Archive for the ‘Candy Type’ Category

Planning a candy buffet for an event sounds really, really fun (what’s not to love?), but when you get down to business, there are a lot of decisions to be made.

With so many candy types, colors, shapes, textures, sizes—and just as many containers, scoops, labels, and table props to consider—two g’s come to mind: “gulp” and “gasp.”

Enter Amy Atlas …

If you aren’t already familiar with the name, Amy Atlas is the goddess of dessert tables and candy buffets. Her work is like looking at a fashion runway with so much attention paid to color, texture, style, and accessories. (If you need to see to believe, click here.)

With such talent and experience, we turned to Amy to answer frequently asked questions about candy buffets … and dish on her highly anticipated new book.

Candy.com: The customer service team at Candy.com is constantly asked, “How much candy should I buy?” and “Is there a rule of thumb for estimating container capacity?” (i.e., How many pounds of salt water taffy or M&M’s will I need to fill a half-gallon apothecary jar?) How do you calculate quantities for your own events?

Amy Atlas:  As a basic rule, I suggest 6 to 8 ounces of candy per guest.  However, if you are looking to make a more bountiful display, you may have to order more depending on your design.

Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb for estimating candy per container. I use the following guidelines, though …

  • - Salt water taffy: 1 1/2 lbs per half-gallon container
    - Malt balls: 2 1/2 lbs per half-gallon container
    - M&M’s: 3 lbs per half-gallon container

Candy.com: When ordering candy for an event, how far in advance do you suggest placing the order?

Amy Atlas: I recommend ordering at least 10 days to two weeks prior to the event to ensure the candy will get there on time and to avoid additional shipping fees. The candy will stay fresh so long as you the candy is kept in the packaging and stored at room temperature.

 

Candy.com: Should you buy less candy per person if you’re also including cake/cookies/cupcakes on your dessert table?

Amy Atlas: Adding cake/cookies/cupcakes to your dessert spread will round out your dessert table and you’ll probably need less candy.  Another factor in determining how much candy you will need is what type of vessels you are using for the candy. If you are using small bowls, then you won’t necessarily have to purchase a lot to make it look pretty.

 

Candy.com: What are the most practical containers/vessels to use?

Amy Atlas: Containers with wide openings are the most practical so guests can easily access the candy with scoops. I love these containers.

 

Candy.com: Should you provide a scoop for every container?

Amy Atlas: Yes, you absolutely should have a scoop for each container. You will not want flavors of certain candies mixed with others, especially if food allergies are a concern. Having multiple scoops also helps ensure that guests won’t be waiting for others to finish scooping.

 

Candy.com: What are the best types of candies to use in a candy buffet?

Amy Atlas: My favorites to use are jelly beans, M&M’s, and malt balls.

 

Candy.com: What is your favorite candy color palette?

Amy Atlas: I love mixing and matching unexpected color palettes. Currently, I’m loving neon pink and yellow paired with a grayish lavender accent color.

Candy.com: What type of favor bags or boxes do you like to use for guests to take home candy?

Amy Atlas: I often personalize bags like these for the clients to send their guests off with. However, popcorn boxes and muslin pouches are also great containers.

 

Candy.com: What are some ways to create different heights on a candy buffet, so it’s more eye-appealing?

Amy Atlas: You can use vessels in various heights. Also, think outside the “vessel” and use fun containers that tie into your theme. For a rustic dessert bar, tree trunks can add the perfect amount of height while a travel themed party would look fantastic with small luggage containers.

 

Candy.com: Do you have any tips for staying organized while planning a candy buffet or dessert table?

Amy Atlas: Create a mockup of the design before the event to get a sense of whether you need to add additional candy/desserts (or if you have planned for too much and you need to scale back). Keep an organized list for when all of your candy and desserts are being delivered and remember to pack candy scoops for the event!

 

Candy.com: We’re dying for your new book, Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It to be released on April 24! What can you tell us about it?

Amy Atlas: The book is the first book created for making sweets/candy tables. While the pictures are beautiful, it is not intended to be a coffee table book. I created it so people can use it as a reference not only for inspiration, but also as a guide for all of my sweet styling tips. Think of it as a candy table bible.  The book has over 100 of my recipes, 75 of my crafting instructions, and is filled with my styling tips.  There are more than 250 never-seen-before photos as well!


Amy Atlas photo courtesy of Robert Caplin.
Candy buffet and book cover photos courtesy of Amy Atlas.

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Inspiration struck today. Shocker. While contemplating how to string green, purple, and gold candy beads into Mardi Gras necklaces, I spied super clever gumball necklaces from One Charming Party on Pinterest. Aha!

Using purple, green, and shimmer gold gumballs, vibrant purple ribbon, a sharp tack, embroidery needle, and One Charming Party’s know-how, these edible Mardi Gras beads unfolded …

Originally, I set out to string Sixlets, but they cracked when met with a needle. Oak Leaf’s beautiful 1-inch green, purple, and shimmer gold gumballs worked like a charm!

To puncture both sides of the gumballs, I used a razor sharp upholstery tack. Not one shell cracked in the process. Miracle!

Next, I threaded a wide-eyed embroidery needle with 1/4-inch purple ribbon and pulled it through each gumball with a little help from pliers.

