Honey Tea Throat Drops

I have had a tickle in my throat and as much as I enjoy the sugary sweet cough drops I can get at the store, I wanted to make my own.... making my own means I can pick my flavor and my sugar content.. and know EVERYTHING that goes in. Oh, and I can pronounce all of the ingredients too.
I remembered pinning a cough drop recipe to my Stay Healthy board about 6 months ago then never did anything with it so I fished out the pin for some throat drop guidance. I referred to Sarah McGill's Honey Ginger Throat Drop recipe (you can find it here) as I made my own cough drops.

If you've ever made candy before this is a SUPER simple recipe... and if you haven't, it is still really easy, you'll just be getting a feel for candy making for the first time. It takes time,and attention, but is quite simple.

Simple Honey-Tea Throat Drops
* For my recipe, I used 4 bags of Gypsy Cold Care, 2 bags of Echinacea, and a tiny splash of honey. They taste very "herbal" with a dominant honey flavor. I can't wait to make these again with other teas and to try extracts and essential oils in them! *

Gather your ingredients:

4 to 6 bags of tea
2c of water
1/2tsp of honey
2c of sugar **
Shallow pan
1 bag of powdered sugar

** When I did this batch, I used 1c of sugar instead of 2c thinking it would be a good way to cut excess sugar. While my cough drops still taste yummy (kid-tested too!... my students all loved them) they never firmed up well and are not very sweet. I would suggest staying with the 2c of sugar... for my next batch I will use the 1:1 liquid/sugar ratio **

Steep your tea bags in 2c of water for 15 minutes... while your tea is steeping, pour your bag of powdered sugar into a shallow pan (I used a cake pan) and create a TON of small divots... I used the back of a wooden spoon to make my divots, but anything works.

Make more than you think you will need!
After your tea has steeped into a strong brew, add your honey and pour it into a a LARGE pot. Add your sugar to the pot and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until all the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil and LET IT SIT... seriously, don't stir it. It will froth up a TON, hence why you need to use a large pot. 

Frothing to double in size!
While it is cooking, watch your candy thermometer closely.. you need it to reach Hard Crack stage, which is 302F. You need to be alert and ready because it will take awhile to get to the 250ish range, then suddenly it will just soar right up to hard crack... once it hits hard crack, remove from heat and immediately spoon into your powdered sugar molds. BE CAREFUL... it is HOT. Ridiculously hot. 

Pouring into the sugar molds is so neat to watch... it bubbles up perfectly!
Once it is in the molds, leave it alone to sit in a cool dry area. Since it has been rainy here, I put mine in my fridge for a few hours. Once your drops are hard to the touch, sift off the powdered sugar and put in an airtight container. Pop these sweet little treats whenever you're feeling a tickle in your throat! They also melt perfectly in your tea... I think I may make a lemon-honey batch to keep at work solely to pop in a cup of tea.

Have fun mixing different sugars (think raw sugar, honey, agave) and flavors combinations. You can also add in food coloring (mine are a dark brown from the tea & honey and other flavorings. Cooking extracts and even essential oils can be added to change the flavors. You can use different teas as well. It is all up to your flavor & taste preferences... the combinations are simply endless!

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