Jolly Ranchers are delicious and sweet in their original state as long-lasting, fruity hard candies, but they can also be used in melted form for plenty of other sugary treats. Melting down these rock-solid little candies may seem like a tall order, but it's incredibly simple. Other hard candies, like caramels, can be melted in the microwave -- and so can Jolly Ranchers. All you have to do is pop your Jolly Ranchers into a microwave-safe bowl and heat them.
Five melted Jolly Rancher candies will produce about a tablespoon of liquid, so scale the amount depending on how much you need. A 1-minute stint in the microwave should be all your candies need to become melty, but if you find the Jolly Ranchers need more time, keep going for 15 seconds at a time. Eventually, you'll have a puddle of fruity goo ready to be poured into molds or used as a candy coating. However, tread carefully: Melted candy gets hot, so handle the contents with caution.
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Other Methods Of Melting Candy Aren't As Effective
The microwave is the most convenient way to melt down Jolly Ranchers, as well as the fastest. The microwave provides even, thorough heating, preventing your candy from burning. There are other ways to melt Jolly Ranchers, but none are as quick, easy, and approachable.
For example, you could melt the candies in the oven in a heat-resistant dish. Cooking them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes will do the trick, but check on the melting candies regularly to ensure they don't start bubbling or burning. This method takes more time than the microwave, and the nature of the oven makes it harder to get a good look at how the candies are melting and whether they need to be removed.
A double boiler on the stovetop will also work, but this method involves spending time to crush the Jolly Ranchers down into bits before putting them in the top of the boiler. As the boiling water below heats them, they'll melt, so ensure you are stirring them regularly. Again, this could take quite a long time and isn't as efficient as microwaving.
How To Use Melted Jolly Ranchers
After your Jolly Ranchers are melted, there are several different treats into which you can incorporate this sugary liquid. One fun trick is to make homemade lollipops. Pour the melted candy onto parchment paper in the shape you want, place a lollipop stick in the center, and wait for it to cool. You can also pour the liquid into a mold if you prefer.
Melted Jolly Ranchers can also be used to make stained glass cookies. These aesthetically delightful, formed sugar cookies feature a hole in the center where a thin layer of melted Jolly Ranchers can be poured, imitating the appearance of a stained glass window. Some recipes suggest melting the Jolly Ranchers in the cookies as they bake by crushing them and sprinkling them into the cookie's decorative hole.
The melted candy makes an excellent coating for fruit as well. Try dipping grapes into the sugary liquid with a toothpick, then letting them cool. While the Jolly Rancher coating is still tacky, you can roll the grapes in other toppings, like crushed candy. Creativity is the key when working with melted Jolly Ranchers, so experiment (carefully) with your creations at home.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.