Monday, August 13, 2012

Very Fancy Candies

Making molded candies is very similar to making melt and pour soap, except in the ways that it is very different.  Thinking that I should have the skills to recreate something I'd seen on etsy, I bought some supplies and proceeded to experiment.  Here are my results.



Candy melts in various colors
Candy melt flavorings
Candy molds
Sharp knife or CLEAN clay scraper
Ziplock bags in sandwich or snack size
Wax paper
Wooden skewer
Scotch tape
Wilton Pearl Dust in Silver
Non-darkening vanilla extract
Treat bags & ties

Step one:  Put some of each of the colors of candy melts you want to use in a ziplock bag.  Microwave at half-power for 30 second bursts until the candy is melted, massaging the bags between rounds to ease out the lumps.  The candy doesn't need to be super-hot or very, very liquid-y, it just needs to be able to pour.  Below you can see the unmelted dots and the melted ones on the right.  At this stage you can add a flavoring if you'd like.  Only add a few drops at a time, as a little goes a long way, and be sure to knead the bag thoroughly to mix it in after each addition.

Unmelted vs. Melted
 Step two:  For these multicolor candies, you will need to make a layer of candy in each color you desire in the mold, letting set between layers.  To start, snip a tiny corner off of the plastic bag of melted candy.  Carefully squeeze a tiny blob of candy into the mold you're using.  It's not going to nicely settle into the exact shape you want, because it just doesn't get that hot.  Instead, put in the smallest amount you think will fit the cavity, and then gently tap the mold on the counter.  The candy will settle down into the mold, and any air bubbles trapped in it will be released.  Don't worry if you get too much in there, but you might want to try one at a time until you figure out the appropriate amount to use, or use small amounts and add more if necessary.  After you've filled the cavities, let the candy harden.

More work that its worth.  Do it right the first time.  ;p
 Step three:  If you have overfilled your cavities, take a small knife or a clean (as in, unused for clay) clay scraper, and remove the excess candy.  This can get a little tedious so it's best if you can avoid overfilling.  But if not, scrape away the excess candy gently over a sheet of waxed paper, so that you can catch the candy and dump it right back into your ziplock bag.  In the photo above, the right hand side had been overfilled, and the left is what it looks like once the extra has been removed.

 Step four: Repeat the above steps for as many layers as you'd like.  In the picture above, two out of three layers have been poured and let harden.  If you want to create a hole in the candy, in the last layer, insert a tube of wax paper.  These you can make easier by winding a strip of wax paper around a wooden skewer and taping it shut.  This should be light enough to stand up on their own in the thickening candy. 
Almost done!
 Step five:  After all the layers have hardened, remove them from the molds.  If you find this difficult, you can put the mold in the refrigerator for a few minutes, and they should easily pop right out.  Carefully remove your wax paper tubes and finish out the holes with your wooden skewer.  Cut your ribbon to the length you'd like (I think mine were just over 12 inches) and VERY CAREFULLY thread the ribbon through the hole.  You might need to use a needle to do this, depending on the side of the ribbon you chose.

ooooo, sparkly.
 Step six:  For a really fancy finish, you can "gild" your candies using a mixture of Wilton Pearl Dust and non-darkening vanilla extract.  The extract will evaporate as you work with it, so if your texture is a bit runny at first, keep mixing and it will become thicker... or just add more Pearl Dust. Just use a clean (that is, unused for painting!) paint brush to apply the liquid anywhere you'd like a metallic finish.  Just a note that this works best on the white candy, so if you know you want a certain layer to be metallic, you might want to pour it in white.

And done.  No one will dare eat them.
Step seven:  Carefully pop each candy into a treat bag and close with a gift tie.  These would make fantastic party favors for a bridal shower or baby shower or even a wedding.  The are really, really labor intensive when made as shown, however.  You can cut down on the time involved by ditching the ribbon, or not doing the pearl dust painting, but then your results aren't quite as wow-worthy. 

Who wants one?

And that's how you make fancy candies.  I think I'll be sticking to soap.  ;p