Here’s what our readers had to say about the Jelly Belly™ candy we sent them a few weeks ago!
Rivky Raichik (Los Angeles, CA)
“Thank you for sending the candy. I had a cake ready to be filled and frosted. I chopped up the candy together with fresh strawberries, mixed it in with a plain frosting and filled the cake. It came out tasting delicious.”
Elisa Rotman (Northbrook, IL)
“I could not resist the urge to find something interesting to do with the fruit gems so I try to make cookies with them. I used Paula Shoyer’s recipe for Bubba (Jam Button) Cookies. Instead of using jam in the middle of each cookie, I cut eat fruit gem into quarters and placed a small piece into the center of each ball of dough. While I think the original recipe to include jam is better, my family thought the fruit gems were really yummy. They did not fully melt or spread so they held their triangular shape. They also gave the cookie a surprise since the candy was still chewy and soft.
I included two pictures which look very similar since my phone is not that fancy… There is one picture of the cookies before being cooked waiting on the baking pan and another of the cookies after being cooked on a cooling rack.
I tasted most of the flavors of the fruit gems and found them to be very good. I am not sure they are very different from the ones we buy from Sunkist to throw at young couples on their ufruf (sp) but they did taste a little bit more natural in their flavoring.
Paula Shoyer (www.paulaspastry.com)
“Hi. I am not a candy person at all and only eat candy when I am starving in shul and it’s a bar mitzvah. I tasted these with the experts, my 12 year old twin boys, and I have to say we were all very impressed. The grapefruit and blueberry in particular really tasted like fruit, but we liked them all. Most jelly candies have a fake taste, but you really experience a burst of flavor. I had to make a dessert with jelly beans on tv, but these would b a real challenge. One idea would be to chop them and use them as a candied fruit substitute in a mandelbread dough or cake – like a pannetone, but as we gobbled them up, I have none to try this with.”
Chaia Frishman (www.fruitplattersandmore.com )
“Just got the best box of heaven today.
With all of today’s new fangled, sour crazy candies, a classic is always welcome.Now that Jelly Belly produces them, they took it and made a super new and delicious twist.
The candy I received was made with a base puree of nature’s candy, AKA fruit. (Who else but I doesn’t love talking about fruit?)
With blueberry and grapefruit gems, the base is more natural than just flavoring. I make home-made fruit leather, usually strawberry and blueberry mix and the blueberry had some very authentic tasting flavor in it.
While this isn’t the easiest thing to cook with, the fruit gems are easy enough to work with in making decorations on a birthday cake, or to skewer it for a fun treat. I can’t wait to see what else Jelly Belly comes up with.”
Suzannah Raff (www.koshershopaholic.com)
“I received this package of a few candies to try this evening. My husband tasted it & said it was good. I don’t eat candy. I think it would make a healthier candy treat for shul. Thanks.”
Elizabeth Kurtz (www.gourmetkoshercooking.com)
“My package was just a 5 pack of jelly belly fruit gems. I used them as cupcake toppers both on top of frosting so with a cute big dot on top and I bought more similar ones and put toothpicks in them so they were standing up as a toothpick topper (kinds like a stop sign post). I was going to take pictures but they were a big hit and were gone on shabbos. Its easy to replicate though.
If it was summer I would probably try and make them in homemade ice pops. I think getting a gummy candy in an ice pop sounds fun.”
Gilly Rosenthol (Quincy, Mass.)
“I couldn’t think of any new or unusual way to use the Jelly Belly Fruit Gems, but honestly, they didn’t need it, they were delicious on their own! The new flavors take fruit gems beyond the usual fake-fruit “red” flavoring. Our favorite was definitely the grapefruit, with the sweet and tart burst of fresh flavor, but blueberry was a close runner up. I’m definitely planning to get these for my upcoming aufruf!”
Aviva Horowitz (Washington Heights, NY)
“As a child, I always loved the Sunkist fruit gems treats that were found in simcha candy bags. Those candies came in the classic lime, strawberry, lemon and orange flavors. Sweet and sour, they were always a special treat. The Sunkist fruit gems that I received from KosherScoop featured some new more “mature” flavors, including grapefruit, blueberry and raspberry. These candies were made with real fruit juice and fruit puree. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new flavors also featured that sweet and sour flavors which I remembered and apparently was a good source of Vitamin C to boot! I look forward to seeing these new flavors in future simcha candy bags! “
Melinda Strauss (www.kitchentested.com)
“I was planning to use the candy in a recipe and then my kids found them! I must hide all future food that comes my way for review So what I can say about this product from tasting it is that the Jelly Belly fruit gems taste just like the other fruit gems on the market. They are sweet and delicious but nothing new. Wish I could give a better review but I didn’t get a chance to do anything but taste a few of the flavors. “
Levana Kirschenbaum (www.levanacooks.com)
“I found the slick narrow slat with five coordinated color fruit pastes tightly wrapped in cellophane a real cool presentation.
Natural and intense fruit flavorings, so that came through quite pleasantly.
The texture could be chewier (less melt-in-your-mouth) like the wonderful “pates de fruit” we loved growing up, which we described naively but aptly as “taking longer to eat”.
Might they try a batch with 20% less sugar, to allow the tart fruit flavors to be the real front-and-center stars, just as they should be? It would be a much more delicious and more affordable treat if it shed some of its sugar. Furthermore, it would give us bakers ideas how to incorporate them in fun cakes and cookies without a sugar OD.
One minor but serious glitch the powers that be might want to look into: a brief but marked slightly bitter aftertaste following a very pleasant bite. I suspect the dusting is the culprit. A little tweaking will do the trick and rid the candy of this unwelcome trait.”
Hadassah Rabinovitch (Brooklyn, NY)
“My son & I just tried Jelly Belly’s new Sunkist Fruit Gems – Altho, neither of us is even a huge fan of fruit gel candies, these treats are pretty tasty. Our favorite was the blueberry. I imagine they could possibly be used as the fruit filling of hamantashen cookies, but they Gems might actually “leak” too much once baked. But it certainly would make the preparation part much easier!”
Erica Solomon (Tarzana, CA)
“Sunkist fruit gems are a candy my family has enjoyed for many years. The new blueberry flavor was sampled by myself and few of my kids (little bites each). It is a nice flavor addition. The color could be more intense and different than the red. That would make it more unique.
One of my favorite things to do with fruit gems besides simply eat them is to roll them out (flatten them) and then roll them tightly from one end making a rosette and putting them on cupcakes. You can even roll out the green ones and use a leaf shape cookie cutter or small knife and make leaves to decorate with them further.”
Marylin Stoch (Los Angeles, CA)
“Thanks for the fruit gems. I can’t say that I used them in any ingenious way, but my children were VERY happy to have some unexpected candy. I tasted them as well. They were very fresh and it seems to me that they tasted fruitier and fresher than the fruit gems I’ve had before. Is Jelly Belly making them differently? I would buy them for a treat for the kids or goody bags or mishloach manos. I like that they are made from some real fruit. I’d bet they could be melted down into a syrup for waffles or something, too. Maybe I’ll try that someday.
Thanks for the little treat :)”