If they say go trump hand then one of these
That's a terrific package. The swirl candy mold is a (excuse me) a turd and I won't be using that to represent! Strange things come up in a search. Thank you sincerely for searching for me.
Post your finished dem pops if you do those kind of postings would be cool to see
I searched on donkey pop mold. Probably easier/better for you do it yourself.
Weird that the first I opened said it was great for republican events.
Great idea, thank you for doing sweet things for your fellow Dems!!!
Working with chocolate is far different from working with hard candy, because the temperatures are different. Not to put too fine a point on it, but hard candy WILL fuck your shit up if you don't treat it with respect.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!! If you accidentally spill hot syrup on yourself, DO NOT, WHATEVER YOU DO, lick that shit off your hand. I got stupid and did that once...and while the candy was busy burning a hole in my tongue and turning me into a newt, I thought to myself, "now what the hell did you do that for?" Fortunately, I got better.
You will need:
A 3-quart saucepan
A silicone spatula
A hard candy funnel - http://www.nycake.com has some really nice ones; I don't have one of theirs yet but will buy one when I go to NYC at Thanksgiving time. These come with some sort of a stopper to plug up the hole and that serves as a valve, so you can properly dispense the hot syrup.
A candy thermometer that's got a "hard crack" setting. Mine is an old-fashioned alcohol-in-glass thermometer for reasons which will soon become obvious.
Leather work gloves
Lollipop molds. Be EXTREMELY careful here, because there are two kinds: chocolate molds and hard candy molds. Chocolate molds are clear, and they'll withstand up to maybe 150 degrees F. Hard candy molds are white (made of acetal plastic) and they'll handle up to 400 degrees F. You can mold chocolate in a hard candy mold all day long, but God help you if you go the other way. There are also silicone molds, which will take the heat, and those are really nice because you don't have to spray them with Pam to get the candy out.
Lollipop sticks and little plastic bags to put the pops in.
If you're using acetal molds, you also need a can of Pam, a ziploc bag with sugar in it, and a paintbrush.
Cane sugar and Karo syrup
Gel food coloring - extremely important; if you use supermarket food coloring, the heat will destroy the color.
LorAnn flavor oils. These come in 1-dram bottles. If you use flavor extracts from the supermarket, the heat will destroy the flavor. You use one bottle per batch of candy, unless you're making cinnamon or mint and then you use half a bottle per batch. Cinnamon and the mint flavors - there are several of them - are double-strength oils.
To make the candy, first oil your acetal molds and put the sticks in them. It doesn't take much; spray the mold sheet and wipe out the cavities with a paper towel. If you have silicone molds, you can flex the sheet and the candy will pop right out, no oil needed. Cover the counter with newspaper and put the molds on the paper.
The official LorAnn recipe for this stuff is:
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup corn syrup
A piece of hard candy is effectively one yooge crystal, and corn syrup causes the crystal to stabilize. You really need it, but I've discovered in my work that you don't really need the water. But I'll tell you both ways to go.
The official way: Put all three ingredients in a pot and put the pot on high heat. Stir the hell out of it until all the sugar dissolves. Keep stirring gently - for this I use my thermometer - until the temperature reaches 205 degrees or thereabouts. When it does, begin stirring more vigorously. When the mixture looks like it's about ready to boil, start stirring the living fuck out of it because if you don't this shit WILL boil over and you will stink up the entire house. Keep stirring until you hit 220 degrees. At 220 degrees, the mixture quits trying to boil over.
My way: Put the corn syrup in the pot and heat it up until it becomes liquid. When that happens, start adding sugar a quarter-cup at a time, mixing each addition in thoroughly before putting in another. When all the sugar is in, turn the heat up. My way doesn't boil over.
Once you're past 220 degrees, little sugar crystals will jump out of the mix and adhere to the walls of your pot. You must get them back in the syrup or they'll make your candy grainy. What I do is to bring a little syrup up the side of the pot with my spatula, then scrape syrup and crystals back into the mix. One quick stir and your problem goes away. You'll do this the entire cooking cycle.
When the brew reaches 265 degrees, add color and flavor. The cool thing here is you don't have to stir them in. There'll be enough turbulence in the boiling syrup they'll stir themselves in.
The official recipe says to heat to 310 degrees. This is the Hard Crack stage. The problem is, 310 degrees is only 10 degrees below the advertised caramelization temperature of sucrose - which means your candy will start to darken and the taste will be different. I always stop at 285 degrees, which is soft crack. You get a nice hard candy that's beautifully clear. (Having said that, if I'm using chocolate flavoring in my candy - you can buy LorAnn oil in chocolate flavor - I'll go to 310 because the slight caramelization complements the flavor of the candy.)
Put the gloves on. Pour the syrup into the funnel. Then dispense the syrup into the mold cavities. Once it's all in there, go away for half an hour or so.
When the candy is cool, unmold it. If you use acetal molds, swish the candy around in the sugar and brush it off to remove the oil from your candy.
Finally, put each pop in a little bag.
Now, if you're thinking you really do not want to deal with 285-degree sugar syrup, I would highly advise working with chocolate. You can get chocolate two ways: real chocolate, and chocolate melts. Start with chocolate melts, because real chocolate is hard to work with. They sell these at Michaels in all different flavors. All ye need do is to melt them in a double boiler and pour them into chocolate molds. If you want to move up to real chocolate, you've got to temper it and you can find instructions for that online. The only thing you need to be careful of: one drop of water will destroy all the chocolate in your pan.
After reading this I think I'll give up on making hard candy. I have limited mobility and my hands are very weak so I'm not going to take it on because timing is important and these days I'm pretty much on "snail" speed. This is great information and I truly appreciate your explaining in detail how it's done. Safety first!
As far as real chocolate goes...if you have some money to put into it, theres a company Chocovision (chocovision.com) that makes tempering machines for chocolatiers from home to small business size. Theyre pricey - a small one is a couple hundred dollars - but you just chop up your chocolate, put it in a bowl, select the kind of chocolate you have (white, milk and dark all temper at different heat points) and use the chocolate when it says you can.
They're not quite as tasty as real chocolate (they put vegetable oil in them to make them easier to work with), but they do taste good and all you need do is melt them.
You could even cover them with cello or plastic wrap and put a Democratic Party sticker on them. Might be the easiest way to mass produce something.