This recipe calls for citric acid, which accentuates the tartness of the raspberry flavor. Citric acid can be found in many specialty baking stores and large grocery stores—I found mine in the bulk spices section of a nearby grocery store. It can be omitted, but the candies will be missing a tart undertone.
Yield: about 20 1-inch heart candies
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp raspberry extract
- 1/2 tsp citric acid
- 2-4 drops pink or red gel coloring
- Silicone heart-shaped molds
1. Make sure your heart-shaped silicone molds are clean and completely dry.
2. Combine the butter, corn syrup, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the butter and sugar dissolve, then wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Insert a candy thermometer.
3. Cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer reads 245° F (118° C). It's very important not to overcook this candy, as even slight overcooking can cause it to harden and lose its wonderfully chewy texture.
4. As soon as it reaches the proper temperature, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the raspberry flavoring, citric acid, and pink or red coloring. If you want to make multiple colors from the same batch, start with a light pink color. Pour some of the candy into the mold's cavities, then add a little more food coloring to deepen the color. Continue until you have made as many shades of red and pink as you desire. Repeat until all of your molds are filled.
5. Allow the candy to set at room temperature until it cools and sets completely, at least 2 hours.
6. Once set, refrigerate the molds to harden the candy and make it easier to remove. When the candy is very firm, turn the mold upside-down and gently press the back of the hearts to push out the fruit chews and release the candies.
7. Because Raspberry Heart Chews are soft and chewy, they will gradually lose their shape if left alone at room temperature. I recommend wrapping them in waxed paper to make them easy to save and handle, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bring them to room temperature before serving to enjoy the soft and chewy texture.
Variation: If you don't want to use silicone molds, you can pour the candy into a 9x5-inch loaf pan lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Once the candy sets, cut it into small squares and wrap the squares in waxed paper. They may not be cute heart shapes, but the tangy raspberry flavor and wonderful texture are the same!