Gum Drops

Gum Drops
Gum Drops – Photo by J. Andrews

So it’s that holiday time of year. And I like my sweets on holidays, so Mary Kate and I got together to make some candy a couple of weeks ago. (I burned and ruined one pot that day, so you’re not getting a recipe for caramels, until I get a new pot and try it again.) One of the things we tried that was a hit was the gum drops. I actually made them ahead of time because there’s some processing time between steps (AT LEAST 3 DAYS, please read the whole recipe), and we wanted to use them for a construction project (teaser for next week’s post). The recipe I started with was located here at Bakerella. If you can use commercial extracts and commercial food coloring, you can use the recipe as it is. But I can’t. So I used Cara Reed’s ideas from her book, Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking (see Mary Kate’s review here) for food coloring for the green, and then extended her idea and used carrots for the orange. I also used the homemade extracts that I’ve made and some lemon essential oil.  You’ll see four colors of gum drops in the picture, but the best were the lime and orange and the other flavors still need more work before they are blog-worthy.

Gum Drops

The recipe for the gum drops makes one batch of one flavor. To make both flavors, either double the amounts for the gum drop and put the ingredients for one flavor in each half of the batch, or use the amounts below for the batch, and use half of the amounts for the flavors in each half of the batch.

To make Orange Flavor:

  • 2 teaspoons of Orange Food Coloring (To make orange food coloring, take 1/2 cup of peeled, chopped carrots, and cook over medium heat in water in a small sauce pan until tender. Drain the water, saving 1/4 of a cup aside. Place drained carrots and 1/4 cup of reserved cooking water in a blender and process until smooth. Place in a storage container and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks). 
  • 4 drops of Lemon Essential Oil (make sure it’s pure and not cosmetic grade)
  • 2 Tablespoons of homemade orange extract (I used orange peels as described here and I use either Vikingfjord  or Luksusowa Vodka because they are made only from potatoes, where some vodkas may also use grain or corn.)

To make Lime Flavor:

  • 2 teaspoons of Green Food Coloring (To make green food coloring, take 1 cup of fresh spinach and boil in 3 Tablespoons of water for 5 minutes while covered. Pour spinach and water in a blender and process until smooth. Place in a storage container and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks). 
  • 4 drops of Lemon Essential Oil (make sure it’s pure and not cosmetic grade)
  • 2 Tablespoons of homemade lime extract (I used lime peels as described here and I use either Vikingfjord  or Luksusowa Vodka because they are made only from potatoes, where some vodkas may also use grain or corn.)

Gum Drops:

  • 2 Tablespoons of unflavored gelatin powder (Knox or Great Lakes are generally regarded as being okay if you’re not super sensitive to corn, again no affiliation with Amazon, just linking for reference)
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • 3/4 cup of boiling water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • extra sugar for coating the gum drops
  • a bit of safe for you oil to coat the container in which you’ll cool your gum drops
  • a container about 4 inches by 8 inches in which to cool your gum drops (I used two sandwich sized Rubbermaid food storage containers so my gum drops were a little thinner than normal.) 

Grease your container to cool your gum drops with your safe oil.

In a large pot, add the gelatin and cold water.  Whisk them together until the gelatin is completely moistened. Let the gelatin and water mixture sit for five minutes.

Add the boiling water and whisk until the gelatin dissolves.  Add the sugar and stir it into the gelatin mixture.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and boil for 25 minutes.

Pour the mixture into your greased container and mix in the food coloring, extract and essential oil, until it is thoroughly combined.

Cover the container and put it in the fridge overnight to set.

Take out the container and use a knife dipped in hot water to cut 3/4 inch squares. I found it easiest to take the whole gum drop sheet out of the container (which is no small feat) and place it on a greased plastic cutting board and cut them on the board.

Roll the cubes in sugar on all sides and place them on waxed paper or parchment paper (whatever is safest for you, those allergic to corn may have trouble with waxed paper), and let them dry at room temperature for two days to let the sugar dry and the gum drop harden a bit.

Enjoy!

Gum Drops
Gum Drops – Photo by J. Andrews

 

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