Monday, March 27, 2006

Making Wilton Melt and Pour Candy

By Christina VanGinkel

Looking for a hobby that is both fun, and can be consumable? Do I have the hobby for you! Make some candy today without all the mess and fuss of traditional candy making! When I think of melt and pour, I immediately think of soap. What else comes in a fun and easy to use melt and pour mix though is candy, specifically Wilton brand Candy Melts. They are available in different colors, including Light Cocoa, Dark Cocoa, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, White, Lavender, Orange, Pink, Chocolate Mint, and Peanut Butter. There are also Candy Color sets available, including the Garden Candy Color Set, which includes Violet, Pink, Green, and Black, or the Primary Candy Color Set, which includes Red, Blue, Yellow, and Orange. These are great for personalizing designs through color. They can be added to the plain and colored candy for an amazing array of color choices!

The Candy Melts can also be left in their original flavor or altered with Wilton brand Candy Flavors. Candy Flavors come in a convenient candy flavoring set which includes: Peppermint, Cherry, Cinnamon, and Creme De Menthe, or in individual bottles of Raspberry or Orange. With all of these flavors, you are sure to be able to make candy is flavors to please everyone who might be lucky enough to sample some of your candy.

What makes all of these so easy to use is that unlike chocolate, which many of us who make candy immediately think of when using a melt and pour process, the Wilton brand Candy Melts are not as difficult to use or make as when we use chocolate. The process of melting the Wilton Brand Candy Melts is so simple, that even kids can get in on the fun as long as they have adult supervision. The most convenient method is of course in the microwave. However, even easier yet, is when you first place the Candy Melts into either a bottle specifically made by Wilton just for the purpose of conveniently melting these very candies. They come with a screw cap with a wide top opening for pouring in the un-melted candies. Once melted, the top is made so that squeezing the melted candy right where you want it to go is as simple as can be. Use a separate bottle for each color and flavor mix, and you can also store the leftover mix right in the same bottles, so reheating them is also extremely expedient. Wilton also has disposable decorating bags that can be used for melting the candies right inside. Once melted, you simply snip off the end to squeeze out the melted mixtures wherever you want, and simply toss the whole mess into the trash when finished.

Traditional melting methods such as a double boiler or slow cooker could also be utilized, especially if making large quantities of candy all at one time. However, for small or moderate sized batches, I highly recommend the bottles or the disposable bags, as they are easily the most convenient ways for not only melting the candies, but also for making use of them, especially when making designs.

One of my favorite uses for the Wilton Candy Melts is for suckers. Besides the supplies already listed, all you will need is a pack of Lollipop Sticks. They are available in plain white or in packs of colors. You will also need wax paper. If desired, pick up a mold that can be used for making lollipops. They will look like a traditional candy mold, but also have a line running from each space where you set the lollipop stick. Set in the stick, and pour the melted mix right on top. Once cooled, simply pop each lollipop right out of the mold. The first time I ever used the Wilton Candy Melts, I did not use a mold. I placed a stick down on wax paper, and freeform poured a Christmas tree over the stick. I created several dozen Tree Lollipops in this manner. Each looked a bit different from the others, but when they were completely dry, I wrapped them in green and red cellophane, tied with ribbon, and gave them as favors at a Christmas Tea that I hosted. Everyone thought that the lollipops were cute as could be!

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