1/2 cup of raw, buckwheat honey (like this)
2 Tablespoons organic lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
Optional for dusting: 1/4 cup powdered cane sugar (make your own!) and 1 teaspoon powdered vitamin C (like this).
Kitchen items you will need: a candy thermometer, a candy mold with small openings (like this hexagon mold). You can make the cough drops without the mold; oil a piece of parchment paper and pour the candy onto it. Let it harden, and then break it up into small pieces.
1. Measure the honey, lemon juice, and grated ginger and pour it all into a saucepan.
2. With a wire whisk, stir the mixture as it heats to a boil. It will become foamy and start to climb up the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat and continue to whisk it until the foam reduces and then put it back over the heat. Repeat this until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees, you will want to check frequently because the honey heats fast and scorches easily!
3. Drop a bit of the mixture into a glass of ice water (or, dip a spoon into the mixture and then quickly dip it into the ice water). If the mixture forms a hard, crunchy ball, it’s ready! If not, keep up with the whisking and heating and try again in a minute or so. Once a hard ball forms in the ice water, you’re good to go!
4. Let the mixture cool until the foam has reduced. Then, very carefully, drizzle the candy into the mold (or onto the oiled parchment paper). Let it cool in a safe place (not the freezer or fridge) until the cough drops are hard. When they are hard, press on the back of the mold to release. Or, if you’re not using a mold, break the cough drops up into pieces.
5. Optional (to prevent sticking): In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the vitamin C powder. Drop the cough drops into the mixture to coat. Pour the sugar and cough drops into a sieve and sift to remove extra sugar.
6. Store in an airtight container. These actually do better in the fridge, as they attract moisture and tend to get sticky if left out.