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Winning treats to please kids and adults this Easter


EAS-Winning-Easter-treats-1-webFamily Features

 

When you think of Easter goodies there’s a good chance the flavorful jelly bean comes to mind – a big hit with kids young and old. But, because flavor preferences change with age, it stands to reason that not all Easter gifts are created equal.

So, how do you navigate the taste bud temperament of loved ones so everyone will receive special Easter treats they love? With more than 100 flavors of jelly beans under their belts, Jelly Belly Candy Company has an idea of what types of flavors will be more popular with both kids and grownups.

“When we talked to kids, we learned that the more complex or exotic the flavor, the less likely they were to enjoy it,” said Lisa Brasher, executive vice chairman and a fifth generation candy maker for company.

As a renowned candy expert and author of “Candy: The Sweet History,” Beth Kimmerle added, “Classic flavors like apples and berries are typically the most popular with the younger crowd. Adults crave the more adventurous flavors.”

Understanding age and preferences

Flavor innovation keeps a company like Jelly Belly on its toes. As people age, their taste buds mature and become more open to those complex flavor profiles children shy away from. The coconut flavor is a great example of this.

“Although our panel of kids gave coconut low scores, when you look at adults who purchase our jelly beans, it’s is a very popular one,” explained Brasher.

EAS-Winning-Easter-treats-2-webFlavors for everyone

By taking the feedback from children of all ages into consideration, the jelly bean company assembled its youthful Kids Mix, a collection of 20 flavors kids love. The mix makes it easier for anyone to pick winning flavors like cotton candy, berry blue and watermelon for Easter treats. More adult-friendly flavors like licorice, cinnamon and buttered popcorn are purposefully absent from the mix.

According to Brasher, there was one surprise among the company’s findings, “We were shocked when caramel corn didn’t crack the top twenty flavors with the kids,” she said.

One sweet agreement

Despite their palate differences, kids and adults can agree on one thing—very cherry is their top pick. It’s the most popular Jelly Belly bean flavor in America, placing among the top two since its debut almost 40 years ago. For a brief period, it was upset by buttered popcorn and fell to the number two position, but it’s been consistently the winning flavor since.

“I don’t see that changing any time soon,” said Brasher.

Treat tips

When it comes to giving the best Easter treats, keep these tips in mind:

For the little ones: Give them what they want. Stick to tried and true fruity flavors and other kid-friendly tastes like cotton candy and toasted marshmallow.

For the grownups: Go with complex flavors and new flavor experiences, such as the unique offerings of chili mango, draft beer and cappuccino.

Save and celebrate: Be sure to hold onto your favorite jelly bean flavors to enjoy on National Jelly Bean Day. This year, it’s just two days after Easter on April 22nd.

Use these gift tips and you’ll see many smiles on Easter morning. For other flavorful ideas, visit www.jellybelly.com.

 

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Sweet Simplicity


It’s true – the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be. Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

Family Features
As much fun as it is to make fancy treats, sometimes simple really is better. This Easter I’ve decided to keep things sweet and simple when it comes to making desserts.
These Easter Egg Treats are a fun twist on marshmallow crispy bars – the kids can help shape the eggs and sprinkle them with pretty toppings. It will be a little messy, but what a fun memory to make together!
Bark candies are traditional around other holidays, so why not Easter, too? They couldn’t be simpler to make, and the creamy white morsels and colorful jelly beans taste – and look – great together.
To get more sweet inspiration for your Easter celebrations, visit www.tollhouse.com.

Crisped Rice Easter Egg Treats

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes 24 eggs

Nonstick cooking spray
6     cups (10.5-ounce package) miniature marshmallows
1/4     cup (1/2 stick) butter
8     cups toasted rice cereal
2     cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Premier White Morsels, divided
2     teaspoons vegetable shortening
Nestlé Toll House Pink & Yellow Mixed Mini Morsel
Toppers, assorted sprinkles and/or sugars

SPRAY large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray.
HEAT marshmallows and butter in large, heavy-duty saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth. Remove from heat.
WORKING QUICKLY, stir in cereal and 2/3 cup morsels. Carefully transfer mixture into prepared mixing bowl. Cool for 5 minutes.
SPRAY hands with nonstick spray. Press marshmallow mixture into a 1/3 cup measure, then form mixture into an egg shape with hands.  Repeat with remaining mixture to make a total of 24 eggs.
MICROWAVE remaining 1 1/4 cups morsels and vegetable shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 45 seconds; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape.  If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.
DIP top of each egg into melted morsels; shake off or scrape excess against side of bowl. Place each upright in muffin pan(s). Immediately sprinkle dipped end of each egg with Toppers, sprinkles or sugars. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until set. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Jelly Bean Easter Bark

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Makes 11 servings or 1 pound bark

2     cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Premier White Morsels
2     teaspoons vegetable shortening
1/2     cup Wonka SweeTarts Jelly Beans, divided

LINE baking sheet with wax paper.
MICROWAVE morsels and vegetable shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Stir in 1/4 cup SweeTarts Jelly Beans.
SPREAD mixture to 1/4-inch thickness on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup SweeTarts Jelly Beans. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until firm.  Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.

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