Monday, October 31, 2011
Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil
Unwrap your candy and put it on the sheet. (Caution: never melt a jawbreaker!)
Place in low oven (300-350 F) and wait to see what happens.
Microwave: use a microwave-safe plate and watch your candy (not jawbreakers) as you heat it. Most candy melts in a minute or less. If you heat it too long, you might scorch your candy or even your plate, so choose your dishes carefully and keep a close watch.
You might be surprised at what melts and what doesn't!
Friday, October 28, 2011
As a candy experimenter, I try to keep my children from gorging on candy. But I didn't want to just say no. "Sure," I said. Noticing that she was contorting her face in very odd ways, I remembered some memoir I'd read in which the writer could never master the Mr. Spock eyebrow trick. "If you can raise only one eyebrow." Ha! Beat that impossible task! She promptly did.
I couldn't renege--as she reminded me several times on the way home, "We don't lie in our church, Mommy!" And her proposal, that each child could eat one mini candy bar and share in the contents of two mini packs of M&M's, was still conservative under the circumstances. I agreed to the deal, as long as she would give me all the brown M&M's for my upcoming class demonstrations on chromatography. "Just the plain ones? not the peanuts?" she clarified, and, feeling magnanimous, I agreed.
And that was how I learned that some packs of M&M's are defective. I.e., incomplete. I.e., no browns.
Maybe next time I'll just keep my mouth shut.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
This heart used to be purple. The other side, exposed to the sun, has faded completely. On this side, the bottom of the heart, the edges have faded from sunlight, leaving only the untouched purple spot in the middle.
The blue candy heart on the left has faded noticeably. Compare it with the unfaded heart on the right.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
An article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal describes why one family does candy experiments. After the Halloween-loving father helps his kids sort their candy "according to awesomeness," the kids won't eat the discards. So there's nothing left to do but experiment with it!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Here's the candy experiments video. If it doesn't work, try this
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
A look at the ingredient list reveals the answer. Besides sugar and corn syrup, colors, and flavors, the candy contains malic acid, sodium bicarbonate, and tartaric acid. In other words, it's just an acid-baking soda reaction.
Here's a video of Zotz in water.
If you can't view the video, here's my six-year-old's illustration of the process. It's almost as good as the video (says his mother).
Next time you try Zotz, remember to enjoy the bubbles. You're eating a self-contained acid test!
It's always fun to be mentioned, and I agree that older kids will have a blast with candy experiments. But younger kids do too! Even my toddlers loved dumping candy in water and stirring, stirring, stirring. In fact, my young son could go through an entire Halloween haul in one evening, just dumping it all into a bowl of water to make "candy soup."
One comment in this article mentioned that many military organizations do not want candy shipped to them. If true, this would put a crimp in those dentist buy-back programs. More investigation required.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
You can read about their candy experiments, as well as other fun science projects they've done, at their blog.