2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil or cinnamon oil, or to taste
Red or green food coloring
Paper lollipop sticks and/or popsicle sticks
To determine hard-ball stage without a candy thermometer, remove the pot from the heat and dip the bottom of the pot in water to stop the mixture from cooking further. Carefully spoon a drop of the hot syrup mixture into ice-cold water. Remove the drop from the water after 5 seconds; when bent, it should snap easily and shouldn't be sticky to the touch. The cooled drop should have a yellowish tinge.