And, just as One Charming Party suggested, I tied a knot in between gumballs, and finished off each necklace with a bow. (Note: Gumballs do get heavy when strung together, so I kept each necklace to 10 “beads.”)

Based on prelim feedback, “Mardi Gum” necklaces are serious conversation starters, so start your Mardi Gras party with them.

One more sweet tip for Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21: “Rim” classic hurricane glasses with purple, green, and gold candy pearls. Pretty!

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Here’s a holiday treat that’s shiny new and groovy over at Candy.com: Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Ribbon Candy!

There are a couple of reasons why this candy is special.

1. It’s made in the USA (yay!)

2. It’s made by a small family-owned candy company (double yay!)

3. It’s unique. In all of my years in the food industry, I’ve never come across ribbon candy dipped in chocolate. Genius!

4. Each chocolate-covered ribbon candy is sprinkled with candy cane bits to make it presentation-worthy. And each holiday red gift box doesn’t require wrapping, so you’re spared from having to hunt down tape, scissors, paper, ribbon, etc.

This special holiday candy is also one of Candy.com’s “12 Days of Sweet Deals,” so it’s on sale until Tues., Dec. 6. Score!

For more product info and to purchase, click here.

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Starbucks cups are dressed in red, Target’s Christmas aisles are up and twinkling, and peppermint candy canes are selling like hotcakes at Candy.com. This can only mean one thing. It’s game on for holiday party season.

That said, I did a little holiday party planning homework for you by contacting two prominent party planning/candy buffet experts to find out which candies they’ll be using on their clients’ holiday dessert tables and what trends they’re noticing as the holidays draw near. Here’s the skinny …

“Out with traditional red and green, and in with unique pairs like red and aqua, red and pink, and silver and white!” That’s the holiday hue forecast from Courtney Dial, founder and editor of Pizzazzerie, co-founder of The Bakery Spot, and author of the new book Push-up Pops, which is now available for pre-order.

Courtney’s forecast closely matches Pantone’s Color of the Year 2011 – Turquoise 15-5519, and Color of the Year 2010 – Honeysuckle Pink 18-2120.

To get Courtney’s modern and chic color palettes to really pop on a dessert table, try using SweetWorks’ new Celebration Collection of single-color candies, which includes Sixlets, Gumballs, and Candy Pearls in matte and shimmer options as well as foiled chocolate hearts and balls. (Click on any of the SweetWorks candies below to learn more.)

According to Courtney,  “Retro Holiday” is also hot. To set the stage for a nostalgic vibe, she suggests candies like Mallo Cups, old-fashioned candy sticks, and thin ribbon candy, and using wax lips as a sweet prop in a photo booth station. “Of course everything on a stick is as popular as ever,” she adds, “so use a bit of royal icing ‘glue’ to attach the wax lips to a lollipop stick.”

Courtney’s also a big fan of gingerbread decorating parties. “Whether it’s a princess pink gingerbread house theme or a traditional one, kids and adults alike absolutely go crazy over decorating sweet houses for the holidays,” she says.

Last year, Courtney hosted a Holiday Pink Tea Party where the guests created pink and white gingerbread houses. “It was a huge hit,” she says. Looking at her blog post and photos, yes it was.

Photos courtesy of Pizzazzerie

When asked what specific candy Courtney and her team favor during the holidays, Courtney offers up the peppermint stick. “They’re the cutest treat to serve alongside a hot chocolate bar or dip in chocolate for an extra-sweet favor,” she explains.

Courtney suggests building a peppermint candy station at holiday parties and letting kids dip their peppermints in milk and white chocolate and add a variety of colored sprinkles. Cute!

Marie Dannettelle, the founder of California-based Sweets Indeed, a company that specializes in high-end custom candy and dessert stations, says she consistently gets rave reviews when she includes caramels, peppermint bark, and homemade toffee on a holiday dessert table. Another of Marie’s perennial favorites? Gumdrops.

“To me, it’s not the holidays unless there’s a bowl of spice drops (gumdrops) around,” she explains. “In past years, we’ve even used them to make wreaths, trees, topiaries, necklaces, and more! One of these days I’ll create a dessert station centered around them.”

Candy.com now has mini and jumbo gumdrops to create the coolest Gingerbread House on the cul-de-sac. (For more product info, click on the gumdrops image above.)

For the 2011 holiday season, Marie also says she’s going to mix it up and stay away from traditional red and green. “I think pastels will make a big show in Christmas decor this year, especially in the desserts and candy section,” she says.

To achieve the softer holiday schematic for her clients, Marie is looking to Hammond’s Candy for its hand-pulled candy canes, candy ribbons, pillows, and straw candies offered in non-traditional, yet highly festive colors like bubble gum pink, berry blue, and sour apple green.

Marie and her team are also relying on their own handmade holiday Candy Kabobs to punch up holiday parties. (Candy Kabobs are available for purchase at SweetsIndeed.com.) The candy combinations and themes are crazy creative, vibrant, and fun. Here are a few teasers …

Photos courtesy of Sweets Indeed and The Pixel Studio

Many thanks to Courtney and Marie for their holiday party tips, trends, and go-to candies!

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