Are you a candy person? If you’re reading this blog there’s a reasonable chance you are. I am a candy fanatic. In college my diet was, truly, candy and peanut butter with the occasional yogurt or piece of fruit mixed in. Yep, I was a health nut.
For me candy falls into two categories: chocolatey and fruity. Fruity candies can be further categorized by sour (like Sour Patch Kids or Lemonheads) and sweet (Dots or Skittles).
Clearly I spend way too much time thinking about candy and don’t even have the good sense to be embarrassed enough not to share my thoughts with everybody on earth who has an internet connection. Oh well. Candy-lovers unite!
These candies fall into the sour fruity category. And they are so easy to make!!! It’s basically just Jell-O and of course you can make Jell-O. Everybody can make Jell-O.
The adorable little hearts make them perfect for Valentine’s gifting and your loved ones will never know how easy they are to make. I promise not to tell. They’ll just think you’re a god/goddess in the kitchen.
Truly–these are a cinch. I was shocked by how quickly they came together the first time I made them. And you can adapt this recipe for any holiday. Use lime Jell-O and a little shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day or blue raspberry and stars for the Fourth of July. Super cute and super yummmmm!
If you don’t like sour, you can dredge the candies in cornstarch instead of the citric acid-sugar mixture at the end. Citric acid can be found in the canning section of most grocery stores—I can always find it at Walmart.
I used a silicone mold for the larger hearts and a tiny cookie cutter for the small ones. The mold made my life a lot easier, as cutting the candies with a cookie cutter was a little tedious. If you don’t have a silicone mold though, just go for the cookie cutter. It’s pretty quick work once you get into it.
- 2 6-ounce boxes strawberry or watermelon Jell-O
- 4 tablespoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2/3 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon citric acid
- Spray a 9- x 13- inch casserole dish (for thinner candy), an 8- or 9-inch baking pan (for thicker candy), or silicone candy molds with cooking spray.* Set aside. Combine granulated sugar and citric acid in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Combine Jell-O, gelatin, and cold water in a small saucepan. Allow to sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. The mixture will look kind of congealed.
- Turn stove onto a very low heat and melt the gelatin-water mixture, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture should be smooth and free of gelatin clumps. Do not allow mixture to boil or it will not set properly.
- Pour onto baking sheet or into molds. Refrigerate until completely set, about 30 minutes.
- If using molds, unmold the candies.
- If using a baking sheet, turn candy slab out onto a parchment-lined cutting board. Cut into 1-inch squares or use a sharp cookie cutter to cut into shapes of your choosing.
- Dip candies in sugar-citric acid mixture and roll around to coat on all sides. Place candies in a fine mesh sieve and toss gently to remove excess sugar. Store candies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.