MAKES 30 SERVINGS
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray (optional)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon saffron threads, plus more
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup plus 1 Tbsp. pear liqueur
- 30 lollipop sticks; a candy thermometer
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper (lightly coat parchment with nonstick spray). Have lollipop sticks, candied ginger, and extra saffron at the ready.
Place sugar and ⅛ tsp. saffron in a food processor; scrape in vanilla seeds (reserve pod for another use). Pulse to combine, then transfer to a medium saucepan fitted with thermometer. Stir in corn syrup, salt, ⅓ cup liqueur, and ¼ cup water and cook over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally, until thermometer registers 300°. (Syrup will hit what is known as the hard crack stage. When cooled, it will be hard and will snap when bent.) Remove pot from heat and add remaining 1 Tbsp. liqueur, swirling pan to cool syrup slightly.
Pour half of syrup into a 1-cup heatproof measuring cup with a spout; set remaining syrup aside. Working quickly, pour syrup onto prepared baking sheets to make 1” rounds (syrup will spread slightly).
Immediately place sticks in the center of each round, spinning to coat (so they stay stuck in the cooled candy). Scatter a few saffron threads and pieces of ginger on top. Repeat with remaining syrup (reheat gently if it starts to seize). Let cool.
DO AHEAD: Store lollipops airtight between sheets of parchment paper at room temperature up to 1 week.
Recipe by William Werner
Photograph by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott