Candy corn is candy that fills up candy aisles during the fall holiday season, and the distinctive orange, yellow and white triangles have become a fall icon. Candy corn is a type of fondant, a candy paste made from water and sugar. Fondant can come in many different consistencies, from a flowing candy filling to a smooth dough that can be rolled out to cover a cake. In the case of candy corn, the fondant is very firm and somewhat dry, with a slightly chewy texture to it. Candy corn is also coated with a thin confectioners’ glaze that makes the candies very smooth and gives them a slight shine. Candy corn has a distinct honey flavor to it and the most famous candy corn maker, Brachs’, uses real honey in their recipe to get that flavor.
Candy corn was first conceived in the 1880s by a man named George Renninger, of the Wunderlee Candy Company. The idea behind the candy was that it would resemble the colors of a kernel of corn, with a small yellow tip, dark orange center and a large yellow “kernel” at the end. The candies have been popular ever since and the National Confectioners Association estimates that more than 30 million pounds of candy corn will be made and sold this year. The candies are typically served on their own (i.e. put out in a candy bowl to add some fall color to a table) or used to decorate cakes and cookies. They have also been the inspiration for some other holiday treats, such as the limited edition Candy Corn Oreos that Nabisco released this fall, as well as the template for multi-color variants that are now released for other holidays.