With Halloween coming up we thought we’d make a special edible science experiment that replaced ghoulish with glowing – and we came up with these Glow-in-the-Dark Lollipops! These Glow-in-the-dark lollipops are a great option for a spooky Halloween party, or just a special family movie night or bonfire.
Glow in the Dark Lollipops = Fun for Kids
Kids love hiding the glow by popping the lollipops in their mouths and then pulling them out again to marvel at the bright luminescence.
We’ve been on a bit of a glow-in-the-dark theme recently (with our glowing mud and glow-in-the-dark glitter serving tray) and all three of these crafts would work great together for a glow-in-the-dark party theme.
What Makes the Lollipops Glow?
The lollipops get their glow from the tonic water used to dissolve the sugar. Tonic water contains quinine, which contains compounds called phosphors. Phosphors fluoresce (glow) under ultraviolet light by absorbing the UV light and then emitting a portion of it as visible blue light. Anything that can absorb light of one wavelength and then emit it as another is called fluorescent. Fluorescent bulbs work in similar ways! The bulb emits UV light and a phosphoric coating inside the bulb emits it as visible light.
Troubleshooting Your Lollipops
We love having a bit of fun in the kitchen but sometimes kitchen science experiments can be frustrating and time-consuming. And hard candy is hard… It actually took 5 batches (and numerous scrubbed pots) to get this recipe perfect. But the good news is that I’ve worked out some of the kinks for you!
If you run into problems getting your recipe to work, consult our quick troubleshooting list here:
- candy never hardens – it didn’t reach the right (hard crack) temperature
- candy burns before reaching proper temperature – cooking on too low of a heat or stirring during cooking
- candy doesn’t glow – your black light or a lack of quinine in the tonic water is to blame
Ingredients for Glow-in-the-Dark Lollipops
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup tonic water with quinine
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- Blue food coloring, optional
- 1lb powdered sugar
Tip: you can add candy flavoring after the candy mixture is done cooking, if desired.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Measuring cups
- Candy thermometer
- Cookie tray or lollipop mold
- Lollipop sticks
- Black light (UV bulb)
How to Make Glow-in-the-Dark Lollipops
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together to combine.
Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, with the tip dipping into the candy mixture.
Heat over high heat until your candy mixture reaches 250-260F. Do not stir while heating.
While the mixture is bubbling away, prepare your lollipop mold or spread powdered sugar all over a cookie tray. If using the powdered sugar method, use a small cup or jar to make circular indentations all over the powdered sugar where the lollipops will be formed.
When the lollipop mixture has reached 250-260F, remove it from heat and let stand for 3-5 minutes. If your candy has caramelized in color, you may just want to add some orange food dye to play it up.
Spoon out 1 Tablespoon amounts of the candy mixture into the indentations in the powdered sugar and then insert a lollipop stick.
Let set overnight before attempting to remove.
When ready to enjoy, turn off all the lights, turn on a black light and enjoy your glowing confection!
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Will you be trying out these cool treats? They would be perfect for a Halloween party – or even just a special family movie night!