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TIP OF THE DAY: Gummy Bear House


Instead of a gingerbread house: a gummy
bear house. Photo by Elena Schweitzer | IST.
 

Here’s a fun project that adults and kids alike will enjoy: replacing the holiday gingerbread house with with a mini house of cookies, gummy bears and other candies.

We’ve developed an adult fascination with gummy candies—especially since we discovered the sugar free*, guilt-free line.

The first gummy candies, Gummi Bears, were produced in 1922 by Haribo, a Bonn, Germany, confectioner. Founder Hans Riegel invented the Dancing Bear, a fruit gum made in the shape of a bear. In 1967 the Dancing Bears became Gummi Bears, and spawned an entire zoo of gummi animals.

Worms are not zoo creatures, however, and Haribo did not invent the Gummi Worm. Gummi Worms were introduced by another German gummi candy manufacturer, Trolli (named for forest trolls), in 1981. America choose the more familiar spelling, Gummy Worms. National Gummy Worm Day is July 15th; there’s no National Gummy Bear Day—yet. (Earth to Haribo: What’s up?)

 
*Lycasin is a natural product, but like maltitol and other sugar alcohols, it has a laxative effect so you can’t eat too much at one time. Here’s more information.
THINGS TO DO WITH GUMMY CANDY

Instead of constructing an elaborate ginger bread house, how about a gingerbread crèche?

All you need are

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large box of graham crackers
  • Hard candies for decoration
  • Gummy bears for the three wise men and baby Jesus
  • Optional: colored sugar
  •  

    Here’s the complete recipe.

     

    THINGS TO DO WITH GUMMY CANDIES

    Beyond snacking, bring out the gummies for parties:

  • Incorporate into centerpiece decorations
  • Fill glass candy bowls
  • Garnish the rim of desert plates
  • Top cupcakes or cookies
  • Use as ice cream toppers
  • Skewer gummies on cocktail picks for garnish
  • Dip into chocolate as for gourmet gummies
  • Decorate the rim of cocktails
  • Add to popcorn
  • Make gummy trail mix: gummies, M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces, nuts, pretzels and raisins or dried cherries
  •  
    MORE HOLIDAY GUMMY USES

     
    These gummy bears are vegan. You can buy it them Amazon.com. Photo courtesy Goody Good Stuff.
  • Decorate gingerbread houses
  • Make the cookie crèche, above
  • Decorate kids’ party tables
  • Fill clear Christmas tree ornaments
  • Alternate red and white gummies on bent wire to create a gummy candy cane
  • Give as stocking stuffers
  •  
    WHAT’S IN GUMMY CANDY?

    Haribo Gummies are made from corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, dextrose, citric acid, corn starch, artificial and natural flavors, fractionated coconut oil, carnauba wax, beeswax coating, artificial colors Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1. Trolli ingredients are similar.

    If you’re a vegetarian, vegan or all-natural food consumer, there’s Goody Good Stuff, launched in 2010. This all-natural gummy candy line is made with a plant derived bio-gum technology: no gelatin, no carnauba or beeswax. There are no artificial colors or flavors. You can buy it on Amazon.com.

    There are also Goody Good Stuff gummy fruits, sour fruits and cola bottles.
      




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