Archive for the ‘Christmas Candy’ Category

Candy History: Candy Canes

Friday, December 20th, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

The Origins of the Candy Cane

We’ve probably all heard the story of the German choirmaster who created white, sugary shepherd’s hooks to keep the children quiet during the services. But, there are almost as many candy cane creation stories as there are varieties of candy canes!

What’s certain is that these popular Christmas treats were originally all white. Many have attached a religious connection to them, saying that the white candy cane represented the sinlessness of the life of Jesus. As for the shape, many also claim that it’s meant to look like a shepherd’s hook, to remind children of the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus.

candy_canes_white-candy-cane
Although they were probably created in 1670 in Germany, it wasn’t until 1844 that a recipe for straight candy sticks was published. And in the mid 1800s, candy canes were hung on Christmas trees for the first time. Back in the day, it was common to hang sweets and baked goods from the festive tree, so the candy canes were a perfect addition!

Candy Stripes

retro-nostalgic-candy-canesChristmas cards from before and after the 1900s reveal that it wasn’t until the turn of the century that candy canes earned their stripes. There’s lots of lore around the stripes as well, with some saying the thickest stripe represents Jesus, while the three smaller stripes represent the Holy Trinity.

Around the turn of the century, peppermint and wintergreen flavors were also added to the sweets, whose flavors could be distinguished by either a red or green stripe, for peppermint or wintergreen, respectively.

In the 1950s, a Catholic priest by the name of Gregory Keller invented an automated candy cane machine, to twist the candies into their popular shape. And since then, there’s been no looking back.

Today, candy canes are arguably the most popular holiday candy with the longest-standing history. And they’re not just peppermint and wintergreen anymore. Check out all of the canes we have to offer. You’re sure to find something for every candy-cane-craving sweet tooth.

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Source Material

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candy_cane
http://inventors.about.com/od/foodrelatedinventions/a/candy_canes.htm

Images

http://whydyoueatthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/day-6-candy-canes/
http://justalittlefurther.com/making-candy-canes/

Candy History: Old Fashion Christmas Hard Candy

Thursday, November 21st, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

old-fashioned-christmas-hard-candySpecial Occasion Candy

Few things are sweeter at Christmas time than a handful of candy. Everyone has a favorite holiday treat that they look forward to all year round. There’s just something especially nice about savoring a candy that only comes by for special occasions. And while we can’t imagine ringing in the Yule-tide feelings without a sugary treat or two, it wasn’t always this way.

Old Fashioned Sweetness

While people have been enjoying sweets for centuries, the first mention of Christmas candy came in the form of candy canes. In 1672, the choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral created white, sugary sticks to keep the children quiet in his church. These boring white staffs morphed over the years into the hooked, red and white striped favorites we know today – and they still have the remarkable ability to hush any whiny mouth.

old-fashioned-christmas-ribbon-candyOver the years, the tradition of cut rock candy has remained a staple of Christmas festivities.  Decades of grandmothers have known the secrets behind whipping up the perfect batch of sugary confections: ribbons, bows, and disks, all dyed and pulled to perfection. It’s a tough job, but somebody had to do it!

Luckily, with our Old Fashioned Christmas Candy Mix, you never have to worry if your sugar has reached the proper boiling point. You can have all your favorite Christmas candies, with none of the sugar-burning disasters.

Old Fashioned, Not Outdated

candy-cane-figurinesThat said, not all homemade candy attempts end in failure. In fact, some of the most beloved candies started in home kitchens before rising to the greatness they have today.

And speaking of great candies, if you enjoy nostalgic confections, you should take a look at our Americana Penny Candy Mix. Chock-full of sweets you may remember as a kid, this is one mix that shouldn’t be missed.

Around the holidays, we celebrate the things we hold most dear: family, friends, and the candies we grew up loving as children. With our Old Fashioned Christmas Mix, you can help make Christmas traditions come true.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candy_cane

http://www.happywink.org/christmas-day/christmas-candy.html

Candy History: Christmas Candy in America

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

Announcing a new Christmas Candy favorite!

Christmas-penny-candy-Americana-mixMost of our top-10 bestselling candies year after year are Brach’s candies like Butterscotch Disks, Villa Cherries, and Ice Blue Mint Coolers. But every year, there’s one candy mix — only sold at CandyFavorites.com – that manages to rank among those established favorites. Penny Candy Americana Mix delivers joy to everyone who encounters it by bringing back the tastes of childhood for all ages.

What better time for the wonderful magic of rediscovery than Christmas morning?

