These peppermint drops were inspired by a recipe for Herbal Candy Drops contained in A Kid’s Herb Book, written by Lesley Tierra. It’s an enchanting tome filled with facts, folklore, ideas & recipes aimed at introducing children to the wonderful world of herbs. I highly recommend it (for grownups too!)
I took their basic recipe and used rose petal & lemon infused water instead of the herbal tea called for. Roses have cooling, anti-inflammatory properties and can also be helpful in treating colds and flu, making these perfect for soothing sore throats. I make many of my candies without refined sugar, such as Honey & Lemon Candy Drops, but my husband doesn’t care much for the taste of honey so prefers these, made with cane sugar. I did however reduce the amount of sugar used in the original version.
To make these peppermint drops you’ll need:
- fresh roses
- one lemon, sliced thinly
- boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (you can also use other flavors such as lemon)
First, you’ll want to prepare your infusion. Layer thin slices of lemon and fresh rose petals in a jar or heat proof measuring cup until you reach near the top.
Pour boiling water over the layers and immediately top with a saucer to keep in all of the rosy/lemon vapors. Let this steep for about 30 minutes then strain. Depending on the color of petals used, it will have turned a lovely pinkish color as shown below:
Measure out 1 cup of rose-lemon water and put in a large deep pot (you will need the extra room to keep the candy from boiling over.) Add the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil this mixture over medium to medium-high heat, without stirring, until it reaches 300-310 degrees Fahrenheit. Periodically wipe down the insides with a pastry brush and water or a dampened rag to prevent crystallization from occurring.
Here is where the book & I differ. They say to let it cool until 110 degrees then stir in the peppermint extract and pour 1/4 teaspoon sized drops onto a well buttered board or cookie sheet.
I find it easier to make these in powdered sugar molds. Fill a large cookie sheet or cake pan with powdered sugar. Using something small, like your peppermint extract top, make tiny indentations in the sugar.
After removing from the heat, stir in your peppermint extract then pour teaspoonfuls of the hot mixture into the powder sugar forms and allow to harden.
You can either gently wipe off the powdered sugar (tedious, but pretty!) or you can flip the candies over so that the entire drop is coated. My kids like that way best and I find it prevents sticking together. Since my house stays warmer than average, I keep these single layered between pieces of wax paper in the refrigerator, or freezer for longer term storage.
You can vary the type of extract depending on the flavor you desire. You can also substitute your favorite herbal tea or a different infusion, such as ginger root, instead of rose petals. You don’t have to use lemon slices, you could use oranges or omit them completely. It’s a very flexible recipe, so don’t feel locked into just one flavor!
You may also like these posts on roses: