These are delicious and so much better than anything you can buy in the store. The orange just bursts in your mouth the minute you sink your teeth into these gumdrops. Candy making can make even the best cook a little gun-shy, but these are very simple provided you have a good candy thermometer. Your biggest risk of trouble is not removing your corn syrup mixture from the heat the second it gets to soft crack.
Line the bottom and sides of a 9″ by 5″ loaf pan with foil. Grease the foil with 1 teaspoon of butter and set aside.
Grease the bottom and sides of a large heavy saucepan with the remaining butter. Add the sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 9 minutes. Cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reads 280° (soft-crack stage), stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in another large saucepan, combine the water, pectin, and baking soda. The mixture will foam slightly. Cook and stir over high heat until mixture boils, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the corn syrup mixture reaches 280° (soft-crack stage), remove from heat. Return pectin mixture to medium-high heat and cook until the mixture begins to simmer. Carefully and slowly ladle corn syrup mixture in a very thin stream into the pectin mixture, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat.
Stir in the extract, peel, and food coloring. Pour into the prepared pan. Let stand until firm, about 2 hours.
Cut into squares. Roll in additional sugar if desired.