Today is national lollipop day. When I think of lollipops, I think of candy that resembles the large, rainbow-colored disk on a stick my sister is holding in the below picture. This lollipop was given out as a favor at a wedding she attended, and cookies made to look like these lollipops are easy to replicate using colored sugar cookie dough.
I have been told a disk-shaped hard candy on a stick is actually a sucker, and the term lollipop refers to the spherical variety of suckers. Well whatever, all I know is today is national lollipop day, there does not appear to be a national sucker day, and Internet searches on the latter topic return links to a lot of naughty content.
A small hard candy marble atop a cardboard candy stick, like a Dum Dum Pop, might come to mind when you consider lollipops. Or maybe you think of lollipops as hard candy filled with bubble gum or Tootsie Rolls. When I was a kid, I really liked the Whistle Pop lollipops whose sticks functioned like a trombone’s slide, and the Ring Pops that resembled giant jewels atop a piece of plastic you could slip onto your finger.
In honor of lollipops, I wanted to make a cookie using the hard candy typically found atop a stick. Continuing this week’s unfortunate, emerging theme of cookie misses, these cookies were no where near my favorites. They tasted (gasp) too sweet for my tastes, but I do think children may like both making and eating these cookies.
I chose Life Savers for my hard candies and used a rubber mallet to crush them into small pieces. The simplicity of this task was aided by the individual wrappers that contained the crushed candy parts. Thirty-five candies, seven of each of the five flavors, amount to ¾ cup.
I had few a fleeting moments when I considered using raspberry extract with the raspberry candy, or ginger with the pineapple candy, or orange zest to flavor the orange candy cookies, but then those moments passed and I lumped them all together.
The texture of the cookies was soft on the insides and crispy on the edges. The texture I liked, but crunching into the candies brought to mind what it would be like to chew on the small pieces of gravel that line the bottom of my fish tank. Did you ever order a Nerds Blizzard at Dairy Queen? If so, eating these cookies is sort of like eating that ice cream concoction: crunchy.
Because the candies in the dough will touch the baking sheet, their sugar will caramelize deeply (i.e. a polite way to say burn). Simply use the edge of a metal spatula or take a butter knife to pull these edges away from the good cookie parts before the cookie cools completely. I also made a glaze using confectioners’ sugar and the liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries. The pink color was disconcerting, but “these are for kids, and kids like bright colors” I reasoned.
History points to candy store owner George Smith as naming the lollipop after his beloved racehorse, Lolly Pop. This is up for some debate given the term “lolly” means tongue and “pop” refers to a smacking sound associated with eating a lollipop. Whatever you choose to believe, feel free to take your time, or lollygag, when getting around to making these cookies.
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup crushed hard candy
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon almond flavor extract
- 2 tablespoons of liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, then stir in the crushed hard candy and set aside.
- Cream the butter and granulated sugar, then slowly add the confectioner’s sugar.
- When combined, beat in the egg and almond extract.
- Add the flour-candy mixture and stir until incorporated.
- On a surface dusted lightly with flour and confectioners' sugar, roll or pat the dough into a log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately one hour.
- When firm, unwrap and slice the dough into disks approximately ¼ inch thick.
- Place the disks on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before topping with glaze if desired.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the cherry liquid and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spoon over the top of the cookies.