Candy, a favorite confectionery treat, is commonly made from a combination of sugar, flavors, and sometimes other ingredients to create a wide range of textures and tastes. Known for its sweet, irresistible nature, candy can be found in various forms. It is often enjoyed as a delicious snack, a reward for accomplishments, or a celebratory gift during holidays and special events.
For home cooks and consumers, candy serves as a versatile ingredient in many dessert recipes like cookies, cakes, and ice creams, or as a delightful decoration for festive treats. In moderation, it can also be a fun and nostalgic indulgence, taking sweet lovers back to their childhood memories of colorful candy stores and sweet temptations.
Candy, in all its succulent forms, is a delightful indulgence, whether it's a little reward for a job well done or to fulfill a sudden sweet tooth craving. It's often used as a cooking ingredient, but can be somewhat tricky. One of the frequent mistakes people make is using candy as an adornment while the dessert or pastry is still very hot, causing it to melt quickly or alter its original taste. To preserve the appearance, texture and taste of the candy, it's best to let the baked goods cool down first. Furthermore, for hard candies especially, a great way to get the most out of the ingredient is to incorporate it into your dishes by melting it down or crushing it into a powder, which can then be used to flavor or color your creations. It's also crucial to remember that overconsumption can lead to tooth decay, so remember to enjoy it mindfully.
How can I melt hard candies for recipes?
Can I use candy for cake decoration?
How do I crush hard candies into powder?
Do candy flavors change when used in baking?
Can I use candy to color my baked goods?
Are candies gluten-free?
Can I make candy at home?
What types of candies are best for baking?
Why does candy melt when I bake with it?
How can I prevent candy from burning while baking?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does candy expire?
Candy can last a variable amount of time, depending on the type. Unopened hard candies can last for a year while opened ones remain good for approximately six months. Chocolates, unopened, typically stay fresh for 8-10 months, but after opening, they should be consumed within 2-4 months. Gummy candies ought to be consumed within a year if unopened, but if you've already opened the pack, try to eat them within 7 days. These are general guidelines and can vary based on storage conditions and specific brands.
How do you tell if candy is bad?
The obvious visual sign that candy has gone bad is the presence of mold. However, you can also tell by just looking at the texture and color. If the candy has lost its color, has become sticky, or has hardened than usual, it's likely not good to eat. The delightful aroma of candy can also change when it's stale; it may smell strange or lack any smell at all. Also, any off flavor indicates that it's time to let it go.
Tips for storing candy to extend shelf life
• Always seal candy packages tightly after opening or transfer the content to an airtight container to prevent moisture and insects.
• Store your candy in a cool, dry place, away from the sun or any heat sources. A pantry or cabinet is usually a great place.
• If you have a large bag of candy, consider dividing it into smaller portion-sized packages. This can prevent the whole bag from getting stale once it's opened.
• Chocolate candies can be stored in the refrigerator to maintain freshness, but bring them to room temperature before eating to enjoy the best flavor.
• Freezing candy extends its life, especially for chocolate types. Ensure it is well-wrapped to prevent freezer burn, and defrost it in the refrigerator or at room temperature before enjoying it.