Making jelly beans can be somewhat time consuming, but doable even for the cooking and candy making novice. (Such as myself.) I suggest buying a pot that you have dedicated to your candy making/jelly bean making endeavors. Over time, you’ll appreciate that the high heat won’t ruin the pots and pans you have for Spaghetti night.
This recipe for how to make homemade jelly beans is found all over the internet and everyone has their general take on it, but over time you’ll find what works for you!
Here is what you need:
- 1 cup water, divided
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 1/4 ounce gelatin
- 1/2 cup no pulp juice or your favorite cocktail (Think fun things like a margarita mix!)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Food coloring (whether commercial or something you can find at Whole Foods)Tools and Supplies:
You will also need:
- 6 jelly bean molds (You can buy them on Amazon.)
- Candy thermometer
- Non-stick Cooking spray
This recipe will make about 150 Homemade Jelly Beans. I suggest doing this first thing in the morning, because there is a lot of drying time and setting time.
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, combine 3/4 cup water, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and gelatin.
- Bring to a boil, stirring regularly to ensure that no clumps of gelatin form.
- As the mixture is boiling, spray the jelly bean molds with non-stick spray.
- As soon as the temperature reaches 230F take the saucepan off the stove. (Use the candy thermometer!) It is important you don’t let the mixture get too hot since it will result in hard-as-rock-jelly beans, but if it happens, at least you now have some hard candy! It will take about 25 minutes to get to that temperature so make sure you have plenty of time and don’t rush it. The syrup should still be liquidy at this point.
- Set the pot in a bowl of ice to stop the temperature from rising. Or fill your sink with ice water and put the pot in there.
- Quickly stir in the juice or other cocktail and salt.
- Pour the syrup into the molds.
- Let the jelly beans sit for four to six hours until the gelatin is gummy and sticky.
- Push the jelly beans out of the molds and transfer them to parchment paper.
- Lightly dust the beans with cornstarch to help them dry & let sit for another few hours.
- To make the outer shell, mix 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup super fine sugar, and food coloring of choice.
- Pour the mixture into a jar and add the jelly beans in the jar.
- This part is the tricky part. Seal the jar tightly. Tilt the jar at an angle and turn it in your hand (as you would a doorknob), keeping the angle. Tumble the jar for 10-15 minutes. I suggest doing this while you are watching your favorite TV show.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the coated beans out of the liquid and place them on fresh parchment to dry and harden overnight.
- Once the top side is hard, flip each bean and allow the other side to dry.