Fun Learning in the Kitchen: Homemade Gummy Candy

Are you a fan of gummy candy? I can’t say that I am, but if I had to choose, I prefer the worms and I like them sour. I’m not really into candy, except chocolates, in which case, I must confess I’m a huge nut. Gummy whatevers (they come in all shapes nowadays), I can live without. On the other hand, my daughter, Marguerite, probably likes them as much as the next child. Her vitamins come in the form of gummy bears, and I must say, she does enjoy taking them. She’s not one to ask to buy candy when we’re at the store though. She’s not really the type of child who has to buy stuff when out “shopping”. I’m not sure if she’s simply too young (6) or if that’s just her personality. If that’s the case, then that didn’t come from me. I remember going to the mall with my parents and sulking when I didn’t get what I wanted.

Going back to gummy bears, however, she has been quite obsessed about them lately. Not about eating them, but rather making them. Through watching doll craft tutorials and Littlest Pet Shop videos (she’s really into LPS big time), she stumbled upon videos of people using those Japanese gummy candy kits. At first, she tried copying by using rock salt and water (that’s how the ingredients appeared to her), and she was happy enough to stir and hear the crunch-crunch sound of the salt scraping against the container. Later on, she had to have an end product as well. Unfortunately, the closest thing that she could associate with the jelly candy produced by those kits was her baby brother’s tooth gel. I’m afraid she’d emptied almost all of the entire tube’s content into a plastic box before I found out what she was up to. I suspect she’d tried the petroleum jelly before she dismissed it as an unsatisfactory substitute and moved on to the tooth gel.

I finally recognized that the activity was more than just pretend-play for her and decided to indulge her fascination. I googled “homemade gummy candy” and easily found recipes. It’s another one of those things that I never thought could be made in our own kitchen, with easily accessible, if not readily available, ingredients, and simple instructions. Thankfully, we have lots of molds from our chocolate lollipop-making days. I actually have more in storage from the time I tried making fun-shaped sugar cubes, but what I found in the cupboard was more than enough for our project. We did smileys, bears, roses, and plain cups.

Here is the recipe that we followed:

3 oz flavored gelatin

1 oz unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup of water

First we boiled the water and then added both flavored and unflavored gelatin, mixing the concoction thoroughly. We then scooped the mixture into the molds. The candy started setting almost right away. We left it alone for about 30 minutes just to make sure it actually set quite firmly. When we started prying the candy off of the molds, I thought perhaps we should have sprinkled cornstarch or something so it would be easier to pry loose (I’d expected it to pop off the mold just like with regular jello), but we just picked at one area of the candy and the rest of it could be pulled off the plastic quite easily – no breaking off into parts or bits at all. If the gummy candy is sticky to touch, a sprinkling of cornstarch is recommended, but our gummy candy was fine.

This was really easy to make, and Marguerite was able to help with the stirring, scooping and prying loose. We plan to make some more to give little pouches of the stuff to some of Marguerite’s friends.

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