Who decided November 4 should be National Candy Day when everyone knows America's true candy rush comes on Halloween? Perhaps, however, the people who designate these days figured Halloween bags would be empty within four days and we'd be ready for more.
On the other hand, post-Halloween sales make purchasing candy for the holidays or next year very tempting, if you can make it last that long. Parents hoping to avoid bellyaches and children bouncing off the walls also might want to consider storing their trick-or-treat goodies to hand out over a longer period of time.
Since not all candy maintains its resilience over a long period of time, we offer the following tips for safe storage.
1. Store all candy in airtight containers or wrappers, preferably their original wrappers. This keeps the moisture out of brittle candy and maintains the moisture in creamy candy.
2. All candy can be frozen if wrapped and stored in a airtight container, however creamy candy will sometimes lose its fresh look. This particularly applies to chocolate. Fortunately, the taste isn't affected.
3. Don't freeze chocolate candies containing fruits or nuts as they can lose their taste and end up with a grainy texture.
4. Defrost frozen chocolate candy while still in the package, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature. This helps prevent sugar or fat "bloom" that occurs when chocolate develops condensation from the change in temperature. The sugar separates and rises to the surface, leaving a white or gray swirl or spots.
5. In general, the harder the candy, the longer you can store it at room temperature.
6. Don't store treats that absorb moisture with candy that loses moisture. Caramels, mints and hard candy absorb moisture while fudge and creamy treats lose moisture. Combining both in storage will lead to the moist candies becoming sticky.
7. When storing unwrapped hard candy, sprinkle a teaspoon of granulated sugar into the airtight container and put into a cool, dark, dry place. The added sugar will absorb any moisture.
Of course, none of these guidelines really apply for those who of us without self discipline. What's a little moisture or bloom between friends if sale-bought candy never makes it past the first week of storage?
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