Sugared Gumdrop Cookies are butter cookies which have been generously tossed in sanding sugar with a festive gumdrop baked right into the center!
Even though gumdrops were always present in my mom’s kitchen, I never grew up eating Sugared Gumpdrop Cookies. No, those gumdrops were saved for mom’s Gumdrop Cake which she would make quite often – not just at Christmastime, which is when you normally see them.
Gumdrops are quite common in Newfoundland, although I must say, unless you go to a baking supply store, they’re really not that common elsewhere. I tend to buy gumdrops in bulk rather than in a factory-sealed plastic bag like my mom used to get them.
And even though most people argue that they all taste the same, I always reach for the red or green ones first. Do they taste the same? Is it just my mind playing tricks on me; like, you know how we all think green tastes like lime? If you know for sure, please share it with me!
What are gumdrops?
Okay, so there are two kinds of gumdrops. There are gumdrops that are sugar coated candy that you can buy from the candy store. They are soft like a jelly candy and are not meant for baking.
Then, there are gumdrops that are specifically meant for baking even though they can be eaten as a candy too. These types of gumdrops are sometimes referred to as baking gums. They are harder than the candy type gumdrops, much like a jube jube.
Don’t think you can substitute a jube jube for a baking gum though! They are not the same and will melt like butter when they come in contact with the heat from your oven. These are the type of gumdrops/baking gums you need for baking.
Sanding sugar vs granulated sugar:
I’ve been using coarse sanding sugar quite a bit in this 24 Cookies of Christmas series. I hope it hasn’t been too difficult for you to find. Sanding sugar is sometimes referred to as baking sugar, and there are some substitutes.
You can use other sugars – which are basically the same, but named something differently – there’s pearl sugar and coarse sugar. You cannot, however, use granulated sugar. Let me explain why.
Whereas an individual granule of sanding sugar is large and hard, a single granule of granulated sugar is quite small. Sanding sugar will hold up to the heat in your oven without melting; granulated sugar will not.
If you can only find granulated sugar, you can either skip the coating in sugar step, or you can use turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar is a golden brown though, so it will throw off the colour of your finished cookie.
These Sugared Gumdrop Cookies are absolutely a pleasure to bake and they look fantastic. Don’t worry, the gumdrop does not become sticky, so you can easily pack these cookies into a container or a cookie tin without them becoming a sticky mess.
The ingredients are very few and easy to come by too. You probably have all of them in your pantry already. And, because there’s a little kid in all of us, who wouldn’t like to eat a cookie with a bright candy center?
You can find all of my Christmas recipes on my Christmas archives page here: Christmas Recipes This is where you’ll find all of the recipes in this series as they become available. And, just in case you’re impatient, you can always refer back to last year’s 24 Cookies of Christmas! Click on the image below for a complete list. I’ll see you back here tomorrow with another great cookie from Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series – Volume 2!!
If you loved this recipe, here are some others that might interest you as well:
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Sugared Gumdrop Cookies
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup gumdrops
- 1 cup sanding sugar
- Using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the condensed milk and beat into the butter until well combined.
- Add the flour and baking powder. Mix into the butter mixture until well incorporated.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside. Lastly, pour the sanding sugar into a shallow bowl for rolling the cookie dough into.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and using a small cookie scoop, portion out 1 teaspoon of the cookie dough. Roll it into a smooth ball and then roll it into the sanding sugar.
- Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each one. Push a gumdrop into the top of each ball – at least half way down.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
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