36 lollipop sticks
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon flavored extract, optional
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.