You`ve probably thought about making your own candy before, but if you`ve ever taken a look at some of the candy recipes out there . . . well, they`re HARD! And most of them require special equipment, like a marble slab and a candy thermometer, which, if you`re like me, you probably don`t have kicking around.
Thankfully, there are some very yummy candies that are super simple to make at home and these delicious gumdrops are just that. Super easy and soooo good! I made them for Easter this year, but I suspect they will become a family staple.
You can make these with your own fruit juices, so the flavors are totally up to you. I tried three different options here, the red used strawberry flavored Jello, the orange used orange extract and the green ones were made with lime juice. You can use any of these options, or you could use fruit flavored drink powders. Personally, I loved the flavors of the natural gumdrops, the lime ones were just the right mixture of sweet and sour.
makes a LOT of gumdrops
4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. boiling water
2 Tblsp. gelatin (increase slightly if using fruit juice which will dilute)
Flavoring and colors: I divided my gumdrops into four parts, one part was flavored with 2 Tblsp. lime juice, one part was flavored with 1 tsp. orange extract and the other two parts were mixed together and flavored with 2 Tblsp. strawberry Jello dissolved in 2 Tblsp. water.
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 c. cold water in a pot and let sit for 5 min.
Add boiling water and stir until dissolved. Place over medium heat and add sugar. Bring to a slow boil for 15 min. WARNING: Hot sugar water is EXTREMELY hot, don`t let children anywhere near this mixture!
Divide into as many parts as you want flavors and pour into separate pans, lined with tinfoil (trust me on this one, this stuff is STICKY!) to about 1/2″ depth. Add color and flavor to each pan and stir in with a wooden spoon to avoid tearing the tinfoil.
Let sit in the fridge overnight (two days really lets them firm up). Cut into squares and drop into a bowl of sugar, toss to coat. You could also cut them out with tiny cookie cutters, but that seemed like too much work at the time.
Clean Up Tip: Gelatin can be hard to clean up because it sets on the dishes and when you mix it with sugar . . . deadly combination! Use water as hot as you can stand it, let the dishes soak for 5 minutes before scrubbing with a rough sponge or scrubby.