Yum, do I have some goodness for you all today! When Eli is sick with a cold, I often like to offer him a small spoonful of raw honey to help ease a sore throat or clear up a cough. I do the same for my husband and I when we have a cold, but usually I just put some honey in hot chamomile tea. It'd be an understatement to say that Mike doesn't like tea, but he actually does love chamomile with honey and always requests it when he's starting to feel under the weather.
A while back I saw a recipe for honey cough drops, and after Eli got sick last week, I was motivated to try to make a few so we could have them on hand when any of us gets sick.
And let me tell you, they are super simple to make, and Eli LOVES them. Sick or not the kid gobbles them down. The day I made these, they were out on the counter for a while as I was packaging and photographing them and he could not keep his hands off of them. I think he had three? Gah! They were small, promise! Here's him enjoying one:
I'm pretty sure I'm going to need to make another batch of these asap or we'll never even have them around for an actual cold. Mike keeps snagging them when he has a sweet tooth after dinner and I don't have any desserts around. Heck, I crave them after lunch every day so I'm just as much to blame for their quick disappearance.
Good thing they're super easy. Here's what you'll need to make them too:
- 1/2 to 1 Cup Honey - Really, any amount will do. I just eyeballed about a cup and got about 20 lollipops.
- Lollipop Sticks - I had some lying around - yeah, I don't know why either - but you can snag these at JoAnn, Michael's or another craft store.
- Silpat Mat or Parchment Paper
- A Candy Thermometer - This is helpful, but not necessary.
Here's what you do:
- Pour honey in a small sauce pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. If you have a candy thermometer, use it to tell you when the honey reaches about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. It'll take about 10 minutes. If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can test the honey by dropping a bit of it into a cup of ice water. If it hardens (like candy) it's ready. If not, keep on boiling. *Keep a super close eye on your honey. It will seem like nothing's happening for a while, then it will increase in temperature very quickly. It's better to test often and too soon, than to miss the mark and burn a batch.
- When the honey reaches 300 degrees, remove it from the burner.
- Pour small circles on the silpat mat or a piece of parchment paper. After pouring five or so circles, stop and put the lollipop sticks in each circle of honey. Give the sticks a little twist to be sure they're really stuck in there. Continue creating small honey circles on the mat, stopping every few minutes to put in the sticks. *When you first pour the honey, it's very thin and difficult to get a good circle (second row below), but as you continue on, the honey thickens and is much easier to pour (the darkest ones on the mat). Feel free to go back over your first few to help round them out and make them a bit thicker.
- Allow them to cool and harden on the counter completely at room temperature, about a half hour.
- To store, wrap them with a bit of plastic wrap and secure them with string or a twist tie. I used some pretty blue and white bakers twine from one of my favorite Etsy Shops, Give It Pretty. If that's too much work for you, just cut up some parchment paper and fold it over the sucker heads. It'll keep them from sticking together when you store them, but will peel off easily when you're ready to enjoy them.
These would also make super cute "get well" gifts or even favors at a party. If you want to play with the flavor a bit, I've heard of adding a few mix-ins to these. I'm planning to make a few that have lemon and cinnamon next! Just add your flavoring (about a 1/2 tsp) right at the beginning when you put the honey in the sauce pan.