How to Make Homemade Cough Drops
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup light corn syrup
* 1 1/2 cup water
* herbs (see steps for more details)
* vegetable/food coloring (optional)
* powdered sugar (optional)
Make a strong tea with soothing herbs. Steep the herbs in 1 1/2 cups of water. Some suggestions for individual herbs are given below. The amounts and proportions are up to you, but follow the guidelines for each individual herb (i.e. don't go overboard).
* You can find loose herbs at natural food stores, or you can use a few prepared teabags.
* Try growing the herbs yourself. Perennial herbs will contribute to your own personal “medicine cabinet” year after year.
Mix sugar, corn syrup and tea. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture boils.
Continue boiling without stirring until the mixture begins to crystallize.
Reduce heat. Wash away crystals from the side of your pan with a damp cloth.
Remove from the heat after a few minutes. Add food coloring, if desired.
Drop some of the mixture from the tip of a spoon onto a greased surface or into prepared hard candy molds.
Allow to harden and cool completely before removing.
Roll the candies in powdered sugar and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper for storage.
* Essentially, you're making hard candy, with the water having been infused with herbs. You can apply the same procedure to making "cough lollipops" or "cough gummy bears"!
* For gift giving, why not add a personal touch by pressing some of the fresh herbs between waxed paper and using it to decorate or wrap your gift box? Add a nice tag listing the herbs that you used for a professional look.
* You could also use a candy thermometer and boil to the "hard crack" stage if you don't feel comfortable knowing when to stop boiling.