My oldest granddaughter loves gummy bears and she came over today, so we decorated the Christmas tree and made gummy bears. Fun day!
This is the first time making it and it was pretty easy. I did burn myself but not so bad this time, what else is new?
This one requires molds, but of course, they don’t have to be bear-shaped. Any soft candy/chocolate molds should work. Make sure the chocolate molds can withstand the higher heat, some can not. I bought these ones to keep her happy that they are bears. They worked well, except they need to be placed very quickly in the mold, although occasionally warming up the mixture in the pan helps. The droppers it came with are quite small, next time I will try larger droppers, maybe a turkey baster.
After the molds were full, I had extra and tried to make drops but they ended up looking like large blobs.
The equipment needed for this recipe is 2 medium-sized pots, thermometer, whisk, silicone candy molds, silicone droppers, wax or parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet or cutting board to protect the counter surface.
Lightly oil the candy molds; this is not always necessary to do each time with quality molds. 1 3/4 ounces of pectin - typically 1 box 1/2 tsp baking soda 3/4 cup water Mix the above ingredients in one of the pots over medium heat, constantly stirring, until it starts to boil and becomes clear and thick. Set it aside and cover to keep warm 1 cup light corn syrup 1 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons of extract - whatever flavor: lemon, orange, raspberry, root beer, etc 8 drops of food coloring - optional Mix corn syrup and sugar in the second pot on high heat. Stir until the mixture starts to boil. Cook until the thermometer reads 260 F. You do not have to stir, but stirring once in a while doesn't hurt it. Stir in the pectin/baking soda/water mixture to the syrup. Bring back to a boil and let it boil for 1 minute Remove from heat, add extract and coloring, mix it in. Using silicon droppers fill-up the lightly oiled molds and let them sit for 5-6 hours Remove the candy from the molds and use a light amount of granulated or powdered sugar to counteract the stickiness. Shake off any excess sugar. Store them in seal-able bags or plastic containers. They should stay fresh for 5-7 days.
It turns out softer than store-bought and a bit sticky but a light amount of fine powdered or granulated sugar solves that. If you want the gummy bears to be sour, mix in about ½ to 1 tsp of food-grade citric acid with the extract and coloring. 1 tsp of citric acid to 1 cup of granulated sugar should work as a sour coating.
On second thought, it might be easier to turn off the heat but keep the pan on the stove to keep the mixture from firming too much, instead of constantly reheating the mixture.
The citric acid makes them softer, so keeping them in the molds longer and then laying them out before packing them up helps.
Next time, I will try cinnamon bears. I have some strong cinnamon extract I can use.
Edit: Letting it sit for 5 hours is critical. I tried one of the pieces that was not in the mold about an hour after cooking it and it was fairly hard. The pectin softens it up - it is cooked to ‘hard ball’ stage, and it takes time for it to soften, and it needs more time to get set in the mold so it doesn’t flatten out.
My granddaughter gives it a 10 out 10.