Monday, January 28, 2013

Honey Throat Drops (or Candy)

A few months ago, I got a cold. Cough and throat drops helped. After my cold, I was stocking up on more On Guard and I saw that doTERRA has On Guard Protecting Throat Drops (item #3405). Rebecca over at Camp Wander said, "you're  crafty, I bet you could make something like that." Well, thank you, but....Could I?

I'm not very handy in the kitchen. Over the last six years, I've been teaching myself to cook; I have several friends and my brother (hi, Schuyler) on emergency text standby for kitchen/cooking help. This sounded like a kitchen disaster waiting to happen....
And it was!

My first attempt was a disaster, okay not exactly a disaster but it was not good, it was edible but not salvageable. I lacked a key tool - candy thermometer (hey, the blog post I read said you didn't have to have one and I was too impatient to go buy one for $5.06 at Safeway).

I can't be sure if this is a result of not getting to the needed temperature of 300 degrees or that I used candy trays from a chocolate candy kit, that are now in the recycle bin. 

With the proper tools, I'm happy to report, the second effort was a success! Tasty, hard honey candies...I mean honey throat drops. If I can do this, you really can too!

Honey Throat Drops (or Candies)

  • 1 cup of honey* (depends on how much you want to make it can be less or more)
  • essential oils, if desired - I used lemon and On Guard
  • candy thermometer (seriously you need it)
  • silicon molds or mat, candy trays with cornstarch
  • pot and a stove (obviously)

1. Boil the honey until you hit 300 degrees F, this is the hard candy temperature. **Note: this took a long time for me, I have an electric glass top. I read it can take between 4 and 12 minutes to hit 300 degrees, mine was on the side of 12 minutes. It sat at 250 degrees for quite awhile. I just kept stirring it to prevent burning.
Honey is hot - seriously do not touch it, the first disastrous attempted resulted in several burned fingers. 

2. Add essential oils after removing from the burner. I did a half & half batch, I used 5 drops of lemon essential oils for 1/2 cup of honey. I did one drop of On Guard to each candy for the other 1/2 cup. Please consult a certified aromatherapist or medical professional before ingesting essential oils. 

 3. Spoon your honey into silicone molds - oh wow, this the ticket! - or onto a silicone mat for blob-like treats. I also tested out using the surviving candy tray for heart suckers (thanks Erin for the idea to add sticks for kids!) and covered the bottom in cornstarch before pouring honey into the mold; it worked, although some of the cornstarch remained stuck to the sucker.
Silicone mat
Silicone molds
4. Patience, it must something else, stop touching it, it's not ready! I left mine alone for two hours (yes, I had to leave the kitchen). I popped them out of the silicone trays and, with minimal effort, got them out of the candy trays with cornstarch.

Silicone mold
Silicone mat = blobs

They are good!!

They are sticky! They stuck to the plates while I took pictures. I layered wax paper in a container for storage, they did stick to together even with it. Mine are on the counter, some recipes have them in the refrigerator. They also stick to your teeth, your mouth is oh so warm, they start to melt right away. 
*When researching this delicious treat, there were comments about the honey losing its health benefits due to the heat. Sadly, it's true. Heating it to 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C) causes it to lose most of its greatness, heating it up 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) destroys even more goodness. Read the specifics here. [I might need to use my new candy thermometer to see how hot my tea is next time I add it...hmm.]

If you're a parent, you know what age kids can have honey; I'm not a parent, but I read it's one year and older. If you have dental work, eat at your own risk!

Some other honey things to check out: 
*National Honey Board, they have some cool information and recipes
*The inspiration for this recipe from RenewOil
*Another delicious recipe by The Nerdy Farm Wife

I hope you're not sick and that you avoid getting sick this year. In case you or someone you love get sick, make these. Or just make them because they're delicious.

Here's to trying something new...and having it work, eventually!

This post has been updated to reflect new information I have learned - you may find things omitted that were previously there. In recipes, I have crossed out the old amount and added the new. 12/2013