This year, we’re excited to introduce Christmas Candy Americana Mix!

A Mixed History

The history of Christmas candy in America is one that can bring back fond memories for almost anyone, as everyone seems to have their own personal Christmas candy history and experiences. Our love of Christmas candy in America stretches back many generations, linking families and taste buds for over a century.

Did you know that the first mention of candy canes in America was in 1847? A German immigrant by the name of August Imgard decorated his Christmas tree with them in that year, and they’ve been a perennial Christmas favorite in the U.S., ever since.

Traditionally Minded

In fact, Americans are pretty traditional when it comes to their candy favorites. Our Americana Penny Candy Mix pays tribute to some of the oldest and most revered candies in America.

Would you believe that most of the top-selling candies in America today were first introduced before World War II? It’s true, and for good reason. If you have a good thing, why bother changing it? And, in the early part of the 20th century, America was brimming with delicious, new chocolates and candies.

Twizzlers and Hershey Bars have been in production since 1845 and 1900, respectively.  These top candies are an ongoing testament that our appreciation of quintessentially Americana candy runs deep.

christmas-candy-spearmint-leavesAmericana for All

When it comes to Christmas candy, we Americans are devoted to our time-tested favorites. Everyone seems to love biting into a candy that reminds them of the magic of Christmases in their childhood. There’s something really sweet about revisiting those memories of a time when Spearmint Leaves cost a penny and Hershey bars went for only a nickel.

Our brand new Christmas Candy Americana Mix evokes all of the nostalgic thoughts of yesteryear, with a little bit of everything inside. So when you bite into one of these candies, you know you’re tasting some of the best that American Christmas candy has to offer.

Sources:

http://inventors.about.com/od/foodrelatedinventions/a/candy_canes.htm

http://www.candycanefacts.com/facts/

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/10/1021_americas_25_top_selling_candies/26.htm

http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/spearmint_leaves

Tonight You’ll Stuff Some Stockings Like It’s 2012

Monday, December 10th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

The holidays are coming.  Budgets are tight. The members of our gift lists who are the most difficult to buy for tend to be the ones we spend the most money on. Then, those same people are the ones who are least likely to like what you got them! This year, don’t spend so much time, energy, and money on uncertain gifts that make you resent your loved ones.

There’s a simple solution that allows you to give a little of everything.

Who can’t help but appreciate a creative gift? (People who deserve to be on your naughty list and receive a lump of coal for the holidays. That’s who!)

Who doesn’t love candy?

Instead of fussing over picky recipients, jump into an imaginative frame of mind, and show up to your Christmas party with something you’re excited to hand off. All while keeping it simple!

Find yourself the appropriate vessel — a toolbox for the handyperson, a pair of oven mitts for the baker, or a basket or stocking for the more traditional ones in your life — and stuff, stuff, stuff!

A Sweet Surprise

Everyone has a favorite candy, even if it’s sugar free! Check out our Retro Candies section of nostalgic candies from each decade of the 20th century. Whether your loved one grew up in the 20’s or the 80’s, we’ve got the candies they remember from childhood — freshly made and in stock! There are cult favorites and the things of legend, in salty and sour, in every color of the rainbow.

For more grateful giftees, our stocking stuffers section offers something for everyone, from edible trinkets to timeless traditional classics. A toy dump truck is great, but what about one filled with tons of treats? Or a play purse that helps you save coins and stay sweet?  It’s never too soon to start those lessons in money management!

When you add the perfect candy (one of life’s simplest delights), any gift becomes more likely to go down in a blaze of glory instead of down in flames. And if you run out of candy-stuffing space, but want to give more (or be SURE they can’t complain), toss in an online shopping Sweet Certificate for good measure!

A Candy Christmas Wish Come True

Thursday, January 5th, 2012 by Jessica Prokop

candy customer service

Being in the candy business is a lot of fun. We often get to connect people with candies they’ve loved and lost. Each holiday brings a wave of exhilaration at being part of something joyful. But every once in a while, we’re fortunate that our work allows us to do something really cool. Just before Christmas this year, an email from a drowsy dad gave us just that kind of opportunity.

Nearly every young child has their favorite thing — some item they hold on to for comfort throughout their early years. For one boy, it was a soft yellow M&M’s pillow. He’d slept soundly with it every night, beginning with his first night home from the hospital after being born. On a recent vacation, that M&M’s pillow went missing and sleepless nights began.

