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James Candy Blog

  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Squares

    Are you looking for your next no-bake dessert recipe? If so, check out this sweet treat that pairs the deliciousness of Bayard's chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate and peanut butter into one easy recipe! Check out the recipe below.

    James Candy Infographic.

  • Macaroons, the Cookie for Everyone!

    The holidays have come and pass, and everyone has most definitely eaten more than they needed to, but that’s part of what the holidays are all about.  Of course with all the eating there has to be a favorite and for us that is dessert!  Many people will enjoy all kinds of desserts but one of the best is the macaroon.  The macaroon has existed for centuries; some even say it has been around since the 9th century where it was first created in Italy.  What makes macaroons unique is their ingredients and long history.

    Macaroon’s origins can be traced back to the Italian monastery, and it is believed that they were brought to France in 1533.  The cookies were very popular in those times and were also popular with particular religious groups, like the Italian Jews because they had no flour or leavening.  They eventually spread throughout the rest of Europe as well, and that’s where alterations to the original recipe happened.

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    Macaroon’s name comes from the Italian word maccarone or maccherone which referred to the almond paste which was the main ingredient in them.  The other ingredients are sugar and egg whites.  As macaroons spread throughout Europe the recipe was altered.  In some recipes potato starch is added to give the macaroons more body.  Due to the shelf life of mashed potatoes in macaroons they are not a common commercial recipe.  One of the biggest changes to the recipe was introducing shredded dry coconut.  At first the coconut was added in small amounts but over time it completely replaced the ground almonds in some recipes.

    Today, coconut macaroons are the most popular in North America, but the recipe keeps changing and new variations are being created.  Companies like James Candy offer a whole variety of macaroons.  One of the most popular adaptations to this recipe is dipping the macaroons in chocolate.  Originally people preferred them being dipped in milk chocolate, but now you can get them dipped in dark and white chocolate!  They also have the delicious French version known as a Macaron (French Macaroon).  These lovely delights are two very light almond meringue cookies that sandwich a filling.  The macaroon is unique because of its feathery lightness and soft creamy filling.

    Don’t let the end of the holidays end your enjoyment of mouth-watering, scrumptious baked goods.  Macaroons are one of those delightful treats that are fun to eat any time of the year, and are perfect for giving to visitors and friends.

  • Winter is here, but so is Summer!

    Winter is here and normally that means lots of snow and frigid weather.  This year our winter has been fortunately temperate (knock on wood) and it has been far more enjoyable than last year.  Winter also means another thing to us food aficionados; it means winter candy!  At first you may just be thinking candy canes, but there’s so much more to winter candy than just candy canes!

    There are mints, cookies, fudge, winter chocolates and so much more!  The winter is also a great time for indoor activities like building a gingerbread house and baking.  While it’s cold outside you can be snug inside as your oven bakes that delicious batch of cookies for you, and you can enjoy the warmth as you create a scrumptious gingerbread house.  Winter is also a great time to sit and chow down on those delicious candied almonds, pecans and other nuts.  One of the best things to do in winter is melting fudge in the microwave, which you can then drizzle over a bowl of ice cream or anything else that fills your imagination.

    With so much variety available, one can sometimes wonder where to best begin with candy in the winter.  However, some folks never want summer to end, and so for them they decide that salt water taffy should be their candy of choice.  Even though taffy is traditionally thought of as a summer candy, it too can be enjoyed in the heart of winter.  Buying and eating taffy year round helps many people remember the summer and their fond memories of that time of year.  The wonderful thing nowadays is that all of these delicious candies are available to us year round.  In decades before, if summer was really your season and taffy your candy, you may have to wait a long time between summers.

    Fortunately for us candy lovers, whether you’re looking for one of those sweet winter candies or salt water taffy, places like James Candy now offer all of it to us all year round.  Thanks to the advent of the internet and online ordering, those of us who long for the warm summer days can be reminded of them as we eat our taffy and stay warm in our house.  So be sure to take full advantage of these modern conveniences and make your favorite candy your own winter candy.

  • Keeping Candy Kosher

    kosherIt’s almost like a fact of life – everyone has a sweet tooth, no matter their backgrounds or beliefs! That’s why Kosher candy is becoming a more sought-after commodity than you may think. To give you some background on the term Kosher or Kosher foods, it’s a religious regulation of Jewish dietary law.

    According to a Pew Research report, they find there are about 5.3 million who follow the Jewish religion and Kosher regulations in the United States. This type of food diet regulation has to fit certain aspects to be labeled as Kosher and finding foods that can be deemed Kosher can sometimes be difficult. However, when things like candy can become Kosher, the worlds of your taste buds can experience a delicious treat!

    One of the best things of running a candy company is letting everyone get a little taste and that means finding practices that allows just that! James Candy Company doesn’t want to let anyone miss out on beloved treats like salt water taffy, chocolates, caramel chews or anything else for that matter which is why they are proud to serve a huge assortment of Kosher Candy. And one of the best things about Kosher Candy is that it’s still derived from the best ingredients around.

