I literally bled to make these gummy worms. And I’m not just saying this because it’s almost Halloween.
Homemade gummy worms. “What could go wrong?” you ask yourself. I’m sure it’s fun and easy. I can hide them in various parts of my apartment to freak people out…and what is this? WikiHow has a recipe and pictures to go with it. LUCKY DAY!
As I sadly discovered, it was not my lucky day. These gummy worms were double, double toil and trouble. Just like Macbeth, I didn’t heed caution and stupidly went into battle anyway.
Even if the woods had moved, I wouldn’t have believed it until the final prophecy came true (these are all Macbeth references, for all of you literature buffs out there). If you have no idea what I’m talking about — no shame, it’s been since high school — learn here.
For me, the final prophecy was the cutting of my thumb — Rule of Thumb: if you’re bleeding longer than 15 minutes, go to the emergency room!
This hurtful moment instantly made me recall the fencing scene from that James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan. I realize that I am the snobby, arrogant, childish opponent of James Bond in this metaphor, but never you mind that. After washing my hands like Lady Macbeth and treating my cut thumb, I returned the very next day to finish what I had started.
These gummy worms had a much milder taste than what I had expected. The papaya ones held up way better than the cherry, which was highly unusual, especially since papaya contains an enzyme that effectively breaks down protein fibers…and gelatin is a water-soluble protein. I used the wrong type of straws, clearly, as these look nothing like worms. In fact, nothing worked the way I wanted it to. Keep a look out for some *notes to see my suggestions for next time (IF there even is a next time).
Recipe for Homemade Dark Cherry and Papaya Gummy Worms
*Source: wikiHow to Make Gummy Worms
*General note: I suggest using more sugar and different flavors next time. The worms weren’t sweet enough and the flavors were too mild. Try raspberry or blueberry for cool colors and stronger tastes.
Servings: 40ish worms (keep in mind: mine broke in half)
Time: 1 day (+ 5-8 hours)
- Ice cubes
- 4 gelatin packets
- 2 tablespoons sugar (*try 3-4 tablespoons)
- 2/3 cup dark cherry juice (*try raspberry or blueberry)
- 2/3 cup papaya juice
- 1 cup boiling water
- Alcohol of your choice (optional)
- 2 heat-resistant mixing bowls
- 50-pack of bendy straws (*the wider, the better)
- 2-3 rubber bands
- Casserole dish
- 1 heat-resistant mug or cup
- A cutting board and tin foil (optional)
1. Set-up: Make the ice, ice, baby. If you’re like me and never buy ice, remember to stick an ice cube tray into the freezer the night before you make this recipe.
2. Set-up: Boil 1 cup H20. Grab a small pot and add 1 cup water to it. Bring the water to a boil. I’m telling you to do this now since you’ll need the hot water ready for step 4.
3. Set-up: Create the ice-bath. Using a casserole dish as the “bath tub,” place ice cubes into the dish and add 2 inches of water. You now have a very cold bath. Add enough ice cubes so that the water feels like Lake Superior [very cold].
4. Set-up (last one, I swear): The straws have aligned…Get a tall, heat-resistant cup and add 50 or so bendy straws to it. Make sure the bendy parts of the straws are at the bottom of the cup. Use a rubber band to bound the straws together so they won’t move. If you like to think ahead, like I do, put the cup filled with straws in the ice-bath.
5. (Real deal) Mix the powdered ingredients. Get two heat-resistant mixing bowls. Add 2 packets gelatin to each. Then add 1 1/2-2 tablespoons sugar to each.
6. Add the juicy juice. Add 2/3 cup juice to each bowl. This will make the two flavors (and the two colors) for your worms.
7. Now add the boiled water. (You may have to re-heat your water for a few seconds). Pour 1/2 cup boiling water into each mixing bowl. Whisk each mixture until the gelatin is completely dissolved. The liquid should thicken and no longer have bumps.
*Note: the gelatin may smell pretty bad when making these worms. Don’t worry, your friends won’t be able to taste it!
8. Make your mold. Choose one of the mixtures to pour first. (Do you want your worm to have a dark head or a light head?) Pour the chosen mixture evenly into the straws (which are in the cup, which is in the ice-bath).
*Note: If you have a measuring cup that is able to pour liquid well, use that. If you only have a normal measuring cup, like I had, this step will be a nightmare.
*Note 2: Pouring “evenly” was insanely hard. If you’re a perfectionist, then this step will drive you INSANE.
9. Let the chosen mixture be. The first mixture makes up the first half of your worm. The recipe told me to let this mixture sit for 10-20 minutes, or until the liquid solidified, however the other mixture solidified in its mixing bowl at the same time. To avoid having the other mixture solidify, try putting it in the small pot where you boiled the water, and keep the heat on low. That way, the other mixture will stay liquid…
*Note: this is where I ran into trouble. The other mixture solidified by the time 10 minutes had passed. I tried adding more boiling-hot water to make it liquid again, but it didn’t work. Adding more juice was the only way to make the mixture (slightly) liquid again.
*Note 2: you can tell that the mixture is solid if you wiggle the straws and they don’t move!
10. Pour the other mixture in. Now you can pour the other mixture on top of the first mixture, to make up the second half of your worm. Yet again, try to pour as evenly as possible (which is impossible).
11. Let the worms chill overnight. Take the cup out of the ice bath and put it in the fridge. Let it sit overnight.
12. Remove the straws. Get the straws out of the cup. This might be difficult because of the excess gummy material surrounding the straws. Use a knife (carefully) to cut around the straws and release them from their gummy prison.
*Note: this is where I cut my finger. Proceeded to step 13 the next day.
13. Get those worms out of those straws. Get a cutting board and put some aluminum foil on it (optional, but definitely helpful for clean-up). Starting with the empty end of the straw, use your fingers to squeeze the worms out of the straws.
*Note: this was painful
*Note 2: if you have a rolling pin handy, this might be better than your fingers
14. Eat your gummy worms right away or put them in the fridge. Otherwise they’ll melt.
*Optional: to make your gummy worms alcoholic, put your worms in a bowl and add just enough alcohol to cover your them. Put in the fridge for 5-8 hours. Don’t leave them too long or the worms will fall apart.
If you’re making dirt pie for Halloween, I recommend putting your homemade worms in it. It’ll make your worms feel…more at home.
I highly recommend using a cutting board and tin foil when squeezing out the worms, especially because gummy material will go flying. The more that falls on the foil, the easier it will be to clean up.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
Want to see the worm of all worms? CLICK here.
WHAT ABOUT A WORM PACA???? Clicks.
How about a guy trying to do the worm and failing? Clickers.