A while ago I saw a recipe for making Jolly Rancher-flavored vodka. This was a perfectly simple gift to make for a friend’s birthday. However, we didn’t need to use all of the candies and the bag has been sitting on the shelf for a couple of months. (We just don’t think of popping a hard candy in our mouths.) I’m not a vodka drinker and before the candies melt I wanted to do something with them.
Select the flavor you want. Fill a pitcher with water and add one Jolly Rancher candy for each cup of water. You can add a couple of extra candies for a stronger flavor. Allow the candies to dissolve on their own, so don’t plan on serving this immediately. Stir occasionally as the candies are dissolving. Chill your flavored water.
I’m going to give this a try with seltzer, to make a flavored soda.
Jolly Rancher Flavored Vodka
You’ll want flasks or bottles with caps. Set eight-to-twelve Jolly Rancher candies that are the same flavor in each bottle, depending on how intense a flavor you want. Pour vodka over the candies. Since you are flavoring the vodka, you don’t need to use an expensive, good-quality alcohol.
Allow the candies to sit until they dissolve. You can swirl the contents of the bottles ever so often. Chill the bottles after the candies have dissolved. This is straight alcohol, so even though you’ve flavored it, it is strong. Consider using it in a mixed drink.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out lollipop sticks (found in the candy making aisle of the craft store; or, use Popsicle sticks), leaving three-inches or so between each stick. Lay two Jolly Ranchers across each stick and three more reaching above the stick. Allow the candies to touch, or at least be very close together. Make a single flavor lollipop, or a multiple iflavor striped pop.
Place in the oven for approximately four minutes. The candies will melt and bubble. Remove from the oven so the candy will cool and harden. When the lollipop has cooled, cover in plastic wrap. Tie on a bit of ribbon if you’ll be handing out these treats.
I’ve found a lot of other fun ideas online. For example, if you have a bit of patience, you could make Jolly Rancher Roses, which would be lovely as cake decorations. I could also see setting these into glasses of water, seltzer, or vodka. They wouldn’t provide a lot of flavor in the beginning, but if you were holding onto your glass at a party, it would dissolve over time.
You could also make holiday stained glass cookies. One of my friends makes these every year at Christmas. The colors of the Jolly Rancher candies are so pretty, surrounded by a simple sugar cookie. The half-empty bag of candies on my pantry shelf, won’t be there for much longer.