Honey Toffee Lollipops

I made these a while ago and keep forgetting to post the recipe. However I decided not to make them again for a while because they were so good it was hard not to eat them all at once. In fact Fin found it nigh on impossible - and this is a boy with above average will power for a six year old.

After I'd made the lollies and stowed them in the freezer to stay firm, I was upstairs doing something - sorting the laundry maybe - and Fin was playing happily by himself. When I came down Fin looked furtive and I sensed something had occurred of which he anticipated adverse consequences. I didn't need to wonder long because although Fin assured me that nothing was amiss with the sweetest smile ever, his face was covered in toffee. Fin is one of those children who can never eat anything without smearing it somewhere on their person, even a harmless carrot leaves an almost indelible stain around his chops.

'Fin, I'm not going to be angry if you tell me the truth, ok?'

His resolve to hide the truth broke at once like a dry twig and he admitted to consuming four lollipops on the trot, with his tail firmly between his legs.

'They're just too good mummy' he said, using his hands for emphasis, 'I couldn't help myself.....'

Yes they're that good - don't say I didn't warn you.

The original recipe for these came from Elaine Gottschall's book on the SCD diet, Breaking The Vicious Cycle. I used the recipe for vanilla candy and it made toffee that is slightly soft at room temperature. For something that stays crisp leave out the butter - but you won't get that mouth filling buttery taste.....

This makes quite a lot of toffee, so store in a secure cool location. A locked box in the freezer would be my recommendation!

Honey Toffee Lollipops (SCD)

1/4 cup water
1 cup runny honey (or melt set honey and measure it when soft)
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract (or a couple of drops of peppermint or lemon essential oil)
1 dessert spoon butter

Grease a large tray or chopping board (that does not smell of onions) and lay out lolly sticks about 3 inches apart. I used chopped up wooden skewers but you can buy the real thing in cook shops. I think this amount of mixture will make about 20 lollies, maybe...roughly...

Heat water, vinegar and honey in a deep sided saucepan as the mixture will froth up when it boils. Allow it to boil gently, not a rolling boil or you will scorch the honey - until a firm ball forms when you drop some into cold water. To do this, just have a glass by the pan and drip a little in. You should be able to roll the ball between your thumb and forefinger.

Plunge the bottom of the pan into some cold water to stop the mixture from continuing to cook and add the butter and vanilla extract stirring until smooth.

Then spoon one or two spoonfulls of the mixture over each stick, covering the top by about an inch. You want your lollies to be about 2 inches diameter. Any that is left over can be rolled into balls and wrapped in cellophane or you could stir in some chopped nuts first and roll into little logs. I made balls by dropping a small spoonful onto a greased tray and then rolling when it had started to set a little. Or you can pour the rest into a small tray, freeze till hard and break with a hammer and sharp object (not a small persons teeth).

These toffees go soft if you don't keep them cold and they must be in an airtight container or they will pick up the taste of the fridge or freezer. I don't know if it's the naturally humectant quality of honey that does this? Chou, maybe you know? Or maybe you know, gentle unkown reader. If you do, please tell me, I would love to know more about honey.

If you start getting a fuzzy back and humming then you know you've eaten too many of these......