Make Your Own Suckers

Make Your Own Suckers

The Botched Bakery is open sporadically. Sorry, we are unable to post our hours because we have no idea when we’re going to open our doors to another botched baking project. You just never know what’s going to happen. What shall we attempt this week? DIY Suckers!

The ingredients are simple, the instructions are simple and the taste should be great because I’m adding Jell-O. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Shopping List:

  • Parchment Paper
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • 1/4c. Butter
  • 1c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3c. Corn Syrup
  • Jell-O (any flavor)
  • Lollipop Molds (of any kind)

Simple Instructions:

  • Lay two flat cookie sheets on your kitchen counter. Place a sheet of parchment paper on each pan and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the lollipop sticks in two rows on the cookie sheets, 1 ½ inches apart.
  • Melt the butter and granulated sugar in a heavy saucepan on medium heat. Add the corn syrup and stir until the sugar mixture comes to a boil.
  • Stick the candy thermometer in the pan, but don’t let it touch the bottom. The mixture is finished cooking when the candy thermometer reaches 275 degrees F.
  • Remove the pan from the stove. Pour a large box of Jell-O into the pan of cooked butter and sugar. Stir until the Jell-O is completely mixed in.
  • Pour the hot Jell-O mix over the lollipop sticks until each of the lollipops are as big or small as you want. You can also use small, disposable cups as molds for your lollipops. Fill ¼ inch of each cup with liquid candy, place a sucker stick in the middle and wait for the candy to harden.
  • Let the Jell-O pops harden and cool completely before you eat or store them.

I try to follow the instructions exactly because I just don’t do well when I go out on my own. I’m super-excited about these because I can make them and look like Martha Stewart when people come over.

I’ve got everything ready and in order.


Bring it all to a boil.

Suckers boiling 1

Everything smells like butter. I’m sure this is fine. I put in the candy thermometer and it hasn’t reached the correct temp. Keep boiling.

sucker browning 1

Oh dear. We’re losing control. The thermometer isn’t reaching the right temperature and my butter is now browning! I’ve run into this problem with Rice Krispy treats once. Yes, you read that right “Problem with Rice Krispy treats.” I swear I’ve got a piece of my brain missing. It’s the one that connects logic with cooking.

I’m taking this off the stove and adding my Jell-O because I don’t want it to turn to coal.


Ahhhh yeahhhh! Note to self (and you): Jello makes everything look better.

Tips: use a saucepan and let the Jell-O warm until it’s completely smooth. I thought I was close to burning the house down but perhaps if I would have been using another pan, it would have been different. Who am I kidding? I have no clue what I’m doing. It looks good so far, right?

On to the next, I have all my lollipop molds prepped and ready for the candy.


I’m going to have the cutest little fruit suckers! I added the sticks before pouring. This has been something I’ll do again. It’s quite simple.

Now pour into the molds. The candy mixture is really thick. You can always go back and flatten or scrape the top.


Okay, what in the eff just happened? Don’t give me a butter knife because mutilation immediately follows. Hopefully the backs can be fixed but the fronts look good.

Now that I’ve poured into one tray, I have a bit more I can pour into the second tray.


PLOP! This came out of the pan in one piece that weighs about 20 pounds. See the sticks on the left? They about made a run for it. Timberrrrrrrrrr! What is going on?

Waiting for the fruits to cool…



Pulling them out of the mold.

And there you have it:


What a gorgeous collection of fruit. We’ve got a pear, a banana, an apple, a strawberry and a pineapple. Perfection!

Anyone want a taste?


Bless my heart.

tawsha connell

6 Minute Caramels

6 Minute Caramels


Welcome to the “Botched Bakery”. I’m Tawsha. I like to bake but I always think I know of a better way. I assume that a professionally created treat doesn’t require any formal training prior to the perfect product and the creative side of my brain won’t allow me to follow recipes. I may have a little streak of defiance when it comes to rules. Most times, the end result of my baked creations can only be described as BOTCHED. Step inside. The bakery smells like fresh burnt goods and Grandma’s famous cookies (thanks to the scented candles).

