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How to make gummi candies at home

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Wiggly giggly tasty fun

Gummi bears are among my favorite candies. Until recently, I'd never considered making them at home, though I was sure it was possible. Then a friend made them, and when I looked at the various novelty silicone ice trays I have hanging out in our gadget cabinet, I knew homemade gummi penguins were in our future, along with gummi stars and hearts and citrus slices. Additionally, a certain modular plastic building brick company has sold silicone ice trays in the shape of the bricks -- I could make those, too. The possibilities felt rather limitless.

Gummy Bears

Gummi candies are easy to make

Gummi candies aren't much more than a whole lot of gelatin and some flavoring. Yes, that simple. You might have all the ingredients you need in the house right now. As for equipment, the only thing you might not have is a mold.

Ah, the mold. This is where you can let your imagination run wild. You can use actual candy molds from candy supply houses, silicone ice cube trays, or simply improvise. I like to keep the final product on the small size because I like the idea of a handful of them. If you can't locate a mold, just pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet and cut it with a pizza cutter when it has set up. And if you want to get super-creative, read up on making your own custom molds with food-grade silicone.

Learn the basics then get creative

The following basic recipe makes a relatively few number of candies -- about one ice cube tray, but you can easily scale it up to make dozens more of these gummi goodies. Making gummi candies turns out to be so quick that you can even make successive batches in different flavors. And once you have the recipe and technique down, you can experiment with adding additional flavors to the gummies. A good example is adding ascorbic acid powder for tart flavored gummies (add the ascorbic acid after melting the mixture).

Homemade Gummi Candies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 package flavored gelatin
  • 4 packets unflavored gelatin

Directions:

  1. Place the cold water in a heat-proof glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water while stirring with a rubber spatula. The resulting mixture will be a super-thick mass, much like clay, but keep stirring. When all the gelatin is sprinkled on, try to get all the dry bits off the side of the measuring cup and off the spatula (as well as any moist bits) and press onto the surface of the gelatin mass.
  2. Cover the measuring cup with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. Fill a medium-sized saucepan half full with water, set over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer. Remove the plastic wrap from the measuring cup and place it in the water. Let the mass of gelatin melt, stirring occasionally and gently. When the mixture is clear, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Very carefully pour the hot mixture from the measuring cup into the molds. If the syrup gets too thick, you can reheat it a little. If the candies contract a fair bit as they cool, top them off with a second round of the gelatin mixture. Place the mold in the freezer for 10 minutes, then in the refrigerator for another 5 to 10 minutes. Peel them out of the molds and serve.

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