This recipe, a version of which appears in the Candy Cookbook, can be flavored any way you like. Don't substitute a flavored extract for the flavored oil, though; its taste will be diminished when it's added to the hot sugar. These lollipops are best when made on a dry day, as humidity may prevent the candy from hardening properly.
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 2⁄3 cup light corn syrup
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. flavored oil, such as cherry or lime
- 15 drops food coloring, such as red or green
- 30 (4"-long) lollipop sticks
Grease 2 large sheet pans with canola oil. Arrange lollipop sticks on the pans, spacing them about 3" apart; set aside.
Put sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1 cup water into a medium pot; stir until well combined. Cover pot and bring sugar mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Uncover pot and attach a candy thermometer to the inside edge. Cook, without stirring, until candy registers 310° (the hard-crack stage; see Cooking Sugar), about 15 minutes. Immediately remove pot from heat and quickly stir in flavored oil and food coloring. Working quickly, spoon about 2 tbsp. of the sugar syrup over the top of each lollipop stick to form 2"–3" circles. (If the syrup gets too stiff to spoon out, reheat over medium heat for a minute or two until it becomes easy to work with again.)
Set lollipops aside in a cool, dry spot to let rest until they've hardened. Serve immediately, wrap individually, or arrange in a single layer in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry spot for up to a week.