Today’s Creation: 6 Minute Microwave Caramels

The ingredients and recipe is at the end of the blog. Here’s a little tour of the Botched Bakery 6 Minute Microwave Caramel Adventure!

All of the ingredients nestled together. I decided that I didn’t need to stir the mix. We’ll see if I was right.

Finally stirring the mix after 2 minutes. So far so good…


Exhale. The mixture is boiling and nothing splattered in the microwave or spilled over the side. I think I’m ready for a national bakery chain at this point. Feeling good about my first project being borderline perfection. Some may say it’s too early to tell, I like to say that it’s good to start a project with a positive attitude (well, that or just lie to myself).

Give the mixture one final stir and then pour it into an overly-buttered (or a cooking sprayed) glass pan. We used a 13×9. Actually, we tried two sizes. We started with this size and then thought that it might be fun to see if a smaller pan would be better for making thick caramels. Why the heck not, right? If it’s good now, it will be BETTER if thicker.

Everything seems to be going well. It looks like caramel. I added a wee bit more brown sugar to the smaller pan batch to see what happens. While the caramel cooled, I contemplated how I wanted to cut the candy and “present” it to our guests. Oh heavens. I’m already thinking years into the future when our president starts requesting Botched Bakery caramels. Too soon?


OMG! What? No, it wasn’t too soon to think that people from across the country would request these babies! We buttered up a pastry scraper and pressed the lines into the caramels. We plan to use the same tool to dig the caramels out.

We did the same for the smaller pan. Don’t these look like shiny pork tenderloins? It kind of turned my stomach for a quick second.

Okay, yeah…these are sticky little suckers. The caramel peels up from the pan just fine but they still stick together (like, the stringy, sugary kind of stick) and start to stretch when you tug on them. We didn’t harden them in a refrigerator or freezer. Perhaps that might have worked? Let the botching begin.

Exactly what I was talking about. These all started as squares. Um…yeah…

I pulled all of my caramels apart and placed on a cooling rack. Note to self if I do this again: Don’t put on a cooling rack because they start to form to the rack (or seep through) or grease up the rack for easy maneuvering. After caramel placement, I melted my chocolate.

Goal flavors:

  • Dark chocolate with sea salt
  • Milk chocolate with toffee bites
  • Dark chocolate with coconut
  • Plain

I had no idea what I was doing with the chocolate so I just poured the melted chocolate into a ziplock freezer bag, cut the tip and pretended I knew what I was doing. The caramels are in all sorts of shapes (the final shape it was in after I unstuck it from my fingers). I even made a few turd shapes. Yes, turds.

Aside from it looking like a 5 year old craft project, I’m thinking that this project is really turning out well.

I wrapped some of the turd shaped ones in wax paper…


We set these out (as well as the chocolate ones) and people actually ate them! What’s more…they said they were good!

I’d love to say that I’ll be offering franchise opportunities for the Botched Bakery but I’m more thinking that this recipe is so freaking easy that even I can do it.

Below is a list of what you’ll need at the store, how to make these magnificent pieces of sugar and a couple of tips I figured out along the way.

Have so much fun!


  • 1/4c. butter
  • 1/2c. white sugar
  • 1/2c. brown sugar
  • 1/2c. light Karo Syrup
  • 1/2c. sweetened condensed milk


  • Wax paper (for wrapping or placing on to decorate)
  • Sea salt, toffee, chocolate (for decorating)
  • Ziplock freezer bag (melt chocolate, pour into bag, cut off a small tip and use as “frosting” bag)


  • Grease 13×9 glass pan on the bottom and sides


  • Dump it all into a bowl (one that is microwave safe and can hold over 4 cups of “stuff”)
  • Microwave on high for a total of 6 minutes
  • At the 2 minute mark (as in, there are still 4 minutes to go), stir it all up.
  • Put back in microwave and let the mixture boil for 4 more minutes
  • Pour into GREASED 13×9 glass pan
  • Let cool

Once you have completely cooled the caramels, you can slice them pretty easily with a buttered frosting spreader (is that the technical term?) or a knife. It’s suuuuuper sticky.

If you want to decorate,  be sure to place on wax paper or on a buttered cooling rack. The caramels will start to ooze through the squares, though.


tawsha connell