First of all, we took a closer look at the gummy worm segments we had melted down and remolded into the hearts.
They were smooth, and dry on the outside, but on the inside, where we had broken them apart, they were very sticky, too.
We checked the ingredients list, and found it more akin to the homemade gumdrops we'd made ages and ages ago. They were also sticky on the inside, and needed to be coated in something, such as powdered sugar, in order to be handled.
The gummy worms seemed to have a powdery coating, so that made sense.
We also noticed carnauba wax on the ingredient list, thanks to a comment from Karen, yesterday. Her thinking was that once melted the wax was blending in with the ingredients, making for a gooier candy. Carnauba wax, used to make the candy shiny, and also to wax cars (yuck!), is solid at room temperature, so even if it were in the candy instead of out of it, it should not cause quite so much gooeyness (at least that's our thinking).
Finally, we looked up an episode of "How It's Made" dealing with gummy bears and worms. In the episode we watched the candies were squirted with mineral oil, rather than wax, to make them shiny - so that was a little different. But, we also noticed, the factory made candy was poured out into cornstarch molds, and left to dry for a lot longer than the half an hour we had given our hearts.
Corn starch would make for a powdery, but tasteless coating on the candy, so we decided to give it try by filling a bowl with 1/2'' layer of cornstarch, and then pressing a heart shape into it with a cookie cutter...
...as a mold for our melted gummy (melted the same way as before, by holding a gummy candy filled, heat resistant, squeeze bottle down into bowling water for ten minutes).
...we ended up with a heart shaped gummy, that was firm enough to hold its shape, and dry enough on the outside to handle...
...while still retaining all its store bought gummy goodness on the inside.
Unfortunately, in the time it took our test candy to set up, the children had eaten all of our remaining gummy worms, so there was nothing left to melt down, and remold. Not that anyone was complaining, we had our answer, and the children had had their fill of gummy candy (worms or hearts - it all tastes the same), so everyone was happy.