A fun trip for the holiday season is to find a local candy factory that offers tours and take the family. We are fortunate enough to have the Hammond’s Candy Factory here in Denver. Hammond’s is responsible for about 30 flavors of candy canes, ribbon candy and a g-zillion other kinds of candy (all handmade candy here, no machine stuff). And they have free tours 6 days a week all year-long.
My husband and I thought it would be fun to check it out since we wanted to get handmade candy canes for everyone. It was a treat! Since it is the Christmas season, the tours filled up quickly, so make sure you get there early (the rest of the year is easier but I prefer to see candy cane making around the holidays, so it was worth it). Going on the week days is also advised because I was told that a lot of the candy making lines shut down on Saturday.
I think part of the fun of the trip was watching the wonder on the faces of the little ones that joined us on the tour (minus one or two, who seemed oblivious to the fact the tour was for everyone, not just their personal playtime. A pet peeve of mine is parents who don’t teach their kids manners!) The other fun, was digging through the broken candy barrel to choose the perfect flavors for taking home.
The tour lasted about 30 minutes and we got to sample fresh off the line, a Chocolate Mitchell. Can I say YUMMY loud enough?! Filled with a fresh pillowly marshmallow and caramel and warm gooey chocolate on the outside. It was melting on my fingers as I inhaled the wonderful aromas of chocolate, caramel and marshmallow. Oh what a wonderful experience.
Along the tour, we got to see the candy cane block having the color strips added to it (I do say the guy folding the block had a great job of getting any issues out because he got to stab the block with very large scissors to get air bubbles to release as he folded). We also saw nuts being hand patted into caramel for dipping in chocolate. And the smell! It was a smell that should be bottled…fresh cooking candy. It was heavenly!
At the end of the tour, we were released in a candy wonderland…The candy shop! It was so beautiful with all the colors and reminded me of the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I must admit, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Umpah Loompas popping out of the corners. There was even candy ornaments and centerpieces for the holidays.
The little ones were in heaven and I can’t say that we weren’t too far behind. We had fun picking out the unusual flavors of candy canes as well as traditional. Chinese Five Spice (everyone knows my fascination with this spice, so no surprise, I had to have one), Blood Orange, Broncos colored canes, Apple Pie, chocolate filled canes,peppermint of course and so many more.
So have fun for your holiday season. Look up a local candy maker and go see how it’s made or if you’re in Denver, don’t miss out on the Hammond’s Candy Factory (my next goal is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory).
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