This recipe for salted caramel lollipops contrasts the rich flavor of caramel with a hint of salt for a sweet and savory treat. This is a lollipop that kids and adults alike will enjoy. If you enjoy a heavier salt flavor, use salted butter and sprinkle a little bit of salt on the finished lollipops. This recipe yields about 2 dozen lollipops.
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1.5 tsp. vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. good-quality sea salt
- 4 tbsp. (2 oz.) butter, cubed
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Lollipop sticks
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a Silpat sheet, or with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the water, corn syrup, vinegar, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar melts, then brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization. Insert a candy thermometer.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, and once at a boil, add the butter one cube at a time. Continue to cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer reads 300 degrees F (149 C).
4. Once at 300 F, remove the pan from the heat. Add the vanilla and stir until it is incorporated. Allow the pan to cool for several minutes, until the candy starts to thicken. You still want it to be liquid, but it's easiest to make lollipops if the sugar syrup can somewhat hold its shape.
5. After 4 or 5 minutes, start to form the lollipops. Using a spoon, drop circles of candy onto the Silpat or foil. Work carefully to try to make them as round as possible, without extra "tails" streaking off the lollipops. After you have done two or three, press a lollipop stick into the back of the candy, and either turn it in a circle so it's covered with candy, or spoon a small dab of candy onto the back so that the stick is covered.
6. Repeat until you have used all of the candy to form lollipops. If the sugar mixture starts to get too stiff, place it over low heat and stir just until it loosens up.
7. The candy will start setting almost immediately, so you should be able to enjoy your lollipops within 10 minutes of forming them. If desired, you can sprinkle the surfaces with a little more salt to intensify the flavor. If you're not going to be eating them immediately, wrap the salted caramel lollipops individually in cling wrap and store them at room temperature.