South Philadelphia baker Bonnie Sarana suggests repurposing your sweet treats into delectable desserts.
Sarana, owner of Vanilya Bakery on East Passyunk Avenue, said there are plenty of ways to bake with candy. She said you can make a “surprise inside” cake, in which you fill the inside of the cake with hard candies like SweeTARTS, Lemonheads or other tiny treats.
“You create a tunnel inside of the cake and then ice the top closed,” she explained. “Once you cut a slice in, the candies will all come falling out.”
Sarana noted this is a pretty popular cake year-round.
“I've actually made these for gender reveal cakes, where we'll put different colored candies in the middle.”
Gummy candies can be more fickle when paired with baked goods.
“Sometimes gumdrops tend to get hard as they sit around, and sometimes that might happen because you have Halloween candy and you might not want to eat them right away,” she said. “Gumdrops are not usually the most favorite candy.”
But Sarana said you can soften them in the microwave and roll them up to create rose toppers for cupcakes.
Another way to utilize your often overlooked hard candies is to make stained-glass cookies.
“Get your kids to do this,” suggested Sarana. Separate the hard candies by color, then smash them up. Add the crushed pieces to already-baked cookies that have a hollow center. Then, put them back in the oven until the candy melts.
“They'll have this beautiful stained-glass look.”