Yesterday was Valentine's Day and my human Valentine (Scott) was at work all day while my furry Valentine (Jack) slept much of the day. I spent the majority of the day doing research (aka: obsessing) about doing the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk. I finally decided to get out of my head for a little bit and make some herbal candy. I had seen a recipe for it a couple of weeks ago and then my friend Cat over at The Green Cat blog sent me an e-mail with a link to a recipe on Instructables. It was the second time I saw that particular recipe that week. I figured that the universe was trying to tell me something so I had to try it.
Here is the recipe I used:
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I picked up some really delicious Ginger Lemon tea by Yogi Tea earlier in the week and thought that it would taste really yummy as candy so I used that instead of selecting my own herbs for this first try.
I also had to pick up a candy thermometer since my regular cooking thermometer doesn't reach the temperatures you need for candy. The instructable recipe made a point of saying to check your thermometer's temperature. I'm grateful I did, because it was off by about 20 degrees! I'm glad I knew to adjust it because it took a really long time to get it to the correct temperature.
One of the reasons why I decided to use this recipe for my first try making herbal candy is because it uses less than half the amount of sugar normally called for in a basic hard candy recipe. Apparently, you can play with what sweeteners you use but I stuck with the original recipe for this first try. I think next time, I'd like to try a combination of white sugar and agave, but I have a feeling that it might make for a chewy candy instead of the hard candy you get with straight sugar.
I didn't have any candy molds but I did have powdered sugar, so I used her recommendation to make molds using that. It was so cool watching the tea/sugar mixture flow into the molds. Seriously.
I stuck it in the fridge and let it set for about half an hour before I sifted the candy out.
I love that they are coated in the powdered sugar (tasty plus it helps keep them from sticking together) and if I do ever get candy molds still plan on using a light sprinkling. They turned out really tasty, but really sweet (but I guess that's simply in the nature of hard candy). I'm really glad that I used this recipe with less sugar!! They're very hard, definitely a sucking candy. It was a lot of fun making them and I'm really looking forward to playing with different herbs. Maybe next time I'll try elderberry & mint...