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Summer Candy

The One… The Only… The Rainbow Swirly Lollipop!

How excited do I get when I see free Dum Dums on the counter at the bank or a restaurant? Probably more excited than most. How high do my eyebrows raise when I spy seasonal Tootsie Pops? Pretty high! How much do my eyes light up when someone offers me a Ring Pop, or I remember I have a bag that I’d forgotten about? Let’s just say they get pretty sparkly! I’m a lollipop kinda lady, and it’s rare that I meet one I don’t like. But for as fabulous as all those mentioned above, and many, many more may be, I do believe the first lollipop to ever leave me speechless was a Rainbow Swirly Pop.

The Rainbow Swirly Pop is more than just a lollipop, and that means a lot coming from someone who thinks almost all lollipops are to be treasured no matter their shape, size or wrapper! It is a thing of sweet beauty – a giant wooden wand with ribbons of wrapped deliciousness on top. It is oversized without looking like a novelty. It is boldly colorful without looking like it’s only for kids. It offers a classic flavor that isn’t the least bit ‘sickeningly sweet’ like some candies can be, even when you’ve been enjoying it for an hour! It is a lollipop made for lazy summer nights, something I’ve been loving for weeks now. It also happens to make a great stocking stuffer, present topper, and impactful addition to a candy buffet. So basically, it’s lollipop perfection!

Create a Candy Cake with Candy Sticks, Sour Patch Kids and More!

Typically, when I’m looking for a fun and unique recipe that incorporates candy, I find myself searching through the oodles of inspiration the internet offers. After all, there are far more creative people out there than me, and if they’re willing to share their creations, who am I to not take them up on the offer? But this morning, as I sat on my front porch and enjoyed the sunshine and warm air, a little inspiration of my own struck. And now it’s my turn to pay it forward by throwing my little idea out into the universe!

A Lovely, Flavorful Front Lawn

Don’t get me wrong – for as delicious as some animals seem to find grass, it has never struck me as a scrumptious snack. That said, I do love me some sprinkles! My idea – which can be totally customized to include any number of additional delights – starts with a rectangular cake in your favorite flavor, generously coated with a layer of green icing. You can allow the green icing to serve as the grass all on its own, or add extra texture with green sprinkles.

Put Up a Fence

It might actually work better to put up the fence before the sprinkles, but really, either way should work fine. I find a white picket fence to be most attractive, spanning the full perimeter of the cake. As for what to construct your fence from? Candy sticks! (Note: Some of you may know these as candy cigarettes, though the name has been changed to sticks. The candy is still the same, though!)

Give Your Yard Some Life

From Sour Patch Kids to gummy bears, there are countless delicious inhabitants for your yard to consider! Other tasty options include gummy worms, mini gummy butterflies stuck to the fence with a dab of icing, and/or anise bears or cinnamon bears. If there’s room on your cake, you can even make a ‘swimming pool’ with blue sprinkles and fill it with gummy octopi, assorted Swedish Fish, Gummi Peach Penguins and more.

The options are truly endless, and I hope you’ll give this summery cake idea a try! If you want to get really inventive, consider adding a dog house made of graham crackers, or building a trampoline whose center is made of a Fruit Roll-Up. Or – a fire with little pretzels as logs! I don’t know where all these ideas are coming from today, but I like it. :)

The Best Candy Gift for Baseball Lovers is Born!

While we do love offering up pre-made candy gifts that catch our eye and happily end up in our inventory, we couldn’t help but crave the same sugar rush that came when we created our popular Custom Candy Bar Box. We loved the satisfaction that came with offering gift-givers everywhere an opportunity to personalize a truly awesome present for just $25, and from the first day it was available  on our site, you showed us that you loved it, too!

While our Custom Candy Bar Box is still a favorite that excites us, we wanted to feel the pure adrenaline of something brand new. What can we say – we’re candypreneurs! And, we came up with just the thing, at the exact right time. The latest homerun at Blair is our Can of Ball Park Treats – currently on sale for just $24.95!