After searching desperately (without any luck) for a replacement, the boy’s father wrote to Candy Favorites. The pillows were long gone from our inventory, but he hoped that just maybe we could connect him with one yellow pillow. It just happened that our President,
Jon Prince, had set a few collectible pillows aside, thinking they were interesting novelty items. He went searching, and sure enough, a yellow M&M’s pillow was among them. Jon was delighted to send it off just in time for Christmas.

We are so grateful to this family for sharing their Christmas with us. Like anything else, the candy business has its ups and downs. But these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.

Candy: Making Christmas More Cheerful

Thursday, December 1st, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

Entertaining guests is an integral part of the holiday season. Whether you plan elaborate get-togethers or get caught off guard by spontaneous drop-ins, your unused chairs and “nice” dishes are bound to get some play before the end of the year. I recently discovered a time-tested strategy for making all this visiting easier — one that seems to have been forgotten along the way by generation X.

Pam Knows What's Up

It’s very simple. Put candy all over your house.

I’m not kidding. As an eater of salad in lieu of dessert, I am the last person who ever expected to say this. Sure, I celebrate individual candies as their own independent holidays. But scattered candy previously meant nothing to me aside from an abundance of temptation.

I’ve finally found what receptionists and bank tellers have known for years. Candy makes people feel better. It makes them calm down! Even when they’re being told bad news, like, “No, Michael’s not here” or “No, you can’t make a withdrawal. We actually want you to pay us before we’ll let you leave.”If little bits of sugary sweetness can brighten those moments, imagine what they can do for your too-small apartment when your great aunts, who don’t like your boyfriend, suddenly feel the urge to spend unending amounts of time with you.

With a little forethought and very little expense, you can make your home an exciting place to be — for you, your guests, and for the children they drag along with them. Placing candy within reach has the incredible and immediate impact of making guests feel more at home. Elevate your freinds’ enjoyment of your company by giving them something sweet to eat.

Christmas Candy

Mmm...Sweet Nostalgia

Celebrate the Season

The fun part of holiday candy is that it’s socially acceptable to put it literally everywhere. Red-and-white-striped candy is the perfect complement to sprigs of evergreen. So hang candy canes on your tree and place peppermint sticks throughout your garland.

It’s super adorable to dress up vintage jars or modern glass vessels for Christmas. Just fill them with different candies and slap on some homemade labels to give your guests a variety of beautiful things to snack on and talk about. So showcase your sweet tooth and brighten up your space at the same time. It’s the one step of holiday decorating that will be painless (and might even make trimming the tree go more smoothly)

Share the Love

Putting candy around the house is a really suave way of getting people to try things that you love. We all want to share things we enjoy, but it can be next to impossible to get friends to take the leap on their own. Instead of giving treats as gifts — and having to wrap them and send them — you can encourage your guests to indulge while keeping you company. It’s the perfect way to change minds and get first dibs on the leftovers.

Keep the Kiddies Busy

We all grow up with our favorite houses to visit — and those we dread. Candy is the best way to swing your friends’ kids’ opinions in your favor. Did you throw away the box of toys your cousin Hannah gave you for occasions like this? Distract with chocolate covered cherries. Have a tendency to snap when someone sets a little foot in your parlor? Grab some gummi bears. When kids have off from school, candy is the prime currency for buying time with your adult friends. The more rooms you decorate with it, the greater the scavenger hunt you can send them on. And the best part is, they’ll love you for it!

There’s no use fighting — embrace the season! String up popcorn with your holly and pair peppermint with your poinsettias. And maybe you’ll make the holidays just a little bit sweeter for your self and everyone who visits you.

Belsnickel or There’s Candy in My Shoes

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

Interested in celebrating yet another holiday between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Need a distraction from your kids’ constant countdown? Belsnickel Day is the perfect opportunity to practice your early-morning home-videography skills and encourage children to keep the pre-holiday tantrums to a minimum.

Christmas…Before Christmas

A few of us graced with the good fortune of growing up in rural German Pennsylvania towns know the joy of a little early Christmas visit. On the evening of December 6th, we put our shoes (one pair apiece, of course) next to the front door. In the morning, they’d most likely be full of candy treats and small gifts. This was, however, the only occasion on which we really ever saw lumps of coal. After all, it was Belsnickel’s job to let Santa know whether we’d been behaving our P’s and Q’s.

A Sometimes Troubling Tradition

The tradition of Der Belsnickel was brought to America by German immigrants and was soon adopted by other settlers. The name translates roughly to “Niklos in furs,” and the character is traditionally covered in, well, furs. In some traditions, he’ll even wear masks or be painted to look pretty terrifying. The job of Belsnickel is to reward good children and punish those who’d misbehaved.

