When I was growing up I had a friend whose grandma was a little different from the other grandmas I knew. I think she was from the South. My friend lived with her grandma, and arriving home from school we often found her dancing to Elvis Presley albums in the living room wearing her every day outfit- the “house dress”. She would invite us to dance with her. I usually felt too shy, but my friend would happily swing around the living room.
She liked to show her grandmotherly love through sugar. Our after school treat was Dr. Pepper on the rocks. She must have watched through the window to see if I was tagging along because the icy treats would be sitting in the entry way when we arrived. At my house the only time we got pop was when it was mom’s turn to host her bridge club. If my friend hosted a sleepover she served powdered sugar donuts and more Dr. Pepper for breakfast. Her piece de resistance was her homemade lollipops. They were rounded discs with a slight chewiness and cloudy look. I’ve never forgotten them because well, what’s better than a lollipop? Turns out a homemade lollipop is slightly better, at least the lollies that Grandma Miller made. They tasted like a popcorn ball without the popcorn.
I have thought about them over the years, and finally came across a recipe for them in my 1947 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. The result was different from what I remembered. These lollipops were hard and clear. I used the peppermint flavoring called for in the recipe. I think maybe cooking them to the “soft ball stage” might lead to a lolly like the ones I remember. These were pretty and they went over well with kids. They would be fun to customize for a party with thematic colors or different flavors.
2 Cups Sugar 1/2 teaspoon oil of peppermint
2/3 Cup light corn syrup 1/2 tsp. red food coloring
1 Cup water
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water; stir until sugar dissolves. Cook, without stirring, to hard crack stage (300). Add oil of peppermint and coloring. Cool slightly. Lay 24 skewers 4 inches apart on greased cooky sheet. Drop from tip of teaspoon over skewers to form 2-inch discs.
History:1947 Better Homes and Gardens cook book candy section. According to groovycandies.com the modern lollipop was first made in the U.S. by a man named George Smith of Connecticut. They were apparently a softer candy. When the production of the candy automized shortly thereafter, they became the suckers we know today.
Time and Effort Pretty quick and easy. A candy thermometer is important.
Worth adding to your repertoire: They’re easy and fun looking, so if you like sugar on a stick- go for it!