Thursday, November 15, 2012

Say Goodbye, "Twilight: The Final Installment" Gumdrops (★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆)

Sooooo, yaaaaaa.   
I'm about to dork out on you.

No, not geek out -- dork out.

There's a difference.

The word "nerd" or "geek" pertains to a person who possesses a particular and valuable skill albeit to an off-putting degree.

A "dork," however, is just someone who has an unhealthy obsession with an otherwise pointless object or idea.  Say the classic Trekkies, fanatical Belieber's, and, yes, the lowly Twihards.  
So, I'm the latter.

Or, was, I should say.  The last few movies have managed to suck what little devotion I had left.  Which is too bad, because I was hardcore.

We're talking midnight showings.  
Handmade t-shirts (Team Jacob!!).
Roadtrips to Forks.
Just some of the Twilighty things I did in 2009.  Oh, that blonde hair.  

K, I was crazy legit.  

I've been to the prom site, the alley site, and the Cullen mansion. (Insert Twihard green, envious, drooling here).  But not just the "so-deemed" landmarks in Forks, WA.  Oh no, to the actual movie sets.

We're talking RPattz and KStew were once breathing the same St. Helens, OR air. 

Now that is legit.
And crazy.
....pretty. crazy.

But sometimes loosing your mind can be, oh, so fun.

So to celebrate the closure of Hollywood's butchering a pretty decent book series this week, I themed out some gumdrops.

Oh, and I'm flying to Portland for the premiere.  
Because, frankly, you can never suppress the crazy for long.
When Twilight is the catalysis for renewing a friendship that was withered by distance, you want to celebrate the end of an era, as it were (oh, go throw your hissy fit you Twihaters...yes, I said "era"), in the place where it all started.

That's called closure.

Coming full circle.

And veggie vampire lover or not, it's beautiful.
Easy Homemade Gumdrops
adapted from Kitchen Meets Girl

2 - 3oz (or 1 - 6oz) Box of Jello [I used raspberry for red, and cherry lemonade which I dyed black.]
2 - envelopes of unsweetened gelatin (i.e. Knox)
1 1/3 Cups - Applesauce (Unsweetened is best, but either works)
2 Cups - Sugar, extra for coating (about 1/2 cup)

Requires Chill time of at least 3 hours.  
I love, LOVE chewy candy.  So when I saw these a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make them.

For Twilight week, I needed something that was going to be quick, as my week was shortened due to my being out of town and something that was easily customizable (color-wise, flavor-wise).  This fit the bill.

It was super simple.  But still takes a little time for chilling (3 hours) and cutting into small pieces to coat with sugar.  Nothing too complicated here, but definitely not as quick as I had originally anticipated.

1) Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam or Cooking Oil.
2) In a medium saucepan, combine jello, gelatin, applesauce, and sugar.  Stir until well blended.  Allow
    mixture to sit for 1 minute before putting on the stove.  This allows the ingredients time to
    saturate. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil. (You want this to come to a slow boil so the
    sugar has time to thoroughly dissolve.  Otherwise the gumdrops will be grainy - trust me, I know).
    Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3) Immediately pour mixture into 9x13 pan and chill until firm.  About 3 hours.  *Tip: immediately
    rinse out the saucepan with hot water.  The sugar begins to harden very quickly and is increasingly
    difficult to get off the longer it sits.

 4) To cut the candies, you'll want a good knife.  Like the best one you have.  Because when these are
     done right they are extremely firm and sticky.  (Above Picture: Correct firmness.  I was pressing
     down with a decent amount of pressure).
*Tip:  These are a little temperamental.  My "black" batch did not turn out well at all.  I can only think
            of two differences between this one and my perfectly done "red" batch.  1) I added dye.  To get
            it as black as I, as I could...I had to add a good amount of black food gel.  This
            might have altered the texture.  2) I brought this batch to a fast boil on high heat.  Which means
            the sugar didn't have time to sit and simmer.  This might account for the soft, gumminess as
 5) After the pieces are cut out (you can use a cookie cutter, etc. to get different shapes), place on a
     paper towel to remove as much dampness as possible.  The side that sat in the pan will be the most
 6) For basic coating, pour about a 1/2 cup of sugar into a small Ziploc bag.  Put a good amount of the
     gumdrops in there and shake it up!  Make sure all sides of each piece get coated.  Once coated, they
     will be easily manageable and not sticky. [Side Note: This only works for the firm ones.  If for some
     reason your batch turns out a little soft you'll have to coat only a few at a time as they stick together
     and hang on for dear life.]
 7) For alternative coating options, use sugar crystals, colored sprinkles, etc.  For this method, where
     you don't have as much sugar for the coating, pour into a small dish and coat one piece at a time.

I was kind of excited about these, but they weren't all that delicious.  They were like a really cool, fun craft.

If you have kids, I would totally recommend making this with them.  It's easy, relatively fast, and totally customizable - colors, flavors, shapes, you name it.  ...But that's about it.

I didn't think these tasted good enough to warrant a re-bake.  Although, after I was through with coating them, I had to admit they did look pretty good.
Happy Final Twilight Day!  
Now that's something everyone can get behind.  

* Addendum:  (You can tell I wrote this one early) If your jello comes out mushy like my dark batch,
  make them, then freeze them.  Frankly, I like those better now than the red ones.

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