Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Recipe/Tutorial: Gummy snacks

One of the goals of doing our spending freeze this month was to see not only how much money we will save, but ways in which we can make permanent changes. One of our main grocery items are fruit snacks...the kids love fruit snacks, the husband loves fruit snacks, they're great to toss in my purse and they're great for the car or on the go. It's easy to justify the purchase because they're just so convenient, but during our spending freeze, these have been a no-no. So, I came across an idea for homemade fruit snacks. Unfortunately the initial recipe I found called for something called Clear-Jel which we don't have locally. Instead, I had jello, gelatine, or pectin to work with so I searched for recipes based on that. 

One thing I learned: there are a MILLION tutorials/recipes out there for these, and it was very overwhelming when I was searching. Also, most of these specified that they were for fruit snacks. However, the recipe I'm about to share, and the recipe that seems to be out there the most, is absolutely NOTHING like fruit snacks to me, these definitely resemble gummy candy to me, hands down. They are tasty, but the consistency is definitely more like gummy worms or gummy bears. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely cannot STAND chewy food like gummy worms, but the flavor was yummy so I ate one anyway. 

The things you will need are:
1. A small pot
2. One 3 oz package of Jello-any flavor
3. Two .25 oz packets of unflavored Gelatin
4. 1/3 cup of water
5. A candy mold or pan of some sort

So first, start with your Gelatin and Jello:

Add your 1/3 cup of water to your pot and turn the stove on to a boil. I added my gelatin and jello *before* the water was boiling and then brought it to a boil. It looks like this: 
You want to boil it until it's essentially dissolved, so it should take maybe five minutes. I didn't time, I just decided when it really started to liquify it was done.  

Once it's done, you go ahead and add it to your mold. 

All I had on hand was a Jello mold of Phineas and Ferb, so these were going to be on the larger side. However, you can use candy molds, or you might be able to find some other fun molds on Amazon or at the thrift store. Some say that silicone molds are easier to use, but I lightly sprayed my mold with Pam and had ZERO sticking problems-these popped right out. You can also use a regular pan and cut these in to squares when hardened if you choose. 

Okay, you want these to set nicely, so leave them alone for about 20 minutes minimum. We sampled our first batch of these after about 30 minutes and they were perfect. We made a second batch and let them sit overnight and they were still really good. 

This is the finished product: 
Yes, Perry the Platypus is featured here because he just so happens to be my favorite character...
Like I said, these are rather large because of the mold and they are *very* chewy, very much like gummy worms. This recipe apparently has a tendency to "melt" if you sprinkle it with sugar *or* stick together if you put them in a bag, but I had no such problems. Try at your own risk, I suppose? This would be FANTASTIC for the gummy worms recipe using straws that I'm sure everyone has seen on the internet ;)

I will definitely be making these again, but I am on the hunt for a smaller mold in order to make these more cost effective. I'd love a recipe for non-chewy fruit snacks so I'm also on the hunt for one of those. I've also heard that with this recipe, you can use your fruit roll tray from your dehydrator. I'd rather make fruit leather though, so perhaps I'll do a tutorial on that later...who knows!