Pros: works, uses hard candy, inexpensive, can be made sugar free
Cotton candy probably isn’t one of those things you think you can make at home. Right around Christmas, I got a Bed Bath and Beyond ad that hat the Nostalgia Electrics Cotton Candy Maker for around $30. I thought this might make a good gift for my kids, and it would be something fun to make too.
I read a few online reviews at Bed Bath and Beyond’s site and they were all good, so I went with a 20% off coupon and scored this machine. The cashier that checked me out said that this had been a pretty popular item. The directions that came with this are easy to understand and operating this is pretty simple.
This machine is pretty simple to set up, it has a large, plastic pink colored bowl (that you can hand wash) and then a small, metal dish that goes in the very center of the bowl that both sit on top of the motor. You also get a couple of plastic cones to serve your candy on. If you have more than a couple of people, you may want to think about getting some extra cones.
Now this uses regular candy. Mmmhm. Yes, I just said regular candy. You can use sugar free also, but you need to use hard candy only, nothing with any sort of gummy consistency, chewy, any sort of liquid centers, I would recommend Life Savers hard candies. You can also use the liquid cotton candy stuff.
Now to use this, you need to heat up your machine a good while before sticking the candy in. I think I waited around 10 minutes but I wanted to make sure mine was good and ready to go. Then you use no more than 2 hard candies in the dish at a time. It seemed to work faster and with less candy pieces flecked through the cotton candy if you crushed up the candies some. Once the machine starts making the candy, you take your cone and rotate it in your hand clockwise while you whirl your arm around the pink bowl of the machine to get it on the cone. This takes a bit of practice to master but after a few pieces I figured it out. Also this is something that kids can do, as long as you make sure to let them know not to touch the center dish where the candy is located because it is very hot.
Don’t expect big, huge amounts of candy, I mean hello, you only used 2 pieces of hard candy so it makes about maybe 3/4ths of a cup of cotton candy. But this is enough for one person and it’s fun experimenting and making up your own flavors.
Overall, this is a fun machine and something I’d recommend.