100 Days of Science #41 & #42 -- Making Jolly Rancher Candy Apples and Lollipops

I was looking around for another science project idea that would get my boys excited.  We've done so many experiments over the years that it can sometimes be hard to get them interested and keep them engaged.

I just knew that if we made something they could eat afterwards they'd be all in.  We had just been to the apple orchard and we had a HUGE bag of Jolly Rancher candies left from our Niagara Falls trip and I thought they might like to try making candy apples with them.

First we sorted our candies into flavors.  

The boys all decided they wanted to use the cherry flavored candies so we unwrapped them and put them in our smallest sauce pan.

We talked about the properties of the candies; how hard they were, what we knew they were made out of, what happens when we heat candies or sugar, etc.

I also reminded my boys of candy burns we've seen and heard about from watching baking shows like Cake Wars.  We knew we had to be very careful!

We set our saucepan on the stove and turned the heat to low; making sure to stir pretty continuously once they started melting to prevent the candies from sticking to the pan and burning.

Meanwhile we prepped our apples making sure they were clean and then using some wooden lollipop sticks I found at Michael's.

Once the candies were all melted and just a bit bubbly we removed it from the heat and worked on coating the first apple.  Since we hadn't melted a lot of candies the apple wasn't completely coated with just a dunking and we used our fork to gently pour the melted candy over the apple; making sure to keep it well away from our skin.

With our second apple I had put the pan back on the burner to re-heat the candies that were hardening up and forgot to remove it for dunking the second apple...

Once all our apples were dunked in a THIN coating of candy we set them aside to cool on a sheet of parchment paper.

It took a good hour for the candied apple to cool and they easily came away from the parchment paper.

We talked about what might have caused the air bubbles in our candy coating.. water on the apples, the boiling sugar, pouring the candy on and over lapping the areas we were trying to cover.

We decided to cut open one of the apples.  The boys wanted to try it and I wanted to see just how hard the candy coating would be.  As you can see it's much thicker at the bottom of the apple.  We talked about WHY that was and what we could do differently next time.  

All in all they enjoyed the apples and it was a huge hit!

We also decided to try our hand at making some homemade lollipops while we were at it.  I prepared a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheated the oven to 250.

They chose their colors and arranged three pieces of unwrapped candies on the tray (we should have thought ahead to HOW the sticks would fit in/on them... but we didn't!).

As you can see have candies going every which way!

We put them in the oven for 15 minutes; checking periodically to see what the melted candies looked like.

Once we had nice flattened blobs of candy we took them out of the oven and tried to put our sticks on them... that's when we realized we had a problem.

I let the candies sit at room temperature for just a couple of minutes and then gently lifted them up off the parchment paper using the sticks and rearranged them all to fit.

Then we put them back in the oven for another 4 or 5 minutes until they were melted and the sticks were beginning to sink into the candies.

We took them back out of the oven and I gave the sticks a little roll to make sure the whole stick was coated in candy.

Then we set them aside to cool and harden back up. The boys noticed that the colors didn't blend together at all and we talked about why that might be.  We also noticed that no two pops had the same shape or size and wondered why they didn't all melt evenly.

Once dry we scooped them up and stored them in a Ziploc bag in our pantry... they didn't last long at all!

Have you ever tried making candy apples?

Others in this series:
2.  Field Trip to the Ecotarium 
3.  Learning About Air Molecules

Linking Up With:

Party in your PJs is a Tuesday evening link party that starts at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain time) through Sunday night at midnight. Come and join in the fun!

WW 9 Hostesses Collage May 2018


  1. I love this experiment!! I will be trying both with my nieces and nephews!!!

  2. Love this! Pinning it to come back to later! I know my kids would have a blast doing this! :D

  3. What a fun experiment, I love science you can taste!

    1. Oh me too! I find my boys pay so much more attention to lessons when we get a sweet treat along with them.

  4. These lollipops turned out GREAT - hope you join us at this week's Reader Tip Tuesday: http://www.jodiefitz.com/2018/10/02/reader-tip-tuesday-weeks-craft-recipe-party-14-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2/
    We're open and growing all week long. xo

  5. Cool! This is great to make with the kids. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

  6. HOW fun is this?! LOVING this for Halloween treats. Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party! Have a great day!

  7. Love Jolly Ranchers (green apple and watermelon). I'm sure the candy apples and lollipops were good. Thanks so much for linking up at #AThemedLinkup 2 for All Things Halloween. Shared.


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