The Belsnickel I believed in was a far cry from the mythical being who scared the Bejeezus out of kids (and probably their parents). In my own view, Belsnickel was more or less Santa’s brother or cousin popping in to make sure things were as they should be as Christmas approached. Though I never stayed up to try and catch a glimpse, had I known the real legend, I imagine I’d have refused to sleep — or maybe even to leave school. As it turned out, I stayed blissfully unaware and reveled in the fact that I got to enjoy the gifts of an “extra” jolly gentleman who passed by the homes of my classmates.

Keeping a Classic

The Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of Belsnickle started fading in the 1920′s. It’s for that reason that I’d really like to keep it alive. It’s one of those opportunities to celebrate a fading cultural practice and develop a yearly tradition at the same time. Just like I feed my friends saurkraut on New Year’s Day, I plan to add a shoe-Santa moment to my pre-Christmas ugly sweater party. What better way to add a dash of unexpected magic to the holiday season?

Mark your calendar for December 6th and check out our naughty-and-nice stocking stuffers for the perfect Belsnickle treats!

Sources:
Der Belsnickel of the Pennsylvania Dutch
Belsnickel on Wikipedia

2011 Christmas Candy Stocking Stuffers

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

2011 best stocking stuffers

It’s 2011, folks, and preparing for the holidays isn’t what it used to be. Black Friday is starting on Thursday, and stores explode into Christmas mode as they take down their Halloween decor. Thankfully, online shopping has become much simpler and more secure, so you don’t even have to set foot in a mall. (Speaking of which, you can sign up for our email newsletter to make sure you receive our Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!)

Each year, stocking stuffer options get more interesting and impressive. Stockings provide a great opportunity to impress your loved ones when they least expect it. Especially in these uncertain economic times, small gifts are a great way to spread holiday joy without breaking the bank. Give some extra thought to your stocking stuffers and gift toppers to make the most of Christmas this year.

Giant Lollipops

When I was a kid, giant lollipops were a spectacle that could only be found at amusement parks. There were two kinds — the big, round, flat lollipop and the long, twisty swirl. I thought the flat ones got you the most candy, but my sister stuck with the twist. Either way, they made special occasions more memorable. These Giant Christmas Lollipops bring this type of fun to the holidays. Whether kids get to savor them individually or shatter them to share, they’ll make little ones feel a little extra special.

stocking stuffer lollipops
christmas lollipops for stockings
lollipops that spin

 

Candy + Toy Novelties

Companies like Hilco have upped the stocking-stuffer ante by combining holiday candy with toys. These novelty candy-and-toy combinations give kids something to snack on, as well as something to keep and play with long after the candy is gone. Many of them can be refilled, which extends the value of each treat over time. These seasonal exclusives really make a big impression with younger children.

 

Lindor Truffles

The holidays are the time for savoring the moments, sights, and sounds we love. The flavors we cherish are center stage, and that makes this the best time of year for Truffles. Lindt Lindor Truffle Balls are the grown-up stocking stuffer your friends will go crazy for. We’ve got the flavors below, plus just about every other flavor you can think of — raspberry, hazelnut, peanut butter, and extra-dark chocolate for the most refined palettes. Unlike most online stores, we won’t make you buy 120. Mix and match our 60-count boxes to offer your holiday guests a variety of indulgences.

Mint Chocolate Lindor Balls

 

DIY Gift Boxes

These “Make It Yourself Kits” take the toy-plus-candy novelty treat to a whole new level! Each DIY kit contains an adventure that older kids or even adults can enjoy. One of these gift boxes can enhance a party twice — once when you give it, and again when your giftee uses it. Each one includes everything you need to create a homemade batch of goodies that most people have never thought of making at home before!

Candy Canes – 2011 Edition

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

I know that I’m about to give everyone whiplash, but it’s true. The moment you finish off your Halloween candy, you run smack into the Christmas season. Well, Halloween has come and gone, and we’re seeing far fewer hours of daylight. It’s time to think about hibernation.

There’s one little Christmas detail you can take care of now to brighten the holidays. As you stock up for the next snowpocalypse, take a moment and order your Candy Canes.

A Candy Cane Craze

Each year, the holidays creep in earlier and earlier. Before I worked at a candy company, I did not believe that anyone would buy Candy Canes in October. But now I hear those calls coming in, and it’s true! They’re flying off the shelves! The time to secure your Candy Canes (especially if you need lots of them) is now. 1.76 Billion of these puppies will be made this year, so whether there are 6 Billion or 7 Billion humans on the Earth, there’s no excuse for not getting a few peppermint sticks of your own.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

When you shop with Candy Favorites, you can order candy canes (or stocking stuffers, or bulk candy) and schedule delivery for closer to Christmas. When you’re pummeled with last-minute details, your future self will be so grateful that you had the foresight to plan ahead. All you’ll have to do will be to accept the package and go back to basting your Christmas goose.

