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Making your own candy Conversation Hearts and Necco Wafers is pretty easy.  Plus, with the Conversation Hearts, you can write whatever you want on them.

And, as an added bonus, you can make candy cigarettes from the same dough. I love candy cigarettes because they are such fun.

I have 2 different recipes, and have a fondness for the one made with Sprite as it remains a softer, tastier candy.

I will give the other recipe first, and then my favorite version. The first one is closer to the original.

Candy Dough for Necco Wafers, Conversation Hearts, and Candy Cigarettes:

1 packet (or 2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (or brown rice syrup or tapioca syrup)
2 pounds powdered sugar, plus another pound for dusting your work surface
flavoring extracts
food colorings
Small heart-shaped cutter (fondant cutters are about the right size)
Edible Food Writers/Markers
typesetting letters (if you can find them)

Bloom the gelatin in the water for about 5 minutes, then stir in the syrup and heat either in the microwave in 5 second bursts or in the top of a double boiler until the gelatin is melted. In a stand mixer or by hand, knead in 1 cup of the powdered sugar at a time.  The dough should be very thick and sticky.  If you use a stand mixer, pull the dough out onto a powdered sugar surface and knead until the dough is the texture of Play-Doh.

Divide the dough into as many sections as you want to use colors and flavors, and wrap the unused balls of dough in plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.  Doing one ball of dough at a time, tint and flavor it, then roll it out about 3/8" thick for the hearts.  Cut hearts out of the dough and arrange on parchment paper to dry.  If you have typesetting letters (very small ones, say an 8 pt or 6 pt font) use them to press the messages into the hearts. If you don't have the typesetting letters, let the hearts dry for 24 hours, then flip and dry the other side for another 24 hours, and then using the edible food writers, write messages on the hearts. Repeat with each ball of dough to get the colors and flavors you want.

Traditional color/flavor combinations are:

white - wintergreen
yellow - lemon
pink - strawberry
green - lime
orange - orange
purple - clove

If you want to make Necco Wafers, use the same basic dough, only roll them 1/4" thick, cut into small circles.

The traditional flavor/color combination for Necco Wafers are:

orange - orange
lemon - yellow
lime - green
clove - purple
chocolate - brown
cinnamon - white
licorice - black
wintergreen - pink.

There is also the chocolate assortment:
mocha - light brown (freeze dried pulverized coffee and powdered cocoa for flavor and color)
white chocolate - white (white cocoa powder)
milk chocolate - brown (regular cocoa powder)
dark chocolate - dark brown (dark chocolate cocoa powder)

Since you're making your own, though, you can make them whatever colors and flavors you want. You can have blue, and violet, and peach, and tan colors in coconut, grape, pineapple, mango, strawberry, blueberry, or vanilla flavors. Or rum.

For candy cigarettes, flavor the dough with white vanilla (so the dough stays white and doesn't turn beige), peppermint, or spearmint.  Roll to 3/8" thick, then using a pizza wheel, cut the dough into very, very narrow (1/4") strips.  Round each strip and cut into cigarette lengths.  Allow to dry 24 hours, flip and dry another 24 hours.  Tint one end red by dipping it into a thinned red gel food coloring.

Now, my favorite recipe is slightly different from the above.  Instead of using water, I used Sprite:

1/4 ounce gelatin
4 ounces Sprite
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 pounds powdered sugar (or more)

Bloom the gelatin in the Sprite for about 5 minutes.  Melt the gelatin with the salt in the microwave using 5 second bursts or in the top of a double boiler.  When the gelatin is melted, using a stand mixer, beat in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until it is fully incorporated.  The dough should eventually resemble Play-Doh. Turn the dough out onto a powdered sugar surface and knead it smooth.

At this point, the instructions are pretty much the same as above - divide into the number of colors/flavors you want, and work with 1 ball of dough at a time.

I use gel colors because the colors are richer. Start with one drop and knead it in well, adding more color for deeper hues.

I am also likely to substitute freeze dried fruit, pulverized to a powder, as my flavoring. Usually 1/4 ounce of pulverized freeze-dried fruit works fine (strawberries, cherries, bananas, mangos, pineapple, blueberries, even apple). Where I can't get freeze-dried fruit, flavor extracts work well. One to four drops of flavoring works - taste test the dough between drops to get your correct flavor.

Remember to let the candy dry 24 hours, flip them, and dry them another 24 hours.

The Sprite dough stays softer, and the doughs flavored with freeze dried fruits will never dry out completely, but they will still be crisp, just not hard.

This is a fun dough to use with kids, too.  Just remember that it needs 48 hours of drying time.

Originally posted to Practical Survivalism and Sustainable Living on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:31 AM PST.

Also republished by J Town.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:31:38 AM PST

  •  How fun! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, Noddy, txcatlin

    Great project for any of our liberal homeschoolers out there -- cooking is a great way to teach about fractions, and you could even toss in a mini-chemistry lesson about how different ingredients have different effects.  

    Glad I clicked today. :-)

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:12:48 AM PST

    •  Yes, the end results (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      look the same, and even taste close enough to the same that many people can't distinguish them, but the texture will be just different enough.

      Also. the shape and thickness make textural differences, and sometimes, so do the flavoring and coloring ingredients.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:57:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you for posting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    these recipes Noddy. I plan to order some white vanilla and make some candy cigarettes. My friends will laugh hysterically but all of them will enjoy playing with them. When these drear winter days hit it is good to be prepared to lift spirits.

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." Lewis Carroll

    by Wordsinthewind on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:02:34 PM PST

  •  eek! starting on Valentine's things before New (0+ / 0-)

    Year's is ended??? sigh.  certainly sounds fascinating, 8-)

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:45:32 PM PST

    •  The stores have been stocking (0+ / 0-)

      and selling Valentine's things for a couple of weeks now.

      They almost skipped New Year's stuff, and I haven't seen any Mardi Gras things.  And now, there's Easter stuff in the stores - I saw Easter egg dyes.

      There are no holiday seasons any more.  They all blur together in wholesale huckstering.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:57:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  somebody needs to do some studies on how this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        blurring actually desensitizes consumers, who buy LESS as a result!

        my husband and I generally refuse to buy anything for a themed holiday until about 3 weeks before the event, no matter how long the stuff has been out in the stores. We will LOOK, in case there's something we really really like (christmas ornaments) that probably won't "last" until our self-imposed deadline, but we really try, for example, not to buy Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving!

        Well, actually we haven't bought any Christmas ornamernts in several years, bcause we can barely stuff al we currently have on a good-sized tree, 8-) We have "invested" in converting light strings to LED; even if they don't last as long as advertised (!), they still do better in our wet conditions, and use SO much less energy that we can join up strings almost endlessly! and do much more with what we have. We really love doing outside lighting, during the dark-and-gloomy-bad-for-SAD part of the year!

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:41:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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