Make Your Own Fruit Lollipops

There's no escaping sugar when it comes to a lollipop--but you can steer clear of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Just in time for Halloween, here's how to make your own delicious suckers with natural flavorings.

Apple-Cider Lollipops

Use any type of 100% fruit juice to make these sweet treats. Blueberry or pomegranate juice will also work well.

Makes 48 pieces
2 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup apple cider
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Optional decorations: colored sanding sugar and/or sparkling sugar

Equipment: Nonstick baking liner (such as Silpat), candy thermometer, 4-cup heatproof measuring cup, lollipop sticks (available at craft stores)

Line a baking sheet with Silpat and set aside. Combine sugar, cream of tartar, corn syrup and juice in a medium saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Insert candy thermometer and cook until temperature reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon, if using, and carefully transfer to a 4-cup heatproof measuring up; allow bubbles to dissipate. Gently place heaping teaspoons of mixture (be careful, it's super hot!) directly on the prepared sheet. Place lollipop stick on top and gently turn it over to coat. Embellish with colored sugar or cinnamon, if desired, and set aside to cool.

Vanilla-Citrus Lollipops
2 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Freshly grated citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit)

Equipment: Nonstick baking (Silpat), candy thermometer, lollipop sticks, 4-cup heatproof measuring cup

Line a baking sheet with Silpat and set aside. Combine sugar, cream of tartar, corn syrup and juice in a medium saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Insert candy thermometer and cook until temperature reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat and carefully transfer to a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup; allow bubbles to dissipate. Stir in vanilla and citrus zest (the mixture will begin to bubble again, so let the bubbles dissipate a second time). Gently place heaping teaspoons of mixture (be careful, it's super hot!) directly on to the prepared sheet. Place lollipop stick on top and gently turn it over to coat, set aside to cool.

Nutrition info per piece: Serves: 48; Calories: 44; Total Fat:  0 gram; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 12 grams; Sugars: 10 grams; Protein:  0 grams; Sodium: 2 milligrams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Fiber: 0 gram

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