High-five guests' inner kids by offering candy-coated fruits, such as pears, cherries, and apricots.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, butter parchment, and set aside. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine sugar, 1 cup water, corn syrup, and, if using, food coloring to desired shade. Stir over medium-low heat for 8 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved. Insert a candy thermometer and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, brushing down the side of the pan occasionally with a brush dipped in hot water to prevent crystallization. Do not stir. Continue to boil until sugar reaches 290 degrees.
While mixture boils, prepare stemless fruits for dipping. Insert wooden sticks into the tops of each, pushing about halfway though. When sugar mixture reaches 290 degrees, immediately remove from heat. Working quickly, hold the skewer or the fruit's stem and dip in mixture until coated completely. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; let cool.
Makes approximately 6 each candied nectarines and pears; 10 candied apricots; 24 candied figs; and 36 each candied cherries and raspberries.