Edible Hard Candy Tray for Gifts
Edible Hard Candy Tray
Instead of buying a tin or seasonal patterned tray that everyone will just put somewhere and maybe use, or possibly regift, try this simple candy tray for your home baked goodies. This tray is simple to make and can include all of the children in the family. Better yet, your recipient can break it apart, place the bits in a candy dish and eat it.
Getting the whole family involved in making these candy trays can be an excellent way to spend an evening together. Each person can get a lined pan and begin to make all kinds of designs from various candies. The end results are that each tray will be unique, the children spent time with the family doing a holiday craft, and the children will learn some very basic baking techniques.
Lesson #1: No Nougat
Gift Ideas for Using A Candy Tray
- A teachers gift
- Gift for Yankee Swaps
- Give one to the mail person as a thanks
- A neighbor gift
- Bring to a party
- A coworker gift
- Tray for Santa Cookies
Tips and Tricks
I experimented with a few different types of candies before I found what really works. Some candies will have a great color pattern, but will not stand up to being heated in the oven. I loved a nougat pattern that had Christmas trees in it but all the nougat candy did was bubble up and distort the image I was looking for. The nougat never quite hardened and in turn, this left a soft spot in the tray I was making.
The other thing I found out, while experimenting with making edible trays, is flavor matters. Peppermint does not taste very good with butterscotch melted. Cherry is also not a good complimenting flavor. It may look spectacular, but the taste is awful.
I also learned just because you have waxed paper on hand, does not mean it will suit the purpose. The wax paper actually stuck to the candies and made it near impossible to get all of the paper off. Use parchment paper. It works and saves you a lot of time from trying to peel off the waxed paper.
The aluminum cooking pan that you use can be any size that you want. I use an 8 X8 X 1/1/2 inch pan. I find it is a perfect size for my baked goods I give as gifts each year. If you are baking for a family, you may want to use a bigger pan or even a pizza pie pan. Just make sure the pan you use has a high enough side to contain the melting candies.
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- up to 18 ounces wrapped Hard Candy, of your choice
- Parchment Paper sized to fit pan
- Use a size to suit the gift. Baking Pan, 8 X8 1 1/2 or a 5 X 7. Can be circular!
How to Make A Hardy Candy Tray
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Remember to bring the paper up above the height of the hard candy that you will be using.
- Unwrap the hard candies. Place them in separate dishes if using various patterned candies.
- Make any pattern, using the hard candies. Once yoou have the look you want, start to line the bottom of the baking pan. Candies will melt together so do not worry about small spaces in between each piece of candy.
- Place the pan in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 7 minutes and see if the candies have been melted together. If they have not melted together, bake for an additional 2 minutes and check again. Repeat one more time if necessary.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it onto a wire cooling rack. In about 10 minutes, you should be able to lift the candy tray out of the pan. Peel off the paper.
- Place the hard candy tray down on a smooth surface to finish cooling. Depending on the size you have made, you can use a trivet, dinner plate, cookie sheet or even a serving platter.
Ready for Baked Goods
Butterscotch Tray Ready for Oven
Edible Tray Ready to Top
Butterscotch Candy Tray
To make this tray, I line a bread pan with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Add in the butterscotch candies. You can used broken pieces to fill in any gaps.
- Check on pan after 8 minutes. Add an additional 2 minutes if not melted to desired look.
- Add 4 minutes total to achieve the look of the picture in this hub.
- Remove from oven.
- Let pan cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Lift out parchment paper to remove edible tray.
- Tray should finish cooling on a flat surface.
- You can trim off edges, if needed with scissors while still warm and flexible.
Butterscotch edible trays can be the base to compliment homemade shortbread.
- Cut a piece of thick cardboard to fit the bottom of the candy tray and trim a piece of parchment paper to fit on top of the cardboard.
- Place the cardboard in the bottom of the cellophane gift bag then the parchment paper.
- Place the completely cooled candy tray on top of the parchment paper. Begin to stack the baked goods on tray.
- Pull the cellophane gift bag around the baked goods and tie the bag off with a twist tie or piece of cooking string. This is used only to seal off the bag.
- Attach a ribbon and bow over the twist tie or string to finish off your package.
- I use a tag that has to and from on one side and on the other side has information about all of the items contained in the bag. I do this just incase there are food allergies I am not aware of in the household of the recipient.
An example of the text on the backside of the Tag:
Please enjoy all of the baked goods in this bag.
Your gift contains, chocolate chip bars, anise cookies, snickerdoodles and a edible candy tray made from peppermint candies. When you are ready to eat it, just tap the tray with your hand and the tray should fall into bits. If the tray doesn't fall apart, use the end of a wooden spoon to hit the tray just a bit harder. Be careful not to smash it into shards. Enjoy & Merry Christmas!
© 2013 Susan McLeish