I am sure most parents look for fun things to do with their kids that teaches them something as well. Haley LOVES to do anything in the kitchen that involves baking or cooking, so I am always volunteering to make things when we go somewhere so she can help me. She loves to measure, stir, and occasionally lick the spatula when we are done.
Glee Gum offers three Candy Making Kits that you can make with your kids - Make Your Own Gummies (sour), Make Your Own Gum, or Make Your Own Chocolate. The kits come with a cool handout on where the ingredients in the kit come from, the history of that ingredient, and the process on how they figured out how that ingredient could be used. The kits are suggested "For ages 8 and up", and even though I knew Haley would need some help, I also knew that she would love making the candy.
LeeAnn reviewed the Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit a couple years ago, and we were sent the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit to try. I decided to take it to Florida with us at Christmas so that my friend's little girl, Emily (age 10), would have something to do with Haley. We opened the kit and I went over the highlights on the history of the cocoa bean with the girls. I had to do the shorter version for Haley, but Emily loved all the facts! Our kit even included a real cocoa bean for the girls to look at and touch while I went over the history.
In the section of the directions labeled "Before you Start", it lists all of the items that should be included in the kit. I thought it was especially helpful that it gave a description for kids. For example, it listed "Cocoa Butter (it's yellowish and hard)" as the first item. Also, all of the packages had the words printed on it so they would know what it was too. I liked how clear everything was!
The girls were very excited to start making their chocolate!
The first step was to melt the cocoa butter in the microwave. It says in the directions that it will take at least 3 minutes.
Next you combine cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar in the bowl. You stir vigorously and make sure you dissolve all of the lumps.
After you finish mixing that step, the directions say to put back in the microwave for 10 seconds. The kit comes with a temperature indicator that you place on the side of the bowl, and you wait for the chocolate to reach 94 degrees. You add 1/4 tsp of vanilla for flavor (not included in kit). You then keep stirring making sure that the chocolate cools evenly. The instructions say "Be Patient: It may take up to 15 minutes to reach the correct temperature, and no, your indicator is not broken". Here is where we ran into our only issue. We waited almost 25 minutes and the temperature indicator never showed the correct temp. Since the chocolate was cooling, I just had the girls move on with their process.
I had Emily spoon the chocolate into the provided cups because it seemed a little too hard for Haley to master. The instructions say that you can get creative and add ingredients in this step, like peanut butter, but we decided to leave ours plain.
After this we placed the chocolate in the refrigerator to cool, and then came the traditional "lick the spoon" time...
The chocolate didn't take long at all to cool in the refrigerator (I think about 10 minutes), and the girls were ready to dig in! They loved the taste of the chocolate!
The cocoa butter and cocoa powder in the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit are all organic (they are also Fair Trade!), and the other ingredients are all-natural, so you know that it is quality that they put in their kits. The kit retails on the Glee Gum website for $13.95, which is a great price for something fun AND educational. As you can see, the kits appeal to a wide range of age groups.
The Glee Gum website also has their all-natural gum that you can order as well. This natural chewing gum is made with sustainably harvested rainforest chicle. It comes in 8 great flavors: cinnamon, peppermint, tangerine, bubblegum, spearmint, triple berry, sugar-free lemon-lime and sugar-free refresh-mint. Glee Gum is the #1 healthy alternative to synthetic chewing gum and bubble gum! No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners (no aspartame). I was sent a few samples of the gum and it was delicious! Cinnamon was my favorite!
~*~Glee Gum Candy Making Kit~*~
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit at no cost, in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received.