Homemade Red Hots {GAPS Legal}

I have been getting more bold in the kitchen, and this December I decided to create alternative recipes featuring some of my favorite Christmas cookies. To enjoy.

I decided on my first cookie to make, Christmas Wreath cookies. And as I was running through my ingredients and working out substitutions I came to the decorative red hots.

And I was faced with a dilemma... could I create a red hot, or should I simply bite the bullet and just use traditional red hots. Maybe I could even find a healthy brand...

But my all-or-nothing attitude kicked in. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.

And that meant making red hots. From scratch. A quick search revealed that it was possible... in essence red hots are a sugar brittle flavored with spices, like cinnamon.

I knew how to make candy out of honey. This could work.

It did work. But I'll admit that when I make the Christmas Wreaths in the future I may use boughten red hots... and tell people they are just for decoration and to pick them off.  

Because making homemade red hots is a labor of love. There is no other way to put it. But being able to put healthy, three ingredient red hots on your Christmas cookies is amazing! And if you don't care if they are rounded into tiny, holly-berry decorative balls, then this is a really easy candy to make!  

GAPS Legal Homemade Red Hots / Cinnamon Hard Candy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 package natural red coloring (I used this one)

Directions:

Combine the honey and water on the stovetop in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently.

You want to heat it at a temperature that is not too hot that it burns, but if it's too low it will take forever to get to temperature.

You're going to have to find your heat sweet spot. It should take between 5-10 minutes to get to soft ball stage, if it's taking longer, turn it up!

Soft ball stage occurs around 235°. If you don't have a thermometer available, you can drip some into a clear glass of cold water. It will form into a little ball upon hitting the water. For a little harder candy (I recommend this), let it go a minute or two after you hit the soft-ball stage.  

After whisking thoroughly, pour the liquid onto some parchment paper to cool When it has cooled enough to touch (doesn't take very long), then use well buttered fingers to form tiny little balls

Not tolerating butter? Any fat will do—the key is to prevent sticking!

Roll those little suckers quickly... after a while the candy will get too hard to work with. You can reheat it to soften in up, but believe me, you will be ready to stop rolling balls. Better yet, recruit a friend (or two) to roll with you!

Set the balls in a cold place (outside works for us right now!) When they are hard, gather them up and store them in a container in the fridge. This prevents the balls from clumping.   This candy could be made into any size (I only chose red hot size because of the Christmas wreath cookies)... or simply cooled and broken into pieces. It is a delicious treat!

Enjoy!

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Homemade Red Hots

Author:
prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 package natural red coloring (I usedthis one)

instructions:

How to cook Homemade Red Hots

  1. Combine the honey and water on the stovetop in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently.
  2. You want to heat it at a temperature that is not too hot that it burns, but if it's too low it will take forever to get to temperature.
  3. You're going to have to find your heat sweet spot. It should take between 5-10 minutes to get to soft ball stage, if it's taking longer, turn it up!
  4. Soft ball stage occurs around 235°. If you don't have a thermometer available, you can drip some into a clear glass of cold water. It will form into a little ball upon hitting the water. For a little harder candy (I recommend this), let it go a minute or two after you hit the soft-ball stage.
  5. After whisking thoroughly, pour the liquid onto some parchment paper to cool When it has cooled enough to touch (doesn't take very long), then use well buttered fingers to form tiny little balls
  6. Not tolerating butter? Any fat will do—the key is to prevent sticking!
  7. Roll those little suckers quickly... after a while the candy will get too hard to work with. You can reheat it to soften in up, but believe me, you will be ready to stop rolling balls. Better yet, recruit a friend (or two) to roll with you!
  8. Set the balls in a cold place (outside works for us right now!) When they are hard, gather them up and store them in a container in the fridge. This prevents the balls from clumping. This candy could be made into any size (I only chose red hot size because of the Christmas wreath cookies)... or simply cooled and broken into pieces. It is a delicious treat!
  9. Enjoy!
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