I always find it amazing that so many foods that are specifically created for holidays other than the Jewish ones are so often kosher-certified. Take the jelly bean for example.
The origin of the jelly bean is unknown but it is believed to have metamorphosed from a sweet treat called Turkish Delight that was popular hundreds and hundreds of years ago into the form we know today in the early 1900s.
The jelly bean became the go-to Easter candy in the 1930s simply because some unknown entrepreneur noticed that it was shaped like an egg.
At first, jelly beans were sold by color and weight, and that was pretty much it until the 1970s when they were turned into a kosher-certified gourmet treat by the Goelitz Candy Company.
The creation of “Jelly Bellies,” the gourmet specialty flavored jelly beans, turned the jelly bean world upside down. President Ronald Regan’s preference for the jelly bean cemented its place in the Candy Hall of Fame.
If you choose to indulge, the jelly bean is actually a pretty good candy, calorically speaking — 35 jelly beans contain about 130 calories and 37 grams of sugar. You can get them in just about any flavor imaginable, and they are extremely affordable; even the gourmet kind don’t cost as much as the gourmet chocolates that are also a go-to candy favorite of mine.
I have decided to take eating gourmet jelly beans one step further and incorporate them as “ingredients” in the following recipes. It’s nice to know that for the next couple of weeks this fresh and flavorful ingredient will be in-season and on sale after the holidays of Pesach and Easter are over.
Line a 9x9-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Coarsely chop the jelly beans with a large knife. Combine the butter, sour cream, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring until the sugar and butter melt and combine.
Continue to cook the fudge, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil. Once boiling, cook it for five minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. If you are using a candy thermometer, cook until the mixture reaches 235˚.
After five minutes, remove the pan from the heat. Add the white chocolate chips and marshmallow cream. Mix until the white chocolate chips and marshmallow cream are combined with the mixture. If the chips aren’t melting, return to the heat for 1 minute.
Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add most of the jelly beans and mix just to combine (save 1⁄3 cup). Immediately pour the fudge into the prepared pan and smooth it on top. Sprinkle the remaining jelly beans over the top and press them into the fudge.
Cool on the counter for 3 hours or in the refrigerator for 1 to 1 and 1⁄2 hours. Cut it into small 1-inch pieces. Store at room temperature for up to one week or in the refrigerator for up to two.
Preheat oven to 375˚.
Mix the butter and both sugars until smooth.
Stir in egg, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla and mix well. Stir in flour and oats until well blended. Stir in jelly beans.
Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes.
Line a 15x10-inch cookie sheet (with sides) with foil. Brush the top of the foil with the melted butter and set the pan aside.
In a microwave, melt the white chocolate, turning and stirring until smooth. Spread the melted candy onto the greased pan. Sprinkle the jelly beans on top, press the jelly beans into the white chocolate.
Let cool and set on a counter for about 1 hour before breaking into pieces.
Makes about 2 pounds.
In a large bowl combine the animal crackers, chocolate-covered raisins, jelly beans and peanuts. Mix to combine and then store in airtight container.
Grease a 9x13-inch pan and set it aside.
Place the rice cereal and jelly beans in a large bowl and set it aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the butter and marshmallows. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the mixture over the rice cereal and jelly beans and mix quickly to combine. Press the mixture in to the prepared pan and let cool.
Serves 12 to 14.
Line two 15x10-inch (with sides) cookie sheets with foil and grease with nonstick spray. Divide the jelly beans between the two pans.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until the candy thermometer is at 240˚ (soft ball stage).
Stir in the butter and salt. Cook and stir constantly until the mixture reaches 300˚ (hard crack stage). Add the baking soda and mix but don’t worry when the mixture foams. This is normal so keep stirring.
Quickly pour the mixture over jelly beans and smooth the top. This mixture will be hot so be very careful not to burn yourself.
Cool completely at room temperature, do not refrigerate. Break into pieces when totally cool.