Harmless colorings for candies
Red: Vegetable colorings are always to be used. The juice of blood beets for deepest red, cranberry juice tinging a delicate pink, and cochineal — the sole exception — giving a lovely rose. A quarter ounce of cochineal will color confectionery for a lifetime, and should be kept in a bottle closely corked. One bug is used at a time, pounding it and pouring on two or three teaspoonfuls of boiling water, after which the liquid is bottled and will keep two or three months — only a drop or two being needed for any common quantity of confectionery or frosting.
Yellow: In coloring yellow, carrot juice or a very little yolk of egg answers better than gamboge. The petals of yellow roses infused in boiling water yield a delicate dye, which is charming with old fashioned rose water desserts.
Green: Spinach furnishes the best green, and is prepared by cutting fresh spinach into alcohol and using a few drops to color with.
Blue: Blue is rarely used, and the drop of indigo needed will not harm anyone.
by Shirley Dare