Friday, September 18, 2020

Drop a Warhead in baking soda water, and bubbles erupt. Leave a Skittle in water, and the S floats to the surface. Melt a Starburst, and shiny oil spots form. You're doing candy experiments--science experiments with candy.

Melt Halloween candy. Dissolve Valentine hearts. Float Easter Peeps. Or let your kids create their own candy science experiments.

Candy experiments. All candy. All science. All fun.

As seen in Family Fun, Parents, Mothering Magazine, Highlights, the Chicago Tribune, ParentMap, Miami Family, and The Red Tricycle

Saturday, August 1, 2015

San Francisco requires warning labels on soda ads

San Francisco lawmakers voted to add warning labels to soda ads:

WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.

Maybe they were looking at this!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pixy Stix Crystals?

You can make great crystals with Pixy Stix that seem to explode out of the bowl (one of the experiments from my first book, CANDY EXPERIMENTS)

but if you're in a hurry, and try heating them in the oven at 170, hoping this will speed up evaporation, you get Pixy Stix mushrooms instead!

I suppose that the heat prevented good crystal formation, causing the sugars to melt and stick together in more of a glassy state than crystalline form.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Smash it, Crack it: Turkish Taffy

It bends. It snaps. It shatters into small pieces. How can Turkish Taffy do all those things? Thanks to, which sent me a box of Turkish Taffy to play with, I got to find out.

Kenny Weisen, who decided to bring the candy bar back after it was discontinued for decades, loved smashing the candy when he was a kid. "It was the first interactive candy. You smashed it and cracked it--it was like playing a game." (as seen in "Tropical Delights," Kid in a Candy Store on the Food Network)

Turkish Taffy is a non-Newtonian fluid. Newtonian fluids, like water, flow at the same rate unless you change the temperature or pressure. But non-Newtonian fluids flow at different rates when force is applied. If you smash a ball of Silly Putty, it cracks, while ketchup flows more freely under pressure. Turkish Taffy is also a fluid, which is why it bends if you gently push on it. But if you apply too much stress at once, by hitting it against the sidewalk, it thickens and breaks.

The experts remind consumers to crack the taffy BEFORE you peel off the wrapper, to keep shards from flying all over the place. As a candy experimenter, I have to say that watching the pieces fly is part of the fun. (Sweep up the mess fast, or it will leave sticky specks all over the floor.)

Find out more about how Turkish Taffy gets made in this segment from "Kid in a Candy Store."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Crystalline Lifesaver

A friend challenged me to reveal the seventh line from the seventh page of my latest writing project. Here it is:
"Little did I know that this would turn my Lifesaver into a crystalline flower!"

For those of you wondering if this means Candy Experiments 3 is in the works, stay tuned...

Friday, June 5, 2015

They're Hatching! Easter candy destruction #3

Brach's Bunny Basket Marshmallow Easter Eggs were really fun to play with. Not only did the marshmallow filling expand, melting through and cracking the sugar shell, the eggs settled into really fun shapes.

Candy puffin

Candy frog

Author's confession: I really wanted to see if these would "hatch", but didn't think to buy any for Easter. Ever had buy candy on Amazon at post-Easter rip-off prices???

Saturday, May 30, 2015

They're Hatching! Easter Candy Destruction #2

Dark chocolate cadbury mini eggs with their crunchy sugar shells are one of the few experiment candies I actually eat. That's why these test subjects are the milk chocolate pastels!

We heated the eggs in a low oven. After several minutes, the chocolate expanded and cracked the sugar shell, as if little birds were wriggling their way out.

Fun fact: after they cool down, sometimes the cracks close and reseal

Try this with peanut M&M's too!