To continue the theme of Fall baking, I threw together the Bourbon Apple Lollipops for a friend’s birthday at the end of the week. She loves hard cider and I figured this would be more interesting than being yet another person who offers to buy her a drink at her birthday get-together. (Well and it’s more fun for me this way too…!)
I hadn’t made lollipops in probably a year or so, but there really aren’t too many steps. The scariest part is working with boiling sugar, but as long as you have an oven mitt and an accurate candy thermometer, it’s not too difficult.
(Ok, I say not too difficult, but I have screwed up my share of lollipops by not getting them off the heat at the right time and ending with something that is somehow a chewy hard candy before… But even then it still tastes good!)
Hard candy can be a little finicky in terms of heat and also it is more difficult to substitute ingredients. Different juices, liquors, and types of sugar will crystallize differently, so it’s best to follow a set recipe, especially at first.
This time I based my creation on the Liquor Lollipops recipe found here: http://blog.hwtm.com/2012/11/liquor-lollipop-bouqets-creative-hostess-gift-idea/. Instead of using a full 1/4 cup plus a teaspoon of bourbon, I used half bourbon and half apple cider. Next time I’d probably reduce the apple cider so its flavor could stand out more, or supplement it with some hard candy flavor or extract. These ended up tasting more just like a nice caramel-y sugar than bourbon. Still, they were quite tasty and turned out perfectly texture-wise. Hopefully they will be enjoyed at the party tonight!