School’s out for summer, and we aren’t even going to give our kids a chance to complain about being bored. We’ve got a summer cooking project in mind, and we bet you’ll be on board too. In fact, this project even has a 21-and-up option, so it will entice everyone.
We’re talking about homemade gummies. Sure, you can pick up a bag at the grocery store, but what’s the fun in that? Grab some silicone molds and gelatin, stop at the liquor store, and meet us in the kitchen.
Homemade Gummies: The Easy Way
It’s surprisingly simple to make a batch of gummies. The one item you probably don’t already have on hand is a silicone mold. You can order them online or find them at a craft store. Try the classic gummy bear size and shape, or choose from a huge variety of novelty shapes.
Sweet Pete’s, a small local candy maker in Florida, offers a wonderfully basic recipe for homemade gummies. We think it’s the ideal place to start if you’ve never made gummies. Your finished product may not be a dead ringer for Haribo bears, but we’re confident it will be delicious.
Simply mix cold water, flavored gelatin, and a couple extra tablespoons of unflavored gelatin over low heat until all the sugar dissolves. Use a measuring cup with a spout to pour the mixture into your silicone molds. The gummies will set up quickly in the refrigerator or freezer, and you can pop them right out.
We want to highlight a couple key tips from Sweet Pete’s. First, when simmering the gelatin and water, make sure the sugar fully dissolves. This may take some patience. Don’t stir madly or crank up the burner temperature. Second, after you pour the mixture into the molds, give them a gentle tap on the counter so the liquid fills in all the crevices. Both of these steps help minimize the air bubbles in your gummies.
Homemade Gummies: The Authentic Way
But what if you do want to make a batch of homemade gummy bears that could pass for Haribo Gold-Bears? Then it’s time to check out this post from The Food Hacker, Todd Wilbur. Frankly, we think you ought to read his post regardless, because it’s hilarious.
Wilbur’s recipe is similar to Sweet Pete’s, with two crucial differences. One, he uses corn syrup in addition to the sugar in the flavored gelatin powder. If you read our post about the secrets of sorbet, you may already know why using corn syrup is a smart move. Corn syrup doesn’t have the sharp, angular crystals of granulated sugar. Your liquid mixture will be smoother, and your gummies will be softer and chewier.
The second difference is that Wilbur adds citric acid to his recipe. Just a quarter of a teaspoon helps make the fruit flavor of the gelatin pop. Plus citric acid acts as a preservative, so your gummies will stay soft and chewy longer.
We admit that all the steps in Wilbur’s recipe — the stirring, the heating, the waiting — are tiresome. In other words, don’t expect to make and eat these gummies in the same day. After you pop the gummies out of the molds, they still have to stand up and lie down (yes, really) for 48-72 hours in order to achieve authentic Haribo Gold-Bear consistency. If you (or your kids) can’t wait that long, we get it. Go ahead and indulge.
Homemade Gummies: The Boozy Way
Maybe you think gummies are kid stuff. Why would an adult want to eat gummy bears when they could be drinking beer or wine? Allow us to introduce you to boozy gummies, thanks to Jessica and Janette.
Their recipe is similar to Sweet Pete’s, except there’s no flavored gelatin. The alcohol provides the flavor. For wine gummies, add a half-cup of sugar to wine and unflavored gelatin. For beer gummies, add a quarter-cup of sugar.
The key to retaining alcohol is to monitor the temperature closely as you dissolve the sugar and gelatin. With the beer gummies, keep the temperature under 170F. With the wine gummies, it needs to stay under 90F.
Feel free to experiment with different varieties of beer and wine. But remember that the recipes call for a mere cup of alcohol. That’s a half-pint of beer, and a little over a glass of wine. Meanwhile, there are 24 teaspoons of sugar in a half-cup. If you eat the entire batch of gummies, you’ll get a sugar rush, not an alcohol buzz. Plus, the American Heart Association recommends a daily maximum of six teaspoons of sugar for women, and nine teaspoons for men.
But for a party, these boozy gummies would be a fantastic treat. You can also wrap them up and give them as gifts, so bookmark this post for the holidays too.
We hope we’ve convinced you to give homemade gummies a try yourself. If you do, we’d love for you to tell us how they turned out!