In one of the science classes at Kamehameha Schools she shared her knowledge with the students about the “chemistry of candy making.” The students who passed through the Paki science department still remember the haole lady with the Hawaiian hair who made the biggest li hing mui lollipops.
Bubble Gum flavor lollipops, some with giant li hing mui seed
Li hing mui is a salted plum flavored with the flavor of salty, sour and sweet all at the same time. It is an acquired taste but once you are hooked there is no going back. When you place a li hing seed on top of a lollipop there is a blend of flavors that will keep you licking for hours of oral satisfaction. Your brain registers the sensation as pleasure and can cause you to relax.
Li hing Mui is found in Hawaiian and Asian markets.
Lollipops are great for when a pregnant woman is in labor because she cannot have any liquids. A hard candy helps keep the mouth moist. When I sold lollipops at the Lanikai Craft Fair I would give every pregnant woman a free lollipop for labor day.
I will show you how easy it is to make lollipops. I will share my recipe and hope you will try this at home. Now that we are all Ohana I am passing down my family recipe for all to enjoy.
To make lollipops all you need is sugar, corn syrup, water, color, flavor and love. No candy is complete without the love of the person’s heart as they are creating a treat that will make others smile and spread the Aloha Spirit.
2 cups granulated white sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
Food color, as much as needed for the color desired, add after you do step 2
Li hing Mui seed optional
1 teaspoon flavor to be added at the end of cooking
Step 1: Put together the candy molds and spray with PAM spray to grease the molds. If you do not use molds you can make lollipops on a greased cookie sheet and push a lollipop stick into the freshly poured candy.
Step 2: Add sugar, corn syrup and water to a medium saucepan and stir to mix completely. Heat this mixture on the stove on medium-high temperature. Use a candy thermometer to view the temperature of the mixture. Heat the candy mixture until it reaches the temperature of 300 degrees.
Thermometer on side of pot
You can purchase a special candy thermometer at most grocery stores and any gourmet cooking stores for around $3.
Step 3: Add the food coloring. Drop by drops until you get the color you want. Mix colors like red and blue to get a purple color. I use professional food color as it gives a true color and I can get any shade I desire. There is also black food color I use at Halloween for one of my signature designs. You can also use paste type food coloring for deeper colors.
DO NOT COOK PAST 300 degrees. If you go past 300 degrees the candy will turn brown and burn. The candy will take on a burnt taste that no amount of food color or flavoring will take away.
Lollipop flavors,food coloring, sticks, bags
Step 4: When candy is almost to 300 degrees turn off the heat and stay with the pot as the temperature rises quickly at this point. Wait a minute until the bubbles calm and add the candy flavor, usually 1 teaspoon is enough. Candy flavoring is made to withstand high temperatures and keep flavorful. Stir the flavor in slowly and evenly and wait another few minutes to let it incorporate into the hot candy mixture.
Step 5: Pour the hot candy into a large glass measuring cup. You are now ready to pour the cooked candy mixture into your choice of candy molds or onto a greased pan. The metal molds are easiest to work with. The plastic molds give you a 3D shape. There are other lollipop molds that are open to allow the candy to be poured easily. Go slowly and allow the candy to harden as it hits the metal pan. Practice is the only way to get the feel of how to pour candy. I have been making lollipops for 30 years and still have to go slow and be careful. Sometimes I burn a batch of candy or forget to spray the molds and the candy sticks. My first attempt at lollipops were a burnt mess. Contact me with any questions and I will reply. Making lollipops is an art. It looks easier to do than it is. Patience and the willingness and intent will help you get the perfect candy. Some folks are naturals….lucky people.
Step 6: When the candy starts to cool you can place a lollipop stick in the mixture. Again remember the mixture is very hot. When lollipops are fully cooled they will easily slip out of the molds or off the pan. Wrap them in small plastic bags or plastic food wrap. In the Hawaiian humidity the candy will become sticky quickly. Store in a cool, dry place.
Lollipop metal molds
Important Safety Tips:
Please read before making this recipe
Boiling candy reaches temperatures of 300 degrees. Candy is as hot as molten glass and burns the skin the same way. Do not ever attempt to touch hot candy. I touched it once like to test the taste of a sauce. The hot candy stuck to my skin and burned down deep. If you accidentally get splattered you should immediately rinse with cold water and put ice on the burn. Turn off the stove until you are certain that the burn is not serious. Parents please do not allow your children to ever make lollipops unsupervised. Always wear safety kitchen glasses to protect eyes from boiling candy that might splatter.
If you practice caution you should have nothing to fear. Keep your kitchen safe from animals as you are working with hot candy. Having a pet under foot can be daunting.
If your classroom wants a lesson on the Chemistry of Lollipops you can contact Liz Rizzo in the email section of this column. Liz is available to come to your school and do a presentation in the classroom. The science of candy is fascinating as well as fun and she can give your students hands on experience and incorporate chemistry is a fun learning environment. Each student will be able to try their hand at lollipop making and have a sample to take home with them. Making lollipops can teach folks math, science, business and home economics all at the same time.
Miz Liz Riz Lollipopz Logo
Liz Rizzo the Lollipop Lady from Lanikai
Have fun and drop me a note about your experiences making candy. I hope you enjoy making lollipops as much as I have and spread the Aloha Spirit by sharing your lollipops.
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I have been blessed with being able to be around Liz and have shared her Lollipops for many years . A most delicious experience .
Liz you are a very special lady and your caring and giving nature comes out in all you do. I am proud to be your friend.
Where can I find all the supplies to make these lollipops? My family is having their first ever family reunion and thought this would be a great fundraiser for my little ones. Thank you for all your great instruction. I hope to succeed!
this beautiful woman is not only a wonderful lollipop maker she taught me to make her deliciouse lollipops when I lived in Arizona and I made a living selling them with my husband at the weekend flea market.
She is a remarkable young woman and all who know her love her but not more than I do. Her Mom Angie
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