Bubble gum always has me feeling nostalgic. In fact, one of my earliest memories involves me, my grandmother, and a couple sticks of it.
My grandmother lived in my childhood home with us, but didn't speak much English. An immigrant from the Middle East, she lived in Mexico for many years before moving into the United States. Because of this, Arabic and Spanish was all she usually used. This made communication difficult between us, and she often tried to find creative ways to bond with my sister and me despite the language barrier.
Every so often, she would chew bubble gum and blow the largest bubbles I had ever seen. I remember my eyes would widen from the sight of that large pink globe growing and growing only inches in front of my nose. It was too tempting. I always had to pop it.
I would laugh as I popped it and got the gum all over my grandmother's face, and she would let out an 'Ay yi yi, yi yi!' as she carefully picked the gum off her face. And yet, as annoying as that probably was, it never stopped her from blowing bubbles for me. She knew I was having fun, and to her, that made it all worth it.
Indulge your own nostalgia with the following DIY bubble gum recipe. It will be as bright, as delicious, and as 'giant bubble blowable' as the stuff you remember. This recipe suggests strawberry flavoring and pink food dye, but - as noted in the card below - feel free to switch it up with other flavors or colors you might enjoy. I also like to switch things up by wrapping my gum pieces in decorative cupcake liners!
Place powdered sugar onto a large piece of wax paper. I recommended 1/2 cup as a minimum, but keeping it more toward 3/4 will give you a better final result. (Powdered sugar helps to keep your finished bubble gum from sticking to the wrapper when it's time to eat it, so this step is really important!)
Put gum base, citric acid, light corn syrup, and vegetable glycerin in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir the mixture well, and put it back in for 5 - 10 seconds intervals until melted thoroughly. Add the strawberry flavor and red food coloring and stir.
Drop the melted gum mixture on top of your powered sugar and knead it all together. Continue kneading the gum until it is smooth and rollable; approximately 10 - 15 minutes.
Break the completed gum into small pieces with your hands. (Alternatively, for a more consistent size and shape, you can roll the gum into a snake shape, and cut into bite-size pieces (about 1/2 inch). Kitchen scissors work best, but you can also use a knife.)
Next, you would twist them in your squares of parchment paper and be finished. But I wanted to also be able to show you how to roll them with cupcake wrappers like I mentioned in the card intro. They're a little trickier than just using paper squares!
Place the finished gum into the center of the cupcake wrapper with the design of your choosing. Press the wrapper down to flatten - kind of like you're making a fan shape or a bubble gum taco. (I have no better way to explain this.)
Roll the bottom of the cupcake wrapper around the gum until it is fully rolled. Next, twist the ends of the finished roll securely to create a candy wrapper shape.
Et voilà! Your homemade bubble gum is complete! This recipe will make about 1 1/2 pounds worth of gum, so the amount of pieces you make it all depending on how you break the gum up. But no matter how you do, you'll be making a LOT of bubble gum - all of which can be easily stored at room temperature for about six months.