Four ingredients to homemade lollipops

Makes 2 dozen

Making the batch any smaller makes it difficult to manage the temperature.

  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of candy flavor
  • 1 to 2 drops of candy color
  1. Combine the water and sugar and corn syrup in a small 2 qt. pot. Blend together so sugar is dissolved. Brush down the sides with water and put on stove at high heat.

  2. Put candy thermometer in pot and cook until temperature reaches 296 degrees.

  3. The mixture will continue to cook. Add candy color and flavor and stir until a solid color is reached. Pour into molds or candy dropper.
Lollipops Recipe: Microwave-Safe Version
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of candy flavor
  • 1 to 2 drops candy color
  1. Thoroughly mix sugar and light corn syrup in a 4-cup microwave-safe glass container (like Pyrex). Cover with plastic, and microwave on High for 3 minutes, 10 seconds.

  2. Carefully remove the plastic wrap (watch out for steam), and quickly stir the sugar mixture and cover in a new sheet of plastic. Microwave for another 3 minutes, 10 seconds.

  3. Take it out immediately and stir in candy flavoring and color. Pour quickly but carefully into lollipop molds or greased cookie sheet.

Where to find candy colors:

Candy colors and flavors can be purchased at cake decorating supplies stores such as Sugar and Spice in Daly City, Michaels and possibly Sur la Table.

They can also be purchased from any number of candy making suppliers online.

Pate de Fruits
Makes 2-3 dozen

  • 1 1/2 cups fruit puree
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 oz. sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pectin
  • 9 oz. sugar
  • 4 oz. corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  1. The pate de fruit begins with the puree in a heavy bottomed 4 qt. pot and just heated until warm.

  2. Combine 1 1/2 oz. of sugar with pectin and whisk into the puree. Whisk in remaining sugar and corn syrup.

  3. Cook to 220 degrees, stirring often with a wooden spoon or heat proof rubber spatula. When temp. is reached stir in the lemon juice. Test by dropping a small amount into ice water.

  4. Wait a minute to see if the proper consistency has been reached. Meanwhile turn the heat off under the pot. Pour into an approximately 8" by 6" pan or mold, or drop into individual molds.

  5. Once cooled, remove from molds and toss in granulated sugar.
About John McKee:

John McKee has had a longtime love affair with baking. His first job was as a pizza delivery boy at the age of 16, but this wasn't just your local pizza joint.

The restaurant happened to be owned by former Westin St. Francis Hotel pastry chef, Romano Bonagure. It was here that McKee began his relationship with pastry.

Inspired by his experience, McKee decided to pursue a career as a pastry chef. "Romano told me that if I wanted to become a pastry chef I would have to go to school," recalls McKee. "There was a point when I realized everyone really loves dessert and I love the precision and creativity of pastry."

A Bay Area-native, McKee enrolled in the culinary program at City College, which was one of the premiere cooking schools at the time.

McKee's early career highlights included a position as a pastry cook at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis Hotel in 1979, as a consultant for Royal Cruise Line from 1991 to 1994, and 15 years as co-owner of La Seine Bakery in San Francisco beginning in 1983.

La Seine's clientele included the Clift and Four Seasons hotels, conventions at the San Jose Convention center, and First and Business Classes at United Airlines and Air France. Personal La Seine highlights for McKee included baking for the President of France and creating petit fours for Jimmy Carter at the Democratic National Convention.

In 2000, McKee moved to Oregon to be with his daughter and joined Oritalia, an Asian/Mediterranean fine dining restaurant at The Westin in Portland. "At Oritalia, I gained my first experience in a restaurant setting and I discovered how much I loved working on the presentation and appearance of my desserts," says McKee.

McKee moved back to San Francisco in January of 2002 to consult with City Baking Company, which sells pastries to Peet's Coffee, and other highly regarded outlets.

Many of Peet's preferred pastries, including their best-selling croissant, are based on original recipes from McKee. Following his work at City Baking Co., McKee spent two years as Executive Pastry Chef at Noe Valley Bread and Baking Company in San Francisco, where he was responsible for the creation of all pastry, cake and dessert selections.

In 2005, McKee became a Baking and Pastry Instructor at the California Culinary Academy where he taught classes in cakes, plated desserts, chocolate and pulled sugar. In 2007 he got a call he could not refuse to join the team at Masa's as Executive Pastry Chef.

"I loved teaching and thought I would continue forever, but then the opportunity at Masa's presented itself," says McKee. "The reputation and prestige of the restaurant is unsurpassed and I can honestly say that Masa's is the only place for which I would have ever left teaching. I feel very proud of what we're accomplishing, and honored to be able to uphold the legacy of passionate and dedicated chefs that keep Masa's dream alive."

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