Edible flowers bring spring's beauty to these sweets. Use organic, pesticide-free plants from nurseries and herb shops that offer organically grown flowers. You could also pick flowers from a trusted friend's garden or your own.Heather Baird, SprinkleBakes
Yield: 10 lollipops
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup water
1 dram bottle candy flavoring oil
violet gel food coloring
10 organic whole viola flower heads or pansy petals, washed and patted dry
10 lollipop sticks
1. If you are using a lollipop mold (recommended), lightly grease it with cooking spray. If you are not using a mold, pour 2 cups of powdered sugar into a baking pan with a lip. Create indentations with the bottom of a glass or other flat-bottomed object. Set aside.
2. Stir together sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan and clip a candy thermometer to the side of pan.
3. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue to heat without stirring until bubbling mixture reaches hard-crack stage (302 degrees F). Remove pan from heat.
4. Stir in flavoring oil and a small amount of gel food coloring. Be extra careful because mixture will bubble and sputter with these additions.
5. When mixture has stopped bubbling, drop it into molds (or powdered sugar indentations) by the spoonful using a metal spoon.
6. Carefully place a viola flower head or petal face down on hot candy. Use the end of a lollipop stick to slightly press it into candy (Image 1).
7. Quickly pour just enough hot candy over the flower head or petal to cover back side, encasing it completely in the candy. Place a lollipop stick in candy and do half turn (Image 2). Allow candy to harden, then remove from molds.
8. If using powdered sugar to mold, you may choose to rinse off excess sugar under a thin stream of warm water. Either way, flower will become more visible once lollipop is being enjoyed (Image 3).