I couldn't stop smiling after I made these! In fact, I am smiling right now while I am eating one!
It took me right back to my childhood. My dad always had a bag of lemon drops in his car and I loved going on random and pointless car rides just so I could savor the tart and sour little drops of sunshine!
Don't be intimidated by this recipe just because it calls for a candy thermometer. If you have a bit of patience lemon drops are easy!
Step 1: Recipe
Since I had never made lemon drop candy before I wanted to use an existing recipe instead of trying to come up with my own. I found this one that looked easy enough to follow. I used a half recipe from what the blog did and I formed them differently. So here is the recipe with my take on shaping them.
Lemon Drop Candy - (From chocswirl.wordpress.com - Adapted from Field Guide to Candy by Anita Chu)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1/4 c. water
1 t. citric acid
1/4 t. lemon extract
yellow food coloring
powdered sugar for rolling - 1-2 T.
Coat a plastic scraper and kitchen scissors with butter and have a silpat ready. If you don't have a silpat a marble slab was recommended in the original recipe.
Preheat oven to warm.
Step 2: Boil Sugar
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat combine sugar, cream of tartar and water. Stir just until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Continue boiling mixture until it reaches 300 degrees F (or hard ball stage).
Step 3: Cool Sugar
Pour hot mixture immediately onto silpat. Sprinkle citric acid, lemon extract and coloring onto the sugar mixture.
Using a buttered scraper (of some kind) mix ingredients until combined.
The mixture will initially stick all over the scraper but will eventually come together into one cohesive glob of sugar!
Step 4: Shape Sugar
While the mixture is still hot pull or cut pieces off (with buttered kitchen scissors) and roll them in your hands to form a sphere or egg shape. Be careful not to burn your hands. The mixture should feel hot but not hot enough to burn your skin. If it is, wait for it to cool some.
Since the mixture is hot the lemon drops will ultimately be flattened on one side. Or at least mine were!
Roll the formed lemon drops in powdered sugar to coat. This way they will not all stick to each other!
Tip - If you find that the sugar is hardening too quickly to shape the pieces put them in the preheated oven (on warm) to reheat the sugar. You will be able to shape them again once they soften a bit.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!