I cannot even believe that it’s only a week until Christmas. I’ve been cooking and baking and getting ready for the holiday, and I am getting more excited by the minute. If only this balmy weather would just move along and cold air would come back through; then it would be perfect. In addition to the breads and cookies that I’ve been making, I thought it only be right to include a candy. A sugar plum gumdrop candy, that is. If you look up what is actually in a sugar plum (it’s like fruitcake), it’s really not all that exciting. But these gumdrops are nothing like real sugar plums – they are grape flavored, sweet, and absolutely delicious. My mom and I made these together and because they’re fun and festive, I think they just may become a new Christmas tradition.
Before we made these, the main thing that we had to find was the candy mold. We went all over town to the usual places, Michael’s, Target, etc., looked all over online and couldn’t find anything. It was incredibly frustrating. But then, my mom tried looking online again when we were home and having a glass of wine, and finally found these. They are absolutely perfect for making gumdrops, and at under $3 for each mold, you can pick up a few (we used 4 in total for this recipe). After we molded them we had a bit of trouble with the candies “weeping”, but I found that if I kept them on the counter at room temperature and re-coating them in sugar once a day, they firmed up in just 2-3 days. After, all you have to do is store in an airtight container (they keep for a week or two – if you’re still lucky to have them leftover, that is).
- 2- 1/4 oz packages of unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 3oz package of grape flavored gelatin
- Purple sanding sugar, for coating
- White sanding sugar, for coating
- Granulated sugar, for coating
- Begin by sprinkling the unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup of water to soften. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, pour the 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water in and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved and thickened slightly, remove from the heat and add the grape gelatin and softened gelatin mixture, stirring until the gelatin has dissolved. Let cool so that it's still warm but not yet set, about 3-4 minutes, then pour into a measuring cup for easy pouring.
- Lightly spray the gumdrop molds with cooking spray. Pour the warm liquid into the molds (you want to make sure, especially if you use this mold, that the temperature of the liquid is not above 120 degrees F) and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight until set.
- Carefully remove the gumdrops from the molds (you may need to use a knife to help them out). Roll the gumdrops in the purple sanding sugar, white sanding sugar, or granulated sugar, as desired. Place on wax paper and let stand at room temperature for at least 24 hours to crystallize. For mine, since they took a little longer, I re-sugared them once a day and left them out for 2-3 days until they crystallized slightly.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Adapted from Betty Crocker