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Candy Tree

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 6 2002


A tree covered in candy. Is there a child anywhere who could imagine a happier sight? Although the sweet beasts and baubles on the tree are not intended to be eaten, their components are delectable. Candy ornaments are easy to make; a gummy consistency is the key. When you cut into a gumdrop or gummy candy, you expose the sticky interior -- a natural adhesive that is your primary tool for making these decorations. The idea is to think sticky to sticky: The larger the sticky surface, the better the parts will hold. Other than that, all you need is imagination.

Choose the colors, shapes, and sizes that suit the objects or animals you wish to create. Just remember to choose candies with a gummy consistency and to connect them by their sticky surfaces.

To make the candy caroler below, we used a chewy red-and-white column for the body, a sour gummy worm for the scarf, a gumdrop for the head, an uncoated gumdrop for the hat, and nonpareils for the eyes and mouth.

We used just six techniques to create all sorts of ornaments.

1. Cutting:
Use ordinary scissors to cut out chewing-gum ears. Snip licorice twists, which are hollow, to form candy beads. Cut thin strips of the twists lengthwise to make skinny antlers and legs.

2. Slicing:
Use a plastic knife to slice through a gumdrop, exposing its stickiness so another candy (if it's gummy, slice it, too) will adhere. When possible, apply sticky to sticky.

3. Poking:
A toothpick is best for poking a little hole in candy before adding nonpareil eyes and mouth. The toothpick's tip will turn sticky -- helpful when transporting the nonpareil. Use a clean toothpick to remove the nonpareil from the sticky toothpick.

4. Cookie-Cutter Cutting:
Use a cookie or aspic cutter to cut shapes from gum and sour tape.

5. Slitting: To stick flat candies into a gumdrop for ears or leaves, make incisions in drop with a plastic knife and then insert the candy.

6. Hanging: Parents should help with wires. Insert wire (we used 24-gauge) through ornament, from top to bottom, until end pokes out. Using your fingers, or needle-nose pliers, bend the bottom at a right angle and clip off the extra with a nail clipper. Bend the top end into a hook. Let heavier ornaments set for three days before hanging; they will harden, tightening around the wires.

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