Classic Candy Canes

The thing about traditional Candy Canes is, people are expecting them. After all, kids have been enjoying them for 350 years. A Christmas without Candy Canes is like a breakfast without bacon — ridiculous! Classic versions are the most in demand, so here’s a variety of options. We’ve got you covered with tiny ones, normal ones, and totally giant Candy Canes.

Novelty Candy Canes

Novelty Candy Canes make a great stocking-stuffing supplement to traditional versions. They take the candies you know and love a step further with crazy flavors, interesting textures, and even gum. While we don’t advise that you totally forgo the classics, we have a variety of newfangled Candy Canes to keep your tastebuds on their toes.

Brach’s Christmas Nougats

Friday, November 4th, 2011 by Jessica Prokop

They say that variety is the spice of life. Well, Brach’s is delivering a variety of spices with its new lineup of holiday nougats.

Okay…so they’re mostly mints. But you get the idea. You might remember Christmas Nougats from going “treeing” at other people’s houses. They have these tiny little trees in the middle, and you can’t help but try and bite around the candy just so, in an effort to free the tree from a forest of nougat. And then, when you fail, you can’t help but try again. Over the years, I wiled away many hours this way, waiting for adults to finish talking. These candies, for many of us, are a signal that the holidays are really here.

Classic Peppermint Christmas Nougats

It all started with the Brach’s Peppermint Christmas Nougat. This red-and-white variety  is the classic soft candy of Christmas, but as a kid I shied away from them. But as an adult, curiosity struck. What I found is that these are actually quite addictive.

The texture seems to be hard before you open them. But the nougat softens as you chew, giving way to one of the cleanest and smoothest candy textures I’ve experienced. They’re really nice after dinner (and after dessert) to make your mouth all fresh and tingly. They’re more peppermint than sweet, so you feel like you’ve eaten a mint rather than a candy.

Wintergreen Christmas Nougats

Somewhere over the years, Brach’s decided to mix it up. So now those more inclined to eat Canada Mints can have a Christmas candy, too. Wintergreen is one of those bizarre flavors that you don’t think you want to eat on purpose. Pepto Bismol might have done that to us. But one bite of something Wintergreen that’s actually yummy, and you can’t stop eating it.

Brach’s Wintergreen Christmas Nougats are no exception. They have the exact same wonderful texture and festive design as the Peppermint nougat, but the base color is light green instead of white. These leave you with a distinct cool feeling in your mouth.

Cinnamon Christmas Nougats

Cinnamon might be the best variety for children new to the world of Brach’s Christmas Nougats. These also have the little tree design, but the main color is pink. When you open an individually wrapped piece, you’re immediately hit with a jolt of cinnamon fragrance. These are just remarkably pleasant, because they have potent cinnamon flavor without overwhelming you with a burst of heat.

Cinnamon Christmas Nougats give you all the texture of classic nougats, plus a cinnamonny experience without the annoying loss of flavor you get from chewing gum. Unlike the mint varieties, this one leaves your mouth feeling warm and toasty.

Chocolate Mint Christmas Nougats

And then there’s one more — the fun one. Brach’s Chocolate Mint Christmas Nougats take things outside the box. They abandon the classic tree design for a basic but totally cute irregular swirl. This makes them fun to smash, so kids — or you — might end up playing with them more than the others. The chocolate and mint layers are made from two distinct flavors of nougat. The chocolate is a really nice surprise. It has none of that essence-of-fake-chocolate taste, but rather adds a subtle chocolate tone to the distinct mint flavor.

I carefully nibbled at the mint layer of several of these, trying to decide what kind of mint it was. I gave up. It has the light green hue of wintergreen but the freshness of peppermint. And seems too much like a Peppermint Patty to be Wintergreen. Either way, when you eat the layers together, you still get that very consistent, smooth nougat texture, with a refreshing flavor that leaves behind notes of mint.

A Christmas Candy Tradition

The nutrition facts on these puppies makes them an indulgence that’s worth it. The stats are pretty similar for all varieties, so 5 pieces have around 160 calories and 3 grams of fat. That’s not bad at all for candy in any season. Stick with Brach’s to revive old traditions or start new ones. These candies are so unique, they won’t be forgotten.