Here's the truth about these. They weren't as easy to make as they looked. I found and adapted this recipe from this website. I was really excited because I thought it was such a cute little gift idea for Halloween and even Thanksgiving. Well, it is still a cute idea, but just a tedious process. I would still encourage you to try this (I ended up trying it 4 times to get it right) because it's a fun and a learning process! I just think that making sugar candy isn't my forte.
cream of tartar
canola oil cooking spray
You want to start by prepping everything before making your lollipop mixture. It's nice to have everything ready, so you don't feel panicked later. To make your spice blend, you'll need 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp allspice. You could also use an already made pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice (this is what this blend basically is).
Lay out your sticks (I used mini-popsicle sticks) onto parchment paper that has been coated with canola oil or vegetable oil spray (you could use olive oil spray, but I was scared it would affect the taste). The recipe says it makes 10-15, so I'd lay out enough sticks to be prepared for that.
Put 3 tablespoons of your apple cider into a pot. Let it simmer until it has reduced to 2 teaspoons. Set it to the side.
Now we're ready for our actual lollipop mixture. Put 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar into a pot. Put this on a medium-low heat until the temperature rises to 250 degrees. You'll want to invest in a candy thermometer if you want to attempt a recipe like this.
Remove the pot from the heat and place it into an bowl full of ice water (oh, I guess I should have mentioned that you'll need this ready too). Add your spices and reduced apple cider and mix thoroughly. Then transfer the mixture to a heat proof measuring cup.
Pour your mixture slowly and evenly onto the sticks.
Add your pecans as a garnish. You may want to add more of the mixture on top of the pecans once you have placed them in the center.
The reason that I considered this to be a grown-up treat is because of the spice mixture. It definitely has a more grown-up taste to it. I love, love the way that the pecans taste with these lollipops. I hope that you do give these a try sometime and that the process is much less difficult for you!
Until next time.