Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Food Allergy Halloween News: Crazy for Nut-Free Candy Corn!

A and J Bakery nut-free and gluten-free candy corn.
It's a bestseller, so order yours quickly!
For a lot of people, candy corn looks and tastes like the essence of Halloween. Folks seem to either love it or hate it...but most love it. I know that my kids love it and I do too, especially as a decoration for cakes, cookies and cupcakes. In recent years, it's been hard for me to find nut-free candy corn that I could safely hand out to my kids at Halloween time. Most candy corn seems to carry peanut and/or tree nut allergy warnings, such as the Brach brand, which is widely available but off-limits to the nut-allergic.

Because I need both peanut-free and tree nut-free candy corn, my choices were a bit limited, but I did find two companies that are meeting the nut-free candy corn challenge head on. First up is the awesome A and J Bakery in Rhode Island. This nut-free bakery sells their signature nut and gluten-free candy corn each year both in their store and online. A and J candy corn is made with real honey and the dedicated nut-free facility is an added bonus for me. I ordered mine last week and can't wait to try it! Be sure to order early. Apparently, this is a sell-out item each year well in advance of Halloween. In fact, if you look at Peanut Free Planet right now, they say it is sold out on their site.
Go directly to A and J Bakery web site to order yours.

Next, I found Sunrise Brand Candy Corn. The facility is nut-free, but this brand of candy corn was recalled for milk and sulfites last July. It is available at Peanut Free Planet and check your local grocery stores. Dollar Tree stores have it, too. Check out this post from Food Allergy Buzz, a trusted source, about Sunrise Candy Corn. The Peanut-Free Planet link above has more info about Sunrise facilities, too.
Sunrise foods candy corn. Check your local stores for
this brand or order online.

Some of us might be looking for peanut-free only and not tree nut-free. Jelly Belly sells peanut-free candy corn but it is NOT tree nut free, as it is produced on the same lines with tree nut products. While Jelly Belly has gone peanut-free in recent years, it is NOT a tree nut-free company. Look at this post from Smart Allergy. If you have further questions about Jelly Belly, please contact them directly.
Grocery stores and pharmacies sometimes sell candy corn under their private label brands, and they rarely contain allergy info. If they DO say "peanut-free" be sure to double check that they are also tree nut-free if that is a concern for you. Some private label store brand candy corn may be safe for you, while others might be produced on the same lines with candy containing peanuts or tree nuts, rendering these candies unsafe due to cross-contact risk. For example, last year I contacted CVS and found out that their candy corn is produced on lines with chocolate covered peanuts--a fact not included on the label. (Companies must only list ingredients, not production info.)
And now, I've got to mention the latest Oreo flavor to hit the shelves: Candy Corn Oreos.

I am sorry to say, I can't find them anywhere in my area as they have apparently SOLD OUT at some local stores. But I hope some of you can find them and I will keep looking. These are golden Oreos with yellow and orange filling. With any Oreo product, read the label carefully for nut allergy warnings. So far, the new "limited-edition" "basic" Oreo flavors I have seen have not had nut allergy warnings. Nabisco will mark for "may contains" so please read the labels and call the company directly if you have further questions.

One more thing: the beautiful foodie blog Sugarcrafter has a recipe for homemade candy corn. If you have the time and desire to make this recipe, let us know! She did an amazing job with these.

I have a candy corn-inspired goody or two up my sleeve for upcoming blog posts, so be sure to come back soon.

NOTE: You are the best judge of what is safe for your family. Please do your own research on any products mentioned here to make sure that it fits your allergy needs. Thanks for reading this blog!


Goody said...

That candy corn recipe sounds great! I spend half my life (no exaggeration) making candy, so I'm always excited to try something new.

My candy "cheat" that works for just about any holiday is a basic fondant recipe of sugar, water, and cream of tartar. You can tint it,flavour it, shape it, cover it in chocolate-whatever. You do need a strong arm, and a good wooden spoon (once it starts to cool, you have to work fast), but otherwise it is pretty simple, and it keeps in a jar practically forever. It makes a rather convincing candy corn, mellowcream pumpkins, etc.

Thanks for that link-think I have a new blog to haunt.

Anonymous said...

I heard that only Target is selling these!

Jenny said...

The Candy Corn Oreos--I have searched for them at Target but I haven't seen them...yet. :)

Gratefulfoodie said...

I found the Sunrise Candy Corn at my local Dollar Tree store! I bought 9 bags and my kids who never ate Candy Corn before really enjoyed them.

Anonymous said...

But they all have soy! I need peanut, tree nut, dairy, soy, sesame seed (and cantaloup) free.

Jenny said...

Anonymous, they don't have candy corn, but Gimbal's is amazing candy that is top 8 allergen free and they do come out with seasonal varieties. The same goes for Surf Surf Sweets -- they make "spooky spider" gummies at Halloween that are free of the top 8 allergens (including soy). I'm not sure about sesame, but give them a look.