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Jeff is a big fan of black licorice. I tried growing licorice root but didn’t have much luck in my zone 4B garden. I have had luck in growing anise hyssop in my garden, however, and its flavor is similar. The flavor is so close that I thought I would try making some kind of homemade licorice from it this year. I wouldn’t quite master licorice but I have figured out some tasty gumdrops which are close enough for us. These anise hyssop gumdrops have a chewy texture that is nicely complimented by crunchy chopped nuts. The texture, herbs, and sugar make for a delightful treat. The chopped nuts do give it a nice crunch, but I think you could skip it with equally amazing results. It’s a delicious and different way to use the herbs growing in the garden.
Because this candy essentially starts with a strongly brewed herbal tea, I believe any herb or tea would work wonderfully, just brew it strongly enough to kept its flavor into the face of the other ingredients.
Anise Hyssop Gumdrops
Use fresh herbs from the garden to make anise hyssop gumdrops for an herbal sweet treat.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the cooled hyssop tea. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil gently until the mixture reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over remaining cold herbal tea. Let soften for 5 minutes.
Add gelatin and lemon juice to hot mixture and whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in nuts.
Pour into prepared pan. Chill until firm.
Cut into Squares
Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar. In a wide bowl, place some more powdered sugar to roll the gumdrops in for longer storage. Turn the candy out onto the sugared board. Using a serrated knife, slice the block into small squares. Roll the squares in the powdered sugar, coating all sides. Store the candy at room temperature.
To make these gumdrops with dried herbs use 1/2 cup packed leaves as dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh.
Did you make this recipe?
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These gumdrops would make a great and unusual gift, simply pack them in a pretty tin and perhaps include a bottle of homemade cordial in the same herbal flavor.
I have enjoyed anise hyssop cold teas the last 4 years. And apple vinegar flavored with the flowers. I will try your gum drops recipe and also try it with elderberries juice, shiso and hibiscus honey tea. for the winter. My favorite way to preserve the teas so far was to mix them with honey so that I don't have to keep them in the fridge. I am pretty sure the gummies could keep longer than two weeks. If we say they are medicines and not candies they will be more respected and enjoyed if someone in the family gets a cold or sorethroat.
Friday 28th of September 2018
Could you substitute Agar Agar for the gelatin?
Saturday 29th of September 2018
I imagine you could but I haven't tested it so I can't say for sure.
Tuesday 6th of June 2017
What's the shelf life on these? Can they be made without nuts?
Homespun Seasonal Living
Thursday 8th of June 2017
I haven't tested the shelf-life beyond about 2 weeks. I haven't made them without nuts but I can't see why you couldn't.
Friday 10th of June 2016
Where does the lemon juice come in?
Homespun Seasonal Living
Monday 13th of June 2016
I am so sorry I forgot that! Goodness, me. Add it when you add the gelatin to the hot mixture. I've updated the recipe in the post. Thank you!
Angi @ SchneiderPeeps
Wednesday 8th of July 2015
I can't wait to try these! I bet my kids will LOVE them.