Halloween Season is the time of year to harvest candy corn. In fact, October 30th is National Candy Corn Day. Trick-or-Treaters and party-goers the United States over enjoy a nice handful of an iconic sweet.
In the 1880’s, George Renninger developed the confection while working for the Philadelphia, PA-based Wunderle Candy Company. It imitated dried kernels of corn, featuring a wide band of yellow at the bottom, orange center, and white tips of the slightly triangular candies. Sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax, and water are cooked to form a slurry, then fondant, marshmallows, and coloring are added.
Before mechanization, the candy was crafted by hand, but most is now made by machines.With its iconic coloring, candy corn is used as garnish and in Halloween displays. It has become such an intrinsic part of the holiday that it features in costumes, including sweet candy corn witches. Manicures and Pedicures for fashionable hands and feet sometimes feature the candy corn color combos.
Because of the popularity of the candy, special variations of candy corn are manufactured for the celebration of holidays other than Halloween. Brown-bottomed harvest corn and plump marshmallow pumpkins lend variety to the autumn offerings. Also advertised are “Reindeer corn” featuring Christmas colors, pastel “bunny corn” for Easter, and “Cupid Corn” for Valentine’s in pink, white, and red. The National Confectioner’s Association estimates over 25 million pounds of the candy is sold annually, though traditional candy corn remains the most popular.
Recipes featuring the flavors of candy corn abound. Fudges and mousse are layered to imitate the bountiful harvest, drinks featuring the marshmallow-like flavors, and cakes come to mind. One party favorite is the Candy Corn Jello Shot, which can be made in kid-friendly or adults-only form:
Family friendly version of the Candy Corn Jello Shot:
Box lemon Jello
Box orange Jello
2 packets unflavored gelatin
2 Cups boiling water
Clear shot glasses
In a small bowl, combine packet of unflavored gelatin, box of lemon Jello, and 1 Cup of boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Add to clear shot glass until 1/3 full. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Then, in a small bowl, combine packet of unflavored gelatin, box of orange Jello, and 1 Cup of boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Spoon orange mixture into shot glasses over set, yellow gelatin. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Top with whipped topping for serving.
For the ADULTS ONLY version:
Add 1 Cup boiling water to 1 box of lemon Jello. Stir to dissolve. Add 3⁄4 Cup vodka and 1⁄4 Cup cold water, stir to combine.
Fill shot glass 1/3 of the way. Chill for 20 – 45 minutes. Repeat with orange Jello, spooning orange atop yellow to another 1/3. Refrigerate for an hour. To make cream, combine 1⁄2 cup water and 1⁄2 coconut cream in a sauce pan. Sprinkle with package of unflavored gelatin. Allow to rest for 2 minutes. Stir over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from flame. Stir in 1⁄2 cup whipped cream vodka until combined. Spoon atop the shot glasses. Chill for 3 hours or over night. Serve.