It turns out I am one of ‘those’ mums. You know, the ones that randomly stick their hand up when the school newsletter asks for volunteers to help make lollies for the school carnival. The truth is though, I know NOTHING about making lollies, I’ve never made fudge or toffee in my life and my every attempt to melt chocolate normally ends up in a lumpy mess. So, armed with zero skills, I did what all mums do in times of desperation… I googled.
The result of my efforts was coming across the very cool Lego Head Lollipops on Just a Frugal Mum. I knew they would be a stretch of my skills, but figured with the help of my husband (a master chocolate melterer) and the fact that everyone loves Lego, it was worth the risk in order to raise funds for the school. So, with the decision made, I started gathering supplies.
You Will Need:
- 4 x packet Pascall Marshmallows
- 1 x packet small size marshmallows
- 160 x lollipop sticks
- 2 x 453g Merckens Yellow Candy Melts
- 160 x cellophane lollipop bags
- AmeriColour Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pen
- Stainless steel or glass bowl
- Board with holes for standing your lollipop sticks in
NOTE: This recipe makes 160 Lego Head Lollipops. You may wish to decrease the quantities for birthday parties and smaller events.
Tips for saving money:
Lollipop Sticks & Cellophane:
In truth, I was a little shocked to discover how expensive lollipop sticks and cellophane wraps are to purchase from a local cake shop, especially in the quantity I was looking for. As I work, I didn’t have to time to contact the local stores to see if they’d do me a deal on large quantity purchase (which in hindsight, I should have done, given it was for the school). I simply jumped onto eBay and found what I wanted for an excellent price.
With the marshmallows, I kept an eye out every time I went shopping and waited till they were on sale for $2 a bag. I honestly had no idea how many marshmallows were in each bag so I purchased A LOT (like several times too many….lol….but it’s OK, I used them for other school carnival Lolly Shop ideas). For around 200 lollipops, I found 4 bags sufficient.
How to make Lego Head Marshmallow Lollipops:
Step 1: Marshmallows on sticks
My daughter and I sat with latex gloves on one Friday night and popped the marshmallows onto the lollipop sticks. The big marshmallow goes on first, then the smaller one at the top. Try not to push the stick all the way through the smaller marshmallow, but at the same time you want it to be secure as they can fall off when you roll them in chocolate.
Once we’d finished, we popped the marshmallow sticks into airtight containers and put them in a cool, dry place until we were ready for the next step.
Step 2: Chocolate time
Like I previously stated, I suck at melting chocolate, so I left that to my husband. Basically, he placed the Merckens Yellow Candy Melts into a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan that contained boiling water and then mixed the chocolate until it melted and was no longer lumpy, then removed from the heat. Why I can’t do it, is a complete mystery to me.
Now it was my time to shine. I’d like to say that I stepped up to the role and everything was perfect, but it wasn’t. I had a few initial teething problems.
PROBLEM 1 – Chocolate Coverage
I wasn’t happy with the coverage I was getting on the marshmallows, it was too thick and the weight of the chocolate was pushing the small marshmallow off the end. The technique I found that work REALLY WELL was to scoop the chocolate onto a tablespoon, then spin the marshmallow stick on the spoon to coat. If the chocolate became difficult to work with (it started to thicken from cooling), I popped it on the heat for a few seconds, then started again.
PROBLEM 2 – Cooling the Chocolate
With so many Lego Heads lollipops to make, I found I was not able to hold them whilst they cooled, because my dipping chocolate would also cool. I did a test run using egg cartoons, but found that, with the weight of the marshmallows, they just fell over. My husband, however, came to the rescue and suggested using a board. It was so simple—he just drilled holes into the board a little bigger than the circumference of the lollipop stick and, PERFECTION, problem solved!
His second suggestion to my cooling problem was to put the marshmallow container in the fridge for a half hour to cool the marshmallows before heating. It worked a TREAT – he’s a keeper that one!
Each batch of Lego Heads took about 15 minutes to cool and the chocolate to harden.
Step 3: Lego Faces
Drawing on the Lego faces was really easy with the food pen, but I did find I needed the chocolate to be completely cool and hard before commencing. Once I drew on the faces, I left them for 30 minutes just to give the ink time to set before I wrapped them in the cellophane bags.
Step 4: Packaging
Each Lego Head Lollipop was wrapped in a cellophane food bag and secured in place with sticky tape. Due to the quantity, I didn’t bother with ribbons or decorations. I then packed the lollipops into takeaway containers, being careful not to over pack as this would crack the chocolate.
And YAY finished!
MY TOTAL COSTS:
4 x Bags Marshmallows = $8
1 x Bag Small Marshmallows = $1.90
160 x Lollipop Sticks = $3.20
160 x Cellophane Bags = $3.70
2 x Merckens Yellow Candy Melts = $20.00
1 x Food Pen = $10.00
TOTAL COSTS: $46.80 (Approx. $0.29 each to make)
All these materials were a donation to the school and obviously I can use the food pen again in the future. I expect the school will sell for $1.50-$2 each; I know I’d happily pay that much as a parent, how often do you get to eat Lego?!