In this case, it was actually my creative impulses that made me quest for gummy worms--I wanted to make a dirt cake for my youngest son's birthday party this coming Sunday and a dirt cake just isn't complete without worms! I thought this would be especially appropriate considering how much he likes to stick his hands in the dirt and gets so thrilled when I find him a "friend" to play with for a bit.
|white grape & cran-grape flavored gummy "worms"|
When I first popped these suckers from the mold last night, they felt a little like Jell-O jigglers, but the longer they sit out, the more tough and truly gummy they've gotten. When they were first out of the mold, they were a bit sticky too, so I tried coating some of them with powdered sugar, which seemed to work for a while, but then they turned into even more of a gooey mess, while the ones that I left alone lost a lot of their stickiness over time on their own. I was thrilled with the texture after a couple hours when I found some of them that I'd given to the kids by stepping on them--on carpet...and then on hard floor. In both cases, they didn't splat or get mashed into the carpet. They felt icky under my foot, but when I picked them up, they were still in the original shape! So, having run these "tests", I feel confident enough to share the recipe (even though I don't know how long they'll keep, but, then again, they probably will never last that long anyway!) and maybe even buy some real worm molds before the party!
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
pinch cream of tartar
tiny (1/4 pinch?) bit of salt
1/2 cup unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup water
1 1/3 cup fruit juice or juice cocktail
3/4 cup sugar
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to simmer and cover for 3 minutes. Remove cover and continue heating, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches about 235-240 degrees. Set aside.
Prepare the mold or a 8x8 dish by wetting it down lightly. Mix gelatin into 1/2 cup water and set aside. Add fruit juice and sugar to previous sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat until sugar has completely dissolved. Add gelatin mixture. Continue heating and stirring until gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour into prepared mold.
Let stand for 5-6 hours at room temperature. Remove from mold and cut to desired shapes if necessary. Let stand on a cutting sheet another hour or two to finish setting.