Thursday, December 15, 2011

"12 Days of Christmas" Day 3, "Gumdrop Trees"

             Heap on more wood!--the wind is chill, but let it whistle as it will.
                We’ll keep our Christmas Merry still! by Sir Walter Scott

This is Day 3 of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Today I am giving my oven a rest and my recipe is “Gumdrop Trees.” This is a super easy and fast project perfect for kids as well as adults. Coming up with a creative yet inexpensive Christmas centerpiece for the holidays is sometimes a challenge. Using gumdrops for trees, wreaths, and hanging decorative balls, is easier than you think and you can incorporate candy into your holiday décor! Gumdrop trees make great gifts, just wrap them in cellophane with a beautiful ribbon and what a fun gift that will be for your friends and family.

My Gumdrop Tree 2011
Gumdrops are usually brightly-covered gelatin or pectin pieces, shaped like a cone and covered in granulated sugar. The flavors are orange, lemon, lime, grape, and cherry. They are used in baking, candy crafting, decorating, and for eating out of your hand. They are often used for decorating cakes and cupcakes as well. I know I would be lost without them when I am decorating my Gingerbread House. Did you know that the Apollo 9 Command module was called Gumdrop due to the blue cellophane wrapping in which the craft was delivered? Who knew?
Day 3
Then we have Spice Drops, which have sharp spicy flavors such as cinnamon, mint, and cardamom. They are also generally smaller than gumdrops. The spice drop color/flavor code is generally as follows; (but varies by manufacturer) Orange is clove, yellow is allspice, red is cinnamon, green is spearmint, purple is cardamom or anise, white is wintergreen or peppermint, and black is licorice.

Now, that we learned a little about gumdrops lets create this beautiful candy centerpiece. Go to your local craft store and purchase a Styrofoam cone, wreath or round balls. You should try to find the green colored ones as the white ones you will have to cover, so the white doesn’t show through, in-between the gumdrops. Then you need several bags of gumdrops depending on the size of your cones. You need some ribbon, and a box of toothpicks with a point on the end. (the round ones, not the flat ones) Cut your toothpicks in half. Do not use toothpicks that splinter. (What I use is a small wire cutter and that cuts them perfectly in half) Now stick half of the toothpick in the bottom of the gumdrop and push it in the cone, wreath, or ball. Work from the bottom up, all around the cone going up the shape. Place the gumdrops as close together as possible. You can use all one color or mix the colors. You may need a full toothpick to attach the final gumdrop on the tree. Then attach a bow with another toothpick and place it on the very top of your newly created Gumdrop Tree which you can add to your holiday decorations. Creating is fun and yummy!


Till Next Time……..

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