    Staying within religious dietary guidelines can sometimes make it a little harder to get that food you love but with Kosher Candy, everything can be a little sweeter. James Candy has treats like Kosher salt water taffy, Kosher chocolates, Kosher non-pariels and so much more. It’s easy to stay true to a Kosher diet while enjoying Kosher candy from James Candy. Every consideration and requirement is taken to produce the best kosher candy out there and the best part is, you don’t have to follow the Kosher diet to get a piece of Kosher candy. So if you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth but must follow Kosher food regulations, let James Candy be your number one candy shop!

  • Gift Guide: How to Treat Your Co-Workers

    candy tourEvery year, the holiday season comes around and you may be at a standstill trying to figure out how to spread that holiday cheer around the office. Should you buy everyone an individual gift? Should you only give them holiday cards? Will lottery scratch-off tickets suffice?

    The truth of the matter is, it’s hard to figure out what everyone likes and with that being said, one gift that is a crowd favorite is candy! Gifting candy during the holiday can make your life a little easier and it’ll be a special way to tell your co-workers you care about them. While the notion may seem small, giving candy as a gift will go a far way and you’ll definitely make your co-workers happy.

    The best thing about gifting candy is that you have so many different choices that can satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. From macaroons to salt water taffy to rich and creamy fudge, gifting candy will go over well with everyone. Here are some tips to check out when gifting candy!

    Variety

    You may not know which candies are your co-workers favorites, so you could make a candy gift basket that has a variety of candies in them. Consider all types of flavor profiles, from chocolates to nuts to fruity salt water taffy. Don’t forget to place some chewy macaroons into the basket as well! Giving your co-workers a variety of candies to eat will cover all your bases because there will be at least one thing they absolutely love.

    Size

    Depending on the number of co-workers you are giving gifts to, candy is a cost effective solution for small or large offices! You have the ability to use a lot of pieces or ration out the amount you give to each co-worker. Either way, candy will be a tasty treat from one piece to one dozen!

    Desserts

    Perhaps your office is throwing a holiday party and it’s just a little too hard for you to give a gift to everyone. A great idea is to whip up a delicious dessert that has pieces of candy all over it! From cakes to brownies to cookies, candy can always find its way into a recipe. For example, you could make real fudge brownies by dropping in a few pieces of fudge into your brownie mix. You can also decorate a cake with macaroons for an added chewy element and you could make chocolate bark with candied nuts!

    The options are truly endless when it comes time to gift candy. From gift baskets to desserts, candy is a crowd favorite and it’ll help you spread around some much needed holiday joy!

  • A Sweet Holiday Tradition

    Every year, the holidays are filled with family, fun and sweet treats! From candied apples to salt water taffy to candy canes - there are just so many sweet traditions that have interesting backgrounds. Check out this reference guide to learn more about some of your favorite holiday treats!

    A Sweet Holiday Tradition

  • The History Behind Macaroons

    macaroonWhen is the last time you had a macaroon – was it an almond, coconut, chocolate chip or chocolate covered macaroon? Whichever variation you had last, it was probably delicious but do you know the origins behind this cookie? Legend has it that the macaroon cookie first was dated back in the 8th or 9th century Italian monastery and the earliest recording has been traced back to Commercy, France. Some historians argue that macaroons originated in Venice and made their way to France by sailors.

    While the exact recordings of the macaroon are debated, one thing kept true was its unique texture and flavor. The word ‘macaroon’ is derived from the Italian word ammaccare which means to crush. The reference is to the almond paste which was the main ingredient of the cookie since the beginning of its introduction. Interestingly enough, almonds were introduced to Venice in the beginning of the 7th century by Arab invaders. From there, egg whites and sugar were mixed to create the cookie.

    By the 18th century, the French refined the macaroon and made it a delicacy by sticking to the original recipe and modifying it slightly. The basics included almond paste, sugar and egg whites but they shaped the cookie round and after they would bake, jam or another filling would be placed between two rounded macaroons. It may have been the first ‘sandwich’ cookie because the Oreo didn’t debut until 1912!

    The macaroon eventually made its way around the world and it wasn’t until the late 19th century when the almond was replaced with coconut in North America. The almond replacement was due to the fragile nature of the cookie because the coconut substitute held up better during transportation. Additionally, the coconut substitute tended to last longer on long voyages which made it less likely to spoil over time.

    Today, macaroons are considered favorites among cookie eaters and the recipes have not changed much since the 8th century. They saying, ‘why fix something that isn’t broken’ definitely applies to the macaroon because its’ recipe has lasted this long. The chewy and delightful cookie is a great holiday dessert because it pairs perfectly with milk or coffee! You have to try each variety because they all have the same back bone but different flavor profiles. You can assume that the macaroon cookie is on track to stay around for a few more hundred years.

  • Caramel And The Holidays

    caramelHowever you pronounce it, caramel is a tasty, rich treat that everyone can enjoy in many different variations! For that traditional little cube of chewy goodness, all it takes is a little bit of cream or milk, butter, sugar and some vanilla flavoring to create that piece of heaven in your mouth. While the exact history of caramel may be feuded, there are some recordings of it first being used in the middle of the 1600s by American settlers who were making candies in kettles. Fast forward about 200 years and an ingenious candy maker added the signature taste we all love by boiling some milk, fat, sugar and water together!

