Monday, December 7, 2009

Cream-Coloured Ponies

What: Homemade Cinnamon Gumdrops

To cure boredom at work the other day I ordered some Spearmint and Cinnamon oils online.

They arrived at my house a few days ago nestled in a little box full of packing peanuts. The enclosed invoice informed me that these peanuts were not styrofoam and were instead made of vegetable starches. To get rid of them they can be dissolved in water and poured down the drain, or put out with the household compost.

I licked one to see how it tasted* and sure enough it immediately started dissolving.

The adorable little bottles were one fluid dram (3/4 of a teaspoon). It sounds small, but it is more than enough to make a lot of gumdrops. So I did.

I have never made candy before so I was nervous that I would burn my pots or set the kitchen on fire, but it was actually very straight forward and easy. All you need is a heavy-bottomed saucepan and a candy thermometer and you are on the road to Gumdrop City.

After letting the gumdrop mixture set overnight I sliced them into squares and coated them liberally with sugar. One recipe made so many (~65 gumdrops) that I wish I had separated it and made half cinnamon and half spearmint, but other than that they turned out beautifully.

They held their shape well without being rubbery. The cinnamon oil was potent and I still have enough for 4 or 5 more batches. Hopefully I can enlist an assistant to take some pictures of the actual cooking process next time.

Gumdrops are one of my all time favourite candies. Now that I know how easy they are to make I want to make lots more. These get bonus points for also being vegan. My friends will never have to eat stale corner store candies again...