We start with a gift-worthy, generously sized paint-style can, with a label that hints at the tremendous selection of treats inside. Then, working with only the finest, freshest baseball candy and snacks, we fill that tin to the brim with about 59 wrapped goodies! These include: 2 Bags of Planters Peanuts, 2 Bags of Cracker Jacks, 2 Bags of David’s Sunflower Seeds, 2 Cans of Jack Link’s Jerky Chew, 2 packs of Big League Chew, 5 Gummy Hotdogs, 5 Gummy Burgers, 8 BB Bats Taffy Lollipops, over 30 pieces of Baseball Gum, and – of course – a pack of baseball cards!

Great gifts for baseball lovers, these are also a fun tin-o-treats to pick up for yourself. You can also grab one or two to offer up in a raffle or baseball fundraiser, or to serve as tasty centerpieces at a baseball banquet or baseball-themed birthday party!

What do you think of our Can of Ball Park Treats? Do you agree we hit it out of the park with this one, or is there a candy player you would have included in the starting lineup that we missed? Let us know in the comments – and, in the meantime – play ball! Or at least eat sunflower seeds and chew some Big League like you do. ;)

Terrific Ice Cream Toppings: Going Boldly Beyond the Sprinkles!

We hope your freezer is overflowing with frozen fantastic-ness, and your ice cream bowl never empty. We also hope you’re keeping your ice cream as cool as it is cold by experimenting with toppings new and old. Need a little inspiration? We think we might have some extra lying around!

We don’t have any issue whatsoever with typical ice cream toppings, whether you pile on the peanuts or go a little crazy with chocolate sauce. But we do like to mix things up from time to time, foregoing ice cream topping classics for something unexpected and a bit more adventurous. Here’s a few of our favorites – and please share yours in the comments!

Boston Baked Beans – Simply can’t skip the peanuts, but are open to a new take on them? Grab yourself a box of Boston Baked Beans! Those candy coated peanuts we all know and love taste terrific atop a scoop of vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip or coffee ice cream. We’re certain they taste good with other flavors as well, but if we did all the research that wouldn’t be very fair to all of you!

Whoppers Malted Milk Balls – We tried these atop chocolate, vanilla with peanut butter swirl, and chocolate chip cookie dough, and we’re prepared to cast our verdict. According to the very scientific topping research conducted at Blair Candy Headquarters, you cannot go wrong with Whoppers! In fact, these complement ice cream so perfectly that we’re a little let down we haven’t been enjoying them together for years. (Note: Research was not scientific at all; we just ate delicious thing. Happily!)

Raspberry Gummy Pretzels – Not only are these fruity cuties tasty on their own, but they add an extra ‘dash o’ summer’ to any frozen treat they top. We tried them on rainbow sherbet, caramel ice cream, and vanilla frozen yogurt. And if our trials were the SATs, each of those combos would be primed for a seriously good scholarship to Yum University!

Candy that Calls on Summer Classics for Inspiration!

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but sincerity was never so sweet as it is in the following collection of candy copycats! Each of these perfect-for-summer treats takes a cue from another summer treat that came before it, and we think there’s more than enough room in our lives for both.

Marpo Marshmallow Ice Cream Cones: If we told our team in the candy warehouse that they had to safely ship out a tub with 30 real ice cream cones inside, I think we’d have a mutiny on our hands! But when those 30 cones are of the marshmallow variety, our team is happy to pack them up and send ‘em your way every day. These are an all-around fun treat for any season, but especially make a splash in the summer.

Necco Banana Split Candy Chews: Unlike the marshmallow ice cream cones above, these petite sweets don’t resemble a banana split in shape, but they do pack plenty of banana split flavor. With 240 to a tub, there’s more than enough to share, and you don’t have to worry about dropping your banana boat!

Icee Squeeze Candy: Ever get a craving for an Icee while you’re camping and they’re miles away, or it’s 2 in the morning and you don’t want to swap your slippers for real shoes? We’ve all been there. Icees are pretty much summer royalty, foregoing their crown for a straw with a little scoop on the end! But the brains at Icee headquarters have thankfully avoided brain freeze long enough to bring us something genius – Icee Squeeze Candy, Icee Spray Candy and Icee Gummy Candy, all perfectly portable ways to enjoy Icee awesomeness anywhere, any hour, anytime!

