One of my favorite memories as a kid was making chocolate lollipops with my mom. We would drive to the craft store and buy the supplies needed: plastic molds, lollipop sticks, and brightly colored chocolate circles. Then we'd go home and melt them into lollipops. Called "candy melts," those dyed circles never failed to get me excited, although I didn't quite know what they were. Which brings us to the real question: what are candy melts?

What Are Candy Melts?

Elizabeth Vana

Candy melts are colored and flavored ingredients for baking and decorating. They're meant to be melted down and used as a coating for various sweets (like cake pops or chocolate molds). You'll often see plastic molds next to them at the store, because candy melts are also great for melting into various shapes. They come in a variety of colors, for all kinds of colorful projects.

Candy Melt Ingredients

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Elizabeth Vana

Although they have the look and consistency of chocolate, candy melts aren't chocolate. Their main ingredients are sugar and vegetable oil, and they usually don't contain cocoa butter. Oftentimes, ingredients are added to give them flavors like "peppermint" or "peanut butter." Candy melts on their own are an off-white color, and they're made into those brightly colored circles with various food dyes.

Can I Eat Them Out of the Bag?

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Elizabeth Vana

Candy melts are safe to eat, so you can eat them out of the bag. But do you really want to? To be honest, they don't even taste like chocolate. They have a plain, almost milk-like flavor. With candy melts, it's more about presentation than taste. They're much more suited to being flavored with other sweet ingredients and used to make colorful creations like these out-of-this-world galaxy bowls.

That being said, candy melts do come in as many varieties of flavors as they do colors. However, if you're craving chocolate, I'd stick with the bars in the candy aisle. Flavored candy melts are much better as decorative chocolate than they are as a snack.

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Elizabeth Vana

So, what are candy melts? Definitely not chocolate, that's for sure. They don't even contain cocoa! These little melts come in all kinds of colors and flavors, and are super fun to experiment with. If you're itching to try using candy melts in a recipe, these watermelon ice cream bowls are the perfect example of what they can do.