I started my gourmet candy business, Luxe Lollies, after becoming bored with the candy options found in most stores. My taste buds have always yearned for the unusual and the basic fruit flavored candies (orange, cherry, lemon, etc…) just don’t do it for me. I came across Lorann Oils’ website one day, and I was so inspired by all the flavors that I decided to start making gourmet lollipops that are for a more sophisticated palate (Pear Rosemary Spritzer, Coconut Lemongrass Rum, Black Pepper Bourbon Caramel and Orange Rose Honey are a few of my favorite lollipop offerings). Figuring that there were probably others out there who love experimenting with different flavor combinations, I developed a function on my website that allows customers to design their own lollipops.
My book, Liquor Lollipops, offers an excellent introduction to hard candy making with a fun adult twist. Cocktails and candy are two of my favorite things – combining the two in my cookbook was such a delight. These handmade lollipops make such fun gifts and party favors, plus they are surprisingly easy to make at home.
Now that spring has arrived and the weather is heating up, I figured a Pineapple Mojito Lollipop (a twist on the Mojito Lollipop recipe featured in my book) would be a great recipe to share. The fresh mint used in these lollipops not only adds a great taste, but it is also visually appealing. If you’re looking for a unique hostess gift, these are absolutely perfect. Or, for a spring garden soiree or wedding, you can incorporate them into the place setting or centerpiece.
A few tips and notes before you begin:
- When you add alcohol to flavor hard candy, most of it will burn off so the end result will be subtle and will not get you tipsy. Think of these as cocktail-inspired lollipops rather than cocktails in lollipop form.
- Sugar gets incredibly hot when cooked so make sure to work carefully. I’ve burned myself several times, and trust me – it’s no fun. I use heat-resistant silicone gloves, but for the casual candy-maker standard rubber kitchen gloves are fine.
- Sugar burns quickly so make sure you don’t get distracted. Keep you eyes on the stove at all times. On a related note, test your candy thermometer beforehand to make sure it’s gauging the temperature properly. I’ve had so many thermometers fail on me so this step is more important than you may think. To test your candy thermometer, place it in a bit of boiling water. If it is working correctly it will read 212 degrees F/100 degrees C (if you’re at sea level). If you’re on higher altitude water will boil at a lower temperature. If you’re lower than sea level, water will boil at a higher temperature.
Supplies and tools you’ll need:
- Hard candy lollipop molds (make sure they are hard candy lollipop molds rather than chocolate molds. Chocolate molds can’t handle the heat. Hard candy molds are usually opaque white in color while chocolate molds are usually clear)
- A heavy pot that is 1-2 quarts in capacity. If the pot you use is too big the candy is likely to burn.
PINEAPPLE MOJITO LOLLIPOPS
Makes about 5 medium (2-inch) lollipops
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling: 15 minutes
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon white rum, divided
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon LorAnn Lime essential oil
½ teaspoon LorAnn Pineapple flavor
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
A drop of neon green or yellow food coloring (optional)
small round lollipop mold
- Lightly coat lollipop molds with cooking spray and place 1-2 mint leaves in the cavities of each mold. Position the lollipop sticks in the grooves of the molds.
- Combine the 1/4-cup of rum, the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a 1-or 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Use a wet pastry brush to “wash down” any sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan. Continue to cook the mixture without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees.
- Remove the pot from heat and carefully stir in the food coloring (optional) and remaining 1-tablespoon of rum.
- Slowly pour mixture into prepared lollipop molds.
- Let cool completely until lollipops harden and are no longer hot (about 15 minutes).
- Remove the lollipops from the molds and wrap in lollipop bags with twist ties or ribbon.