DIY Cannabis Lollipops for 4/20
Hard candies are a sweet, discreet way of medicating on the go, and they can be made in any dose, color, flavor, size or shape. Hard crack temperatures and pouring syrup as fast as you can seems intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be making professional looking, gourmet marijuana hard candies in your own kitchen.
Hard crack is the hottest stage of candy making, and the temperature is a precise 300 degrees. If the syrup does not get heated to 300 degrees, the candy will be sticky and soft. If the syrup is cooked over 305 degrees, it will caramelize and turn brown. Heat the sugar syrup on a high heat. Longer cook times increase browning of the syrup. Heating the solution as quickly as possible keeps the color clear and prevents caramelization of the syrup.
We do need a few tools and supplies. The most important is a candy thermometer. Hard candy must reach an exact 300 degrees, and if you try to make suckers without one, I promise, you will make a mess.
I have sucker molds that make each pop perfectly, but you can make suckers without molds. Spread parchment paper out on the counter. Then, when your syrup is ready to be poured, simply pour out dollops of syrup onto the parchment paper and roll a sucker stick into each dollar of hardening syrup.
The flavor of a lollipop comes from whatever flavor you add. LorAnn oils are perfect for flavoring suckers.
I love to play with color, so I have a rainbow supply of food coloring. Add food coloring one drop at a time.
Once you have all of your supplies and tools, get everything ready before you start boiling sugar. Once the syrup hits 300 degrees, you have to work fast.
Rose petals and other edible flowers make elegant, beautiful lollipops. Fill half of a sucker mold with syrup, then place a rose petal, lavender, carnation, honeysuckle, violets or candied lilacs in the mold and cover with enough syrup to finish filling the lollipop. Add cardamom to rose petal pops. Use ginger or mango flavoring with mint leaves.
Skip the coloring if you want to use flowers, but you can add a drop of coloring for a hint of color around the flower.
A gram of cannabis concentrate (like wax, shatter, live resin, etc) can have from 500-900 milligrams. This recipe makes 22-24 lollipops, so they should be between 30-40 mg THC. For strong pops, look for the highest THC potency you can find. For mild pops, try a half gram of concentrate.
Put the concentrate in a small glass dish, or the pyrex cup you plan to mix your syrup in, then place it in the oven for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to fully convert THCA to THC and CBDA to CBD.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (a Martha Stewart touch. You don't have to, but the cream of tartar makes the finished sucker smoother and more professional looking)
1 teaspoon flavoring oil
1 gram cannabis concentrate
2-3 drops coloring
- Spray molds with nonstick cooking spray or spread parchment paper on the kitchen counter.
- Over high heat, mix sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy pot. Stir until all of the sugar dissolves. Use a small brush to wipe sugar from the sides of the pot and into the mixture.
- Add food coloring. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Do not stir as the temperature rises.
- At 300 degrees, remove pot from heat and place in an a ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- When the syrup has stopped boiling, add flavoring and concentrate. Use a small silicone spatula and stir well.
- Pour syrup into lollipop molds or pour round dollops on parchment paper.
- Press and roll a small stick into each lollipop. Leave them for an hour to set.
- When the suckers have hardened, they will pop out of the molds. Wrap in plastic or sucker bags and store in a cool, dry place for several months.
I spent years making a mess of hard candy. When it comes off the stove the sugar mixture is a hot 300 degrees, and we've only got a few minutes before it cools down and hardens. In those few minutes we need to add the perfect amount of color and the right amount of cannabis concentrate, stir it well and pour out 24 perfectly shaped suckers. And then add edible flowers or a sprinkle of glitter for fun.
It can't be done.
The syrup hardens up before all the suckers are evenly poured. The syrup hardens all over the pyrex cup so we waste a sucker or two. I had given up on hard candy when Martha Stewart offered a tip that saved my lollipops - the oven.
So now I can take my time and complete each step perfectly, which results in perfect pops. Since the oven is already at 250 degrees from the decarboxylation process, we can simply put the pyrex cup of syrup in the oven whenever it hardens. The heat in the oven will warm up and smooth out the syrup so it can be poured.
And remember, suckers can be made with honey instead of white sugar, too.