Candy Corn Jello Shots

One party season is ending, while another is just beginning. With summer being over, we can now look forward to festive holiday parties. A traditional candy I always enjoyed during Halloween was candy corn. Now I can recreate some of my childhood memories in a more adult way with these Candy Corn Jello Shots. Just in time for whichever Halloween party you attend!

Candy corn is a candy most often found in Canada and the United States, popular around Halloween. Their appearance (broad yellow end, tapered orange center, and pointed white tip) mimic the appearance of kernels of corn (hence their name), although each piece is approximately three times the size of a real kernel. Candy corn is primarily made from corn syrup, sugar, confectioners wax (an alcohol-based solution of food-grade shellac derived from the raw material sticklac, a resin scraped from the branches of trees left from when the small insect, Kerria lacca, creates a hard, waterproof cocoon), binders and artificial coloring. It was first created in the 1880’s by George Renninger of Wunderle Candy Company. The Goelitz Confectionary Company began production of the sweet treat at the turn of the century and called the product “Chicken Feed”. Originally this candy was hand-made and while the recipe remains basically the same today, the production method has been taken over by machines. There is a popular variation called “Indian corn” which features a brown rather than yellow wide end and these are often available around Thanksgiving. Confectioners have even started introducing additional color variants suited to other holidays (for example “reindeer corn”, at Christmastime, is red, green and white).

All you will need to make these candy corn Jello shots are a few ingredients, such as orange-flavored Jello, unflavored gelatin, condensed milk, yellow food coloring and vanilla or cake Smirnoff vodka. I wasn’t aware cake vodka even existed until I came across this recipe. It actually has a nostalgic flavor experience of vanilla cake made from a box (the unique full cake flavor experience is provided, not just notes of sugar and vanilla). Vodka is a distilled beverage composed primarily of water and ethanol. The first production was either in Poland in the 8th century or in Russia in the late 9th century, according to different sources. Since the 1890’s the standard Polish and Russian vodkas are 40% alcohol by volume (or what is otherwise known as 80 proof). While vodka is traditionally drunk neat (not mixed) it is also commonly used in cocktails and mixed drinks. With the invention of flavored vodkas, the market for different mixed drinks opened up further.

For these shotss, tall glasses are preferable, to really show off the different colors/layers. This is a very step-by-step kind of shots recipe and it is crucial to follow the directions and wait the required times between adding layers (don’t rush it, or the colors/layers will start to mix and you’ll have a pretty sad rendition of a candy corn shot). A cute idea for presentation is to add some pieces of candy corn to the platter you serve your drinks on (as a hint to your guests about what these shots are – if they don’t pick them out immediately). That’s it! Enjoy!

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