberry flavoring. Store in airtight jars until ready to serve.
- Grease the lollipop molds with sunflower oil or line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper.
- Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the cream of tartar and ¾ cup water and warm over medium heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring frequently. Pop the sugar thermometer into the pan and bring the syrup to a boil. Continue to cook steadily over medium heat until the syrup reaches 310°F on the sugar thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the extract and a tiny amount of food-coloring paste to the syrup, and stir until evenly mixed.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared molds and place a stick in each lollipop. If you don’t have lollipop molds, simply leave the syrup to cool and thicken slightly, then spoon onto greased parchment paper in neat circles and place a lollipop stick into the middle of each circle. Leave to set until solid and completely cold before removing from the molds or parchment.
- To serve, pour the powder into little jars or pretty waxed bags and serve with the lollipop dippers.
- Store: The powder will keep for up to 1 month in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place. Lollipops are best served 1–2 days after making and can be stored in individual cellophane bags at cool room temperature.