I started my holiday goody making today! Yum! (already ate too many) There will be more to come, but these are by far my favorite.
While Lex was in school and Eve was napping I tried my hand at homemade gumdrops. I was flipping through a Better Homes and Gardens book called Christmas Comfort and Joy at the library a few weeks ago and this gumdrop recipe jumped out at me. It took me awhile to work up the courage to try it, but I finally did and they came out pretty good!
1 c. sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
3/4 c. water
1 3/4 oz package powdered fruit pectin
1/2 t. baking soda
1. Line a 9x5x3″ loaf pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil. Set aside.
2. Butter sides of a heavy 1 1/2-quart saucepan. In saucepan combine sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves (about 10 minutes). Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 280° F, soft-crack stage (about 10 minutes). Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface.
3. Meanwhile, in a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine water, pectin, and baking soda. Mixture will be foamy. Cook over high heat to boiling, stirring constantly (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside.
4. When sugar mixture reaches soft-crack state, remove from heat; remove thermometer. Return pectin mixture to high heat; cook until mixture just begins to simmer. Gradually pour hot sugar mixture in thin stream (slightly less than 1/8″ diameter) into boiling pectin mixture, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute more.
5. Remove saucepan from heat. Add desired flavoring and coloring (see below). Pour mixture into prepared pan. Let stand 2 hours or until firm. Use foil to lift candy out of pan. Using a buttered knife, cut candy into 3/4″ squares. Roll in sugar. Store loosely covered. Makes about 72 pieces.
Orange Gumdrops: Add 1 1/2 t. orange extract, 1 t. finely shredded orange peel, 4 drops of yellow food coloring, and 1 drop red food coloring.
Cinnamon Gumdrops: Add 3 drops oil of cinnamon and 7 drops red food coloring.
Mint Gumdrops: Add 3/4 t. mint extract and 7 drops green food coloring.
Lemon Gumdrops: Add 1 1/2. lemon extract, 1 t. finely shredded lemon peel, and 7 drops yellow food coloring.