How to Make Vegan Gummy Worms
Hello, crafters and creative peoples! As I'm writing this, it's early in the morning on a beautiful Saturday in lovely Seattle, and here I am with a craving for something sweet. Unfortunately, I'm craving something that is generally made with an animal product, and I haven't eaten anything like that in over 11 years. I want gummy worms!
Fortunately for me, I came up with this recipe some time ago when my dear sweet husband wouldn't give me a moment's rest until I found him some gummy worms that we could eat. They are by far his favorite candy, and I hope they will be yours, too!
Please remember to read all the instructions before you begin, as there are a few different options for some of the steps.
You'll need to gather the following materials:
- 8 tablespoons agar agar powder (Don't use the flakes; they're not going to get solid enough.)
- 4 cups fruit juice in your favorite flavor
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 pinch of salt (Really, a pinch will do!)
- 4 tablespoons of a dry sweetener of your choice (I use sugar, but you may omit this ingredient if you'd like. A liquid one will make it more runny, and we don't want that!)
- Citric acid or ascorbic acid spray (optional, for sour gummy candy. Spray it on after they're done! You can find this at health food stores or online.)
- Food coloring (optional, add in step 2.)
- Flavoring like vanilla, lemon, etc. (optional, add in step 2.)
- 1 saucepan
- 1 worm mold (You can find these at craft stores. I got mine from a child's "mad scientist" candy kit. You can also obviously use any other candy mold you'd like. I know of a guy who used Legos somehow; just make sure that you're using a food-grade plastic.)
- Access to running water, a stove, and a freezer
- 1 stirring device (Plastic or wooden spoons work beautifully.)
- 1 sheet waxed paper
- 1 smashin' plate (See step 5.)
Okay, so now that you've got your materials together, you can get started.
- Dust your worm mold with cornstarch. Dust it well enough to cover it completely but not so well that you're going to mess with the shape of your worms. Place the mold in the freezer for later.
- Dissolve the agar agar powder, salt, sugar, and any optional coloring or flavoring with a little of the fruit juice in your saucepan. Let stand a few (maybe 5) minutes before applying to heat. Stir.
- Add the rest of the fruit juice to the pan. Place the pan on the stove and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring constantly, boil until the mixture becomes thick. Think of the glue you used to make that one kid eat in grammar school, or the glue that you ate in grammar school. Remove from heat.
- Take your dusted molds out of the freezer and place on a stable area (a cleared counter-top would be wonderful!). Now, carefully but quickly (this stuff is hot, folks!) dab the mixture into the molds. Too much and they'll look weird; too little and they'll look weird, so just experiment!
- Place the wax paper on top of the mold tray. Place your smashin' plate on top of the waxed paper. Now get to smashin'! What I mean is, apply pressure using your hands to the plate atop the waxed paper, atop the worms, inside the molds.
- Scrape off any of the mixture that is left over (not settled into the molds) and shape into whatever shapes you'd like. Place all of these and the mold (with the mixture in it) into the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the worms from the freezer. Spray on ascorbic or citric acid, roll in sugar, or leave plain. You can eat them now or chase your significant other around the house with them; it's your call.
I hope you love these wonderful candies as much as we do!