Light Up the Night with Cool Candy for Kids

For the majority of the year, the nighttime isn’t the right time to be a kid. From September through early June, almost every night is a school night, which means doing homework and getting enough rest to tackle the long day ahead. Add to that the early setting sun of winter, and the cold days and even colder nights, and it’s easy to see why adults and kids alike keep most activities indoors until spring comes to town.

But once spring does come, and school days end for the year, it’s time for every kid’s favorite six letters – S-U-M-M-E-R! And with it comes much more time to relax and play away the day, and later bedtimes for many young folks.

Because kids usually want to stay outside as late as possible, even if they’re just playing on the porch, light up candy makes a perfect nighttime treat. It also helps you keep an eye on them, but they don’t need to know that part! ;)

Skittles Sour Light Up Spray Candy: Sour Strawberry, Green Apple and Blue Raspberry sprays are a novelty made for the night! With terrifically tart Skittles flavor, each box is packed with 18 pieces.

Flash Pop Rings: Kids will love this lick-activated flashing lollipop! With a bright, flashing light inside, brought to disco life when you lick, these are fun to wear and full of flavor.

Lightning Bug Gummi Candy: As fun as lightning bugs are to watch and chase around the yard for a closer look, they can also be fun to eat! Well, sort of. Just leave those lovely little flying ones alone and tempt your sweet tooth with our lightning bugs, OK? Ours come with a special set of tweezers that illuminates the gummy ‘bugs’ inside when you or your little ones pick them up.

Sweet Freedom! Tasty Treats for the 4th of July…Starring Blue Sixlets

Happy Independence Day, everyone! And thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by between burgers grilling and fireworks popping. Since we’re in full 4th swing here as well, we thought this would be the perfect time to share some of our own treat ideas with you, each of which is ideal for Independence Day, but would work all summer long!

Red, White and Blue Berries: We’ve seen strawberries popping up all over Facebook, dipped in white chocolate before getting the sugar treatment with blue candy crystals. Plenty of parents have been posting them as their kiddos helped with their creation, and they really couldn’t be cuter! But we do think there’s something that might taste even better than blue sugar – Blue Sixlets. The combo of chocolate, white chocolate and strawberry is what freedom is all about!

Revolutionary Red Velvet Cupcakes: We aren’t going to lie; there isn’t much you can do to a red velvet cupcake topped with buttercream frosting to make it any better. It’s like the Ryan Gosling of cupcakes – so close to perfection that it isn’t worth the risk of trying to make it any more amazing! But we like to live on the edge – we like to push the envelope on awesome. But only a little! So we’ll be sticking with our favorite recipe for red velvet cupcakes and buttercream frosting, and dropping just a few Blue Sixlets atop each to make it as American as it is delish!

Patriotic Jello Petites: When the summer sun is beating down and temps are climbing into the 90s, many of us look for lighter treats to snack on. And today looks as though it’s shaping up to be quite toasty! This one requires just a few minutes and a few ingredients. You can purchase already-made red Jello packs (strawberry is my fave!), or make your own at home in small glasses or even Dixie cups. Once the Jello is ready, squirt on a little whipped cream and garnish with Blue Sixlets. Easy, economical, and not a ton of calories!

Fun and Flavorful Candy Cocktail Ideas for Adults!

While enjoying dinner and drinks with friends a few weeks ago, I was met with a fun-tastic surprise while browsing the cocktail menu. As if they were designed from my own mind, the restaurant had incorporated candy into many of its martinis! Once my excitement subsided, I was dumbstruck by the fact that I had never thought to do this on my own. Not that I think I’m a genius, but I’ve been surrounded by candy since birth – somewhere along the way it should have come to me!

I wasn’t driving that night so I was able to satisfy my sweet tooth with a sampling of sweet ‘tinis. My first choice a Pop Rocks martini, featuring a glass rimmed with, you guessed it, Pop Rocks! Seriously people, how did this never occur to me? My next tasty temptation was a bubble gum vodka martini with a Charms Blow Pop dunked inside and poking out the top of the glass. Whatever bubble gum-loving guru was behind that creation was one smart cookie! I may have even had two.