    Melt In Your Mouth

    From caramel coated popcorn to caramel candied apples, this sweet treat has been a staple among holiday candy trays and dishes for years. A popular variation of the sweet has some ties to the Garden State in which you can probably find all over the boardwalk! Fun fact: candied apples got their roots in New Jersey! A candy-maker, William W. Kolb from Newark, invented red candied apples in 1908 and sold them in his shop for 5 cents! After that, the rest is history as candied apples made their way to the Jersey Shore and a caramel coating found its way into the mix.

    Whether you like pairing fruit with candy or you just enjoy the taste of a caramel chew, it is definitely a crowd favorite. To give your taste buds a true ride of excitement, salted caramels may be the candy for you. This version of the sweet ties together the best of both worlds: saltiness and sweetness. But beware, they might be a little addicting so one piece might not be enough to curb your craving!

    A Traditional Dish with a Caramel Twist

    No holiday meal would be complete without a dessert and the most iconic of them all is an apple pie. But if you want to add in a little bit of that rich caramel flavor, this easy caramel apple pie recipe will surely get your taste buds going!

    Ingredients:

    • Pie crust (store bought or homemade)
    • 1 cup of bisquick
    • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons of cold butter
    • 1 can of apple pie filling (21 oz)
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of caramel

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 375oF. Spoon in apple pie filling onto the pie crust and drizzle caramel on top.
    2. Mix 1 cup of bisquick and brown sugar into a bowl. Place in the 3 tablespoons of cold butter and blend in until it is crumbly (streusel style topping). Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the filling.
    3. Bake for 15 minutes. Cover top of the pie with aluminum foil and let it bake again for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
    4. Let the pie cool for 2 to 3 hours then drizzle caramel over the pie and enjoy!

    Fast And Easy Caramel Apples

    If you want caramel apples but don’t have the time to make the caramel, then this recipe will have you running to the store for a quick treat!

    Ingredients:

    • 50 unwrapped caramel chews
    • 2 tablespoons of cream
    • 4 apples
    • 4 wooden sticks

    Directions:

    1. Wash apples and dry. Place in sticks.
    2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine caramel chews and cream. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one. Make sure caramel is melted and smooth; should not take longer than 3 minutes. Bonus Tip: Use salted caramel chews to add in another flavor element!
    3. Hold apple by the stick and spoon caramel over the apple. Repeat for remaining apples. Refrigerate 15 to 30 minutes.
    4. Enjoy!
  • Different Uses For Holiday Candy

    ginger bread houseThe holiday season is in full swing and that means your sweet tooth might be craving a few pieces of candy between now and the New Year! With that being said, holiday candy is definitely hot seller because it can be used in variety of ways that can bring on some much needed holiday cheer! If you are looking for some fun ways to use holiday candy this year, check out this ultimate reference guide to steer you in the right direction

    Gifts

    Giving the gift of candy might be one of the most versatile options around! Who doesn’t love some sweets? Candy is the perfect way to give a little something to someone special and doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get. If you have a lot of people on your gift giving list this year, candy is the economical and tasty way to show some appreciated thought. With an almost limitless way to display and give candy, you have so many creative options to gift it! For example, you could place candy in a decorative holiday baggie, put together a beautiful candy basket or conceal it in wrapping paper.

    Holiday candy can also be used a nostalgic gift because certain candies may remind people of their favorite past time or memory. Think of the shore for this one! The boardwalk is home to the best salt water taffy around and gifting that candy will remind anyone of a warm summer’s day at the beach.

    Stocking Stuffers

    Nothing says Christmas like a stocking so filling that stocking with a handful of candy would please anyone! Whether the stocking is for you, your family or friends, popping in a few pieces of candy will definitely light up some faces. You could put different candies in different stockings like fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, caramels and more

    Ginger Bread Houses

    Sparking your inner architect is always fun when making ginger bread houses! You can easily incorporate holiday candies by decorating the exterior of the ginger bread house with all types of candies. It’s quite easy – all you have to do is grab some extra icing and dab some on the candy to make it act like a glue. Place the candy all over the little house to add some color and bite sized snacks! Once your ginger bread house is complete, put it on display but don’t be surprised if your little decorations go missing.

    Dessert

    Using holiday candy in desserts goes hand-in-hand with a ginger bread house because it’s something that will make everyone’s mouth water. If you are making a dessert for a holiday party, consider decorating the dessert with candy. For example, if you bake a cake, top the cake with pieces of non-pariels for an added crunch or chocolate covered cordial cherries for a fruity punch.

    Getting a little creative with candy can go a long way and definitely impress family and friends! So make sure when you go through your holiday list, think of amazing ways to incorporate a little bit of sweetness into every gift, dessert and special moment.

  • 10 Creative Ways To Use Candy This Fall

    Check out this reference guide to find the most creative ways to use candy this fall. From salt water taffy to chocolate covered macaroons, everyone's sweet tooth will love it!

    JamesCandy_Infographic_CreativeFall_01

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