Unique Things You Can Do With Gummy Bears
Once Halloween has passed, do you find yourself with lots of extra gummy bears on your hands? That's no surprise, since Americans spend over $2 billion on candy during this spooky holiday. There are bound to be some leftovers. Fortunately, we have creative ways to use them. And you don't need to feel (too) guilty about snacking on your sweet treats throughout the year. According to nutritionist's opinions on the best and worst Halloween candy, those of the gummy variety aren't too bad. So let's take a look at ways to take your gummy bears further.
If the holidays are approaching, there are plenty of ways to incorporate gummy bears into some classic winter goodies. Try making gummy bear bark. Add some of these colorful, chewy bears to your milk or white chocolate bark. If you're tired of eggnog during this festive time of year, try making boozy bears. Empty a large bag of gummy bears into a punch bowl, cover the candy with your alcohol of choice and let the bears stew for a few days in the fridge. You'll have a colorful and sweet cocktail when it's ready. Thumbprint cookies are another sugary confection you find a lot during the holiday season. Dress yours up by placing a gummy bear in the center of each one.
During the hotter months, you may want to make gummy bear popsicles. Just throw some of these candies into your popsicle mold with your favorite popsicle recipe, and you'll have a really stunning frozen treat when they're ready. Another fun thing to do with gummy bears and a freezer is to make gummy bear ice cubes. Simply add one gummy bear to each square of your ice tray and you'll have some of the most colorful ice cubes anyone has ever seen. For a summer treat that's refreshing and a bit more grownup, try adding some gummy bears to white wine sangria.
The History Of Gummy Bears
The creator of the first gummy bear is still one of the most popular brands for this candy today: Haribo. More specifically, the man behind Haribo is responsible for the first batch of these treats. German factory worker Hans Reigel was fed up with his job and in 1920, he decided to launch his own candy company. At first, Reigel used nothing but a kettle and a marble slab to create what were, admittedly, boring, colorless, and hard candies. Reigel's wife delivered orders on her bicycle. Hans Reigel was from Bonn, Germany and he created the name of his candy company based on parts of his name and his hometown. Hence: Haribo.
Haribo first made their big push at German street festivals, but they weren't having the success they'd hoped for. Haribo eventually had the idea to make gelatin-based, colorful gummy candies shaped like the dancing bears that were popular at some of the original Oktoberfest celebrations and other European events. The first gummy bears weren't the squat, cute ones we eat today: they were longer and more slender, like real bears. It wasn't until the company started to market their product to children that they decided to make the candies cuter, and turn them into the little kid-friendly shapes we see today.
Haribo wasn't the first company to make gelatin-based candies. When Haribo came out with its bears, wine gums and Jujubes had already been on the market for some time. But those treats didn't have the same adorable appeal as the forest-shaped animals Haribo had created. For the record, Haribo had its ups and downs, in spite of the world's warm welcome to gummy bears. At the start of World War II, Haribo had around 400 employees. But in 1945, Hans Riegel passed away, and his two sons were taken prisoner. By the time the sons were released, Haribo had dwindled down to just 30 employees. But, as the story goes, Haribo got back on its feet. In fact, they're set to build their first US-based factory soon, which will put them head to head with some of North America's top candy producers.
What To Look For In A Gummy Bear Mold
If you want to make gummy bears at home, you want to find a mold that does this famous candy justice. You could go for a show-stopper, with a giant gummy bear mold. Rather than make dozens of tiny treats, give your friend a gummy bear the size of a stuffed animal. That should satisfy her sweet tooth for a few months. Some molds have bonus trays that let you make gummy worms, fish, and other animal-shaped candies. These are a fun way to create a little edible scene. You can put your gummies on top of a cake, and make it look like the bears are chasing the fish that are chasing the worms.
Gummy bear making can be messy, so you may want a mold that's safe to put in the dishwasher and that disassembles easily for cleaning. Consider featuring gummy bear making as the main event at your child's birthday party. Children will love taking home their own sugary concoctions as party favors. Just make sure your mold comes with multiple droppers so that several children can get to work at once. Gummy bears aren't only for kids, of course. In fact, grownups living with children tend to snack on the stuff, too. You might want trays with a few more adult shapes, like hearts or madeleines, so you can make gummy gifts for your friends.
If you've discovered the magic of frozen gummy bears, make sure your mold can go in the freezer. Of course, if you do plan on sending your molds through the freezer, dishwasher, and more, make sure they feature heavy-duty construction so they don't crack in extreme temperatures. Non-stick materials will also make it easy to pop your finished gummies out of the trays.