Reminiscing now on those marvelous martinis, I did a little search to see what other ideas might be floating around out there. And I quickly discovered I need to have a get-together with my favorite ladies and fellas as soon as possible! Candy cocktails would be delicious any time of year, but they’re simply perfect for summer. And one of my favorite ideas doesn’t even involve putting candy in the glass, but around it! In this mouthwatering post on the A Beautiful Mess Blog – A Candy Cocktail Party – I was literally left gasping over the Orange Soda Cocktail. Garnishing the stem of a martini glass with Ring Pops? Brilliant! It also solves the question of whose drink is whose – just remember your Ring Pop color and you can keep swapping gossip and having good times without sharing germs.

I’ll be keeping my eye out for more summery sweet candy cocktail ideas, and would love to hear from you if you have any awesome ideas! As for this moment I’m still at the office, so I’ll simply be sipping my lemonade with one of the Striken Strawberry Sour Punch Twists that are never far from reach. ;)

Host a 4th of July Backyard Bazaar for Kids and Adults Alike!

If you’ve spent any amount of time around children, you know that one of their most charming traits is having a creative and active imagination. They can dream up complex stories from scratch, create imaginary worlds with the help of random objects laying about the house, and find new and inventive ways to have fun with even the most limited of resources. After all, kids don’t have jobs and don’t drive, so they have to make do with what they’ve got! And make do with what we’ve got is exactly what the kids in my neighborhood and I did when we put together our first summer bazaar many years ago.

I’m not sure if I realized it at the time, but I was a very lucky kid. My parents weren’t overly-strict, my neighborhood was safe, and I had plenty of kids to play with in surrounding houses. As such, I had the freedom to float through my summer days, riding my bike here, swimming in a pool there, and just generally enjoying myself in a way that I would love to relive for a few days as an adult! My neighbor friends and I would often gather on my front porch as ours was the biggest, and we would play classic kids games like Jacks and Truth or Dare. But just as all kids do, we would also get bored. And when we got bored, we got creative! In fact, it was this boredom that brought about the first of many backyard bazaars.

I’m not sure if bazaars are the same all over the country, so I’ll clarify as to what bazaars are in the Blair Candy neck of the woods! A bazaar is a local outdoor event, typically held in the summer, that is hosted by a Church or non-profit organization. The event is designed to bring the community together for some fun while raising money for the Church or non-profit. Bazaar highlights include fair-style foods, like snow cones and pierogies, live music from local musicians, craft stands with unique offerings, and importantly…games! These games are typically very cheap, about a quarter per play, with prizes ranging from candy to handcrafted quilts. In many cases, everyone wins at least something small, while one person takes something a bit bigger. That something small is almost always candy – Dum Dums and Tootsie Frooties are popular – so there’s no crying kids (or adults!) walking away empty-handed.

The beauty of bazaars is that they are an awesomely-affordable good time, and the smaller bazaars can be just as fun as the larger ones. With this in mind, the neighborhood kids and I decided to try our hand at creating a bazaar just for us, and it was nearly-free and a whole lot of fun. Want to try it with your kids? There’s no time like the long 4th of July Weekend! The ideas outlined below were those we used in our backyard bazaars years ago, but the rules are only limited by your own imagination. Tip: Ask your kids for their ideas, too. They’ll definitely have good ones! :)

Backyard Bazaar Ideas

Plastic Kiddie Pool – Almost everyone has one of those tiny blue kiddie pools or knows someone who does. But you may not have ever used it for a ring toss! For our backyard bazaar, we filled the pool about 1/3 of the way with water and set some rubber ducks to float. We then found some weighted plastic rings (these were a pool toy for a larger pool) and those became the tossing rings. The goal was to get as many rings as possible around the floating rubber ducks! This game can easily be modified with whatever you’ve got on hand, and is a fun game for adults as well.

Set Up Some Tunes – If your children have instruments of their own, even if they are of the plastic toy variety, book them for your backyard bazaar! They’re sure to love being center stage as they perform whatever songs they like best. And don’t forget to pay them for the gig. Most kids will be willing to work for peanuts, but Bubble Gum Candy Coins make the deal seem more real!

