The liquor store is awesome. Not only can you buy sanity in a bottle, but here in BC, you can also pick up a complimentary copy of ‘TASTE.’ A magazine dedicated to food/drink/more (their words, not mine). You can also find past recipes online. In the Fall 2017 issue, we used the Spooktacular Vodka Pop recipe and the Bloody Mary Soup Shots for our Samhain Party.
For the Vodka Pops, you will need the following:
- 1.25 cup water
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1/2 tsp clear flavouring of your choice (cinammon, peppermint, caramel, etc… – we used caramel)
- gel food colouring (optional)
- Gold flakes (optional)
- silicone mats or lollipop moulds
- lollipop sticks
- candy thermometer
If you’ve never made hard candy before, make sure you use a candy thermometer and have all of your supplies ready and in reach for when the candy is ready to pour. It’s also recommended to keep your hair tied back and to not wear loose clothing. It goes without saying that 300ºF sugar is hot. What you may not know is that if you get it on your skin, it’s pretty hard to get off and can continue to burn. Not pleasant. It will also start to thicken pretty quickly once it’s off the heat, so time is of the essence to get your sticks in and incorporate gold flakes and the coloured swirls. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t make them when you’re in a rush, and follow the above tips to the letter. It took me 3 tries and 2 minor burns to make these assholes on a stick and, by the time I was successful, I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of eating them. I hear they were really good, but I wouldn’t know.
- Lay out your silicone mats or lollipop moulds on baking trays and set aside. If using the moulds, lightly oil with a flavourless oil like grapeseed.
- In a saucepan, stir together water, sugar and corn syrup over med-high heat. Boil until mixture reaches 300ºF. Add vodka and flavouring of choice and let mixture return to 300ºF.
- Working quickly, either pour mixture into six of your moulds or pour into six circles on your silicone matts. I used the matts and it was pretty easy to make nice looking circles using a small ladle.
- Using a toothpick or lollipop stick dipped into your gel food colouring, swirl it in each mould to make a marbled effect. Place lollipop stick in centre of each mold and twist 180 degrees so that it’s fully coated in the syrup.
- Continue pouring syrup in the other moulds. You can sprinkle your gold glakes in and place your sticks. Let cool completely.
- Remove from moulds and store in airtight container, preferrably overnight to allow flavour to develop.
Now that I know what I’m doing, I will definitley try these again and I’m sure it will only take one try to get it right. The boiled sugar has such a strong caramel flavour on its own that I’m not sure you would even need to add flavouring, and if you do, you would probably be more successful with a strong flavour like cinnamon.