Ever wanted to make lollipops, but thought you needed a special mould to make them? Me, neither ... until I spotted this recipe. You can pour these lollipops freehand and they will pretty much self-form nice circles, with only a few less than perfect (as you can see above in the bottom lolly).
This is a recipe that (according to Oh! You Cook!, not an authoritative source) the silicon baking mat was invented for. The lollipops will *pop* off so easily, you will kiss yourself (or whoever gave one to you) for owning this miracle of a mat.
Despite the massive amount of Amaretto required (1/4 cup plus a little extra), the taste remains mild. I suggest not giving one to your favorite child. Not because of all that booze (almost all the alcohol boils off from the long boil-time and the small amount added after is equivalent to using extract), but because these babies are too good for the kiddies.
based on Leite's Culinaria
yield: 16 lollipops
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon Amaretto (almond liqueur)
2 Tbl. cold water
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbl. light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
16 lollipop sticks
Place a baking mat on a baking sheet. Set aside.
Over medium-high heat, mix together the 1/4 cup of Amaretto, the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves completely.
When mixture comes to a boil, insert candy thermometer and continue to boil, without stirring, until the temperature reaches to 300F, about 12-15 minutes.
TIP ALERT! If you use a candy thermometer with a built-in alarm, set it for a degree or two less than the temp you need. That way, in case you have to wander off, you will be less likely to overcook the mixture.
Remove pan from the heat, and stir in remaining 1 teaspoon Amaretto. Working quickly, gently eyeball out about a 2-inch circle of syrup; immediately place a lollipop stick about halfway up and twist it around so that it’s fully covered in syrup. Repeat with remaining syrup and sticks.
Let cool completely. Don't cheat or you will end up with a lolly like this ...
... instead of this.
Gently peel up lollipops from mat. Store in a single layer between wax paper sheets in an airtight container.
Or wrap individually in small candy bags. Store at room temperature.