8. "Something to Chew On"
"Chewy Candies" is the eighth item in Bronson's book. In his youth, he was big on swiping these from a neighborhood store. Some of the candies most frequently slipped into his fisherman's vest, worn specifically for the job, were Now and Laters, Starbursts, and Tootsie Rolls. Stealing may not be honorable, but stealing well debatably is an artform. I mean, they did make a whole movie subgenre about it, and if I saw a heist film where they got away with the loot in a fishman's vest it would be impressive.
Starbursts, the favorite, aren't vegan because they contain gelatin. FTV?! #8 was an attempt at a veganized orange Starburst, but these turned out to be more like gummies than a taffy. Either way, if you can make your own chewy candy of any sort then that means you don't have to steal it from anybody! A win for everyone.
Don't worry, Starburst-lovers. I won't give up on the quest to find a non-gummy ingredient combination! As soon as a "real" vegan Starburst recipe is made, I'll make it available!
Orange Gummy Candy Ingredients
2 tbsp agar agar flakes
2 tbsp tapioca starch
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp vegan butter, softened
3/4 cup water
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup orange juice
1/8 cup lemon juice
Line a casserole dish with a piece of parchment and coat with thin layer of vegan butter. Add water, lemon and oranger juices, and agar flakes to a bowl. Mix together and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together sugar, salt, and starches in a saucepan. Add the maple syrup, softened butter, and agar-water-juice mixture to the pan. If you used fresh orange, you can toss the peels in now for extra flavor. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. If you have a candy thermometer, you’ll want to take the saucepan off the heat at not much higher than 250°F. If you don’t, take off the heat after about 2-3 minutes. Mix vanilla extract in, removing orange peels before this if you added them.
Pour candy mixture into prepared casserole or other glass dish. Allow to set at room temp for 1-2 hours, then refrigerate for at least 3 more hours. Lift parchment onto flat surface like a cutting board, then cut into desired shape!
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