Find Your Prizes – This part is not only fun, but it can help you cut down on some clutter, too. While it’s a good idea to stock up on some penny candy for the little prizes, you can ‘go shopping’ for the other prizes right at home…and we aren’t talking about shopping online! As I mentioned above, as kids we had to work with what we had. So we each went to our respective homes and looked around for trinkets and little whatnots we no longer wanted or needed, such as stuffed animals won in crane machines and puzzles we had already put together a dozen times. Once we had approval from our parents to offer these items up into the prize pool, we set out to play games to win them. These included the Ring Toss mentioned above, as well as simpler games, like Hot Potato. After hours of fun, we all got to walk away with someone else’s unwanted toys that were now our treasures!

Wishing you all a Safe and Happy 4th of July full of fireworks, fun, and perhaps something a bit bazaar!

Perfect Candy to Pack for Summer Vacation!

For as delicious as the many mouthwatering varieties of chocolate bars are, discovering a Snickers at the bottom of your beach bag is more of an ‘ut-oh’ than a ‘yay!’ Unfortunately, not all the things we love get along as well as we would like them to, including chocolate and the hot summer sun. But that doesn’t mean your summer vacation need be sans sweets.

Whether you’re taking a road trip and want some tasty treats for the car, are beach-bound and want something to lazily enjoy as you soak up some sun, or are headed to any other number of vacation-worthy destinations, we have some cool candy ideas to consider taking along! It is important to remember that no candy is summer-proof, so use caution and consider the weather before heading out with candy in tow. If the temperature is climbing high enough, it may be best to keep your candy somewhere cool, dry and away from the sun, and enjoy it once you’re back at the hotel. :)

Twizzlers – Whether you’re sweet on strawberry, go bonkers for black, or choose cherry every time, Twizzlers makes for a tempting year-round treat that can stand the heat! It is also a low fat candy that’s loved by all ages, from toddlers to grandmas, making it a smart selection for family getaways where a snack with mass appeal will save you space and make packing a bit easier.

Single Wrapped Sour Patch Kids – Imagine regular-sized Sour Patch Kids had a teenage sibling, and you have a good idea of what to expect in our single wrapped Sour Patch Kids! Each oversized Kid is tucked inside its own clear wrapper keeping it clean and easy to toss in a beach bag, purse, or vacation-classic – fanny pack! Your bag is sure to be swimming with everything from sun block in varying SPFs to suit the whole family, to mountains of maps, brochures and loose change. The last thing you need to worry about is getting enough sand off the Sour Patch Kids to give them to the little ones! Keep ‘em clean and convenient with this vacation candy must-have.

Gummi Bear Rings – Think candy doesn’t get much better than gummy bears? Well…you’re half right. Gummy bears are tough to beat on the ‘fantastic classic’ front, but even candy that’s pretty perfect can be re-imagined into something even more fun. Case in point…gummi bear rings! With 100 fat free rings per box, these are sure to bring plenty of smiles all vacation long. Why simply eat a gummi bear when you can wear it first?! These are a bit more ‘melty’ than some summer candies, so we do advise that if it’s a very hot day, you keep these back at the hotel room to be enjoyed later.

Coconut Fruit Mushrooms – One of the latest and greatest arrivals at BlairCandy.com, these coconut mushrooms are making quite a splash! From Gerrit Verburg comes one of the prettiest, most unique candies of all, with a mouthwatering, fruity coconut flavor that just screams ‘summer!’ Fun to look at, fun to share, fun to enjoy – these little pieces of candy art are a pleasure to the eyes and the taste buds.

There’s plenty more vacation-ready candy at Blair just waiting for you to take it along! And if you have any questions about whether something is a good pick for your trip, reach out to us at the Blair Candy Twitter or Blair Candy Facebook and we’d be happy to help. It is always your best bet to keep candy out of the sun and heat as much as possible, and to add Ice Packs to your Blair Candy order, but there are of course some candies that are more up to the summer challenge than others!

Safe Travels and Sweet Treats, everyone!

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