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alison77 02-02-2012 09:25 PM

the kids are asking for homemade lollipops for valentines at school and i am wondering what i can do for substitutions to my regular recipe to make it a little better.  i'd like to not use food coloring and wonder if there is any way to replace the corn syrup with something else.  has anyone done this?  thanks!

SundayCrepes 02-02-2012 09:29 PM

I don't know about in candy, but I replaced corn syrup in a type of rice krispie treat with honey. It was much tastier with the honey. However, candy is supposed to be hard (usually) and I don't know if honey would do that. Maybe make a small batch and see.


In frostings you can use juice from frozen blueberries or blackberries for coloring. Don't know about candy.

Mama505 02-02-2012 10:31 PM

I haven't ever made lollipops, but I have used raw sugar and brown sugar and water to make syrups that replace corn syrup in other recipes.  I think I googled it to find approx measurements, also my thermometer has markings for soft and hard crack stages for candy making. 


As far as natural dyes go, think of all of the things that stain a kids shirts and go from there!  I have used all sorts of edible flowers, yellow and red beets, spinach, carrots, grapes, and berries to dye yarn... oh, herbs, too!  Mint would probably make a nice green and comes in so many different flavors now.

cristeen 02-03-2012 08:28 AM

You can buy food colorings that are made from food sources, and I would suggest going with that.  They're far more concentrated than what you're going to manage at home, and you don't want to add too much liquid to hard candy.   


As for the candy itself, I would suggest finding a recipe that uses just sugar and water and not try to change the one you're using now.  They can be difficult to find, but they're out there.  I wouldn't suggest honey - I've tried making hard candy with honey (even following a recipe to the letter), and it didn't work.  In a soft candy you could probably get away with it, but for a hard candy it would take a fair bit of experimentation because the standard temps no longer apply when you add honey to the mix (it has a higher boiling point). 

serenbat 02-03-2012 10:16 AM

I don't think honey will cut it! in fact do not use it, not only will it destroy the "good" part of the honey - it just won't work


you also have to be careful with a dye too that you do not change the property of the "candy" some have oils that will mess up the end result and also watch if you are using a "flavoring" as this can cause problems as well (again, the oils)


unless you find a specific recipe, sugars are not interchangeable and you really can mess things up when it comes to a "hard ball" stage and what is needed to solidify in the end


you really are better off with the corn syrup, no dye or added flavoring (unless you get from a candy making supply- what is used in hard candy) and adding candies on top of clear pops (such as red-hots, no chocolate or they will melt)


achieving the hard ball stage is really tricky without the correct mixture 

fresh_veggie 02-08-2012 07:33 PM

I just bought xylitol (cavities) and apparently people make candy with xylitol.  I'd google that if you're interested - xylitol is very safe as far as I know in small quantities, doesn't spike blood sugar, and protects teeth by confusing and killing cavity-causing mouth bacteria.  Tastes great too, I add it to my water in the morning for the protective effect (and I'm not a sweet-tooth person!).  Good luck!

SundayCrepes 02-08-2012 08:12 PM

Be careful with xylitol because it does kill bacteria. Including the good bacteria in your gut. For some people this can be a problem. Others, I don't know.

fresh_veggie 02-10-2012 12:18 PM

Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

Be careful with xylitol because it does kill bacteria. Including the good bacteria in your gut. For some people this can be a problem. Others, I don't know.

Thanks for the heads-up.  I knew it could cause gastro-intestinal distress in some people in larger quantities, I guess this might be why?  




 I looked into this.  That's not true.  It isn't known because there aren't any studies, and there is overwhelming evidence on the contrary since it improves health in so many other ways.  I'm sure if people were having the same response to xylitol as they had to even mild antibiotics, it would have been addressed by now, as well.  Anywho, kinda off topic I just wanted to add that here since it was talked about.

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