This recipe calls for vanilla bean paste, which is a thick liquid that contains vanilla seeds. It can commonly be found at kitchen and baking supply stores, and even in some grocery stores. If you don't have vanilla bean paste but want the same speckled vanilla effect, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean.
Yield: 18 1-inch Vanilla Bean Lollipops
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste
- Lollipop molds meant for hard candy
- Lollipop sticks
1. Prepare your molds by spraying them with a very light coating of nonstick cooking spray and inserting lollipop sticks into the molds.
2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Once boiling, insert a candy thermometer.
3. Allow to boil, without stirring, until candy reaches 295 degrees Fahrenheit (146 C).
4. Once the candy reaches 295 F, remove it from heat. Allow it to sit until it stops bubbling completely. Add the vanilla bean paste and stir until it's incorporated. Carefully spoon the candy into the prepared molds. Make sure that the back of the lollipop sticks are well-embedded in the candy.
5. Allow the lollipops to cool completely at room temperature. Once cool, gently flex the mold to pop them out—do not pull them out by the sticks.
6. Store Vanilla Bean Lollipops individually wrapped, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to a month.
Variations: If you want more than a simple vanilla flavor, try adding 1 teaspoon of a complimentary flavoring when adding the vanilla paste. Almond extract, orange extract, and rose water would all be delicious paired with the vanilla bean flavor.