Candy Corn, a long time American treat
In 1869, German immigrants Albert and Gustav Goelitz bought an ice cream and candy shop in Belleville, Illinois, with Gustav running the store and Albert hitting the road in his horse and wagon to sell the candies they made. The next generation of the Goelitz family created a line of butter cream candies including a three striped concoction called candy corn. Now known as Jelly Belly, the family business continues to make candy corn.
And in a move that the Goelitz brothers could never have foreseen, this year candy corn became an Oreo cookie filling as Kraft Foods released their limited edition Candy Corn Oreos for the Halloween season. The vanilla wafers with yellow and orange-colored cream are sold only at Target stores.
And so in celebration of Halloween as well as this fourth generation candy company, consider the following fun facts.
• October 30th is National Candy Corn Day
• One serving of candy corn contains only about 140 calories
• Candy Corn is not just for Halloween anymore. Candy makers have made Reindeer Corn for Christmas, Cupid Corn for Valentine’s Day and Bunny Corn for Easter
• More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces—enough to circle the moon nearly 21 times if laid end-to-end.
And for candy purists who want to make their own, Alton Brown, star of the Food Network show Good Eats, has a recipe for you.
60 to 80 pieces
4 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/4 cups
1/2-ounce nonfat dry milk, approximately 6 1/2 teaspoons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1/2 cup
3 3/4 ounces light corn syrup, approximately 1/3 cup
2 1/2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 drops yellow and orange gel paste food coloring
Combine the powdered sugar, dry milk and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 to 5 times until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Set aside.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a 2-quart pot. Put over medium heat, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the butter, clip on a candy thermometer, and bring the mixture to 230 degrees F, about 1 to 2 minutes. When the sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees F, take the pot off the heat and remove the thermometer. Add the vanilla and the dry mixture, stirring continuously with a silicone spatula until well combined. Pour onto a half sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat. Cool until the mixture is cool enough to handle, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Add 2 drops of yellow food coloring to 1 piece and knead the dough until the color is consistent throughout. Add 2 drops of orange to the second piece, and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Leave the third piece white. Roll each piece of dough into a strand, about 18-inches long. Cut each strand in half.
Roll 1 of the white pieces into a strand that is about 1/2-inch thick and about 22-inches long. Repeat with a yellow piece and orange piece. Lay the strands side by side and press them together using your fingers. Cut the strand into 4-inch pieces. Lay the strands, 1 at a time, onto the silicone mat and press into a wedge shape, like a triangle. Use a wire butter slicer to cut the candies into pieces. If you don't have a wire butter slicer, use a knife, metal bench scraper or pizza cutter to slice the dough into small pieces. Repeat the procedure with remaining dough. Lay the finished pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to dry for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.