For years now, I get a new little Christmas tree every year for my mantel. Well, actually, they have spread from the mantel to the sideboard to other random spots in the house. This year I didn’t get one. Nothing called to me and I thought that maybe this year would go by without a new tree.
My beloved sister Debbie had other things in mind though. I got the most wonderful present from her. A WONDERFUL tree with amazing clear toy candy made in antique molds! I just could not love it more! I love you Debbie, and I love my tree!
To make it even more delightful, it is from a business run by an old friend of Debbie’s. I’ve heard about their Christmas trees and parties for years! Here’s the info from their website:
In 2017, I was given my first piece of Clear Toy candy ( also known as Barley Candy) as a Christmas gift. It was a beautiful 7″ tall, intricately detailed reindeer that appeared to be made of sparkling transparent green glass, inside of a crisp cellophane bag. I had never heard of Clear Toy candy, but as its history was then explained to me, I was totally hooked on the childhood nostalgia associated with this very early confectionery art form. I can imagine the sheer joy that children felt a century ago, in finding these sparkling little candies that were left just for them by Christkind, Father Christmas, Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. Loving everything Christmas and reminiscent of a bygone era, I knew that I needed to know more about this tradition and how they were made.
Over the next few years, I researched anything that I could find about the candy, as well as the mold manufacturers, sugar recipe and history throughout the last 100+ years. I began to purchase molds as I could find them. My knowledge is strengthening as I continue to search for original antique molds and make the classic candy. As I shared my new obsession with friends, I began to hear all the stories from folks who remember the candy as a kid, or heard about it from their parents. I used these sugar treats as part of my tablescape when entertaining and it never failed to open the discussion of what candies my guests grew up with and remember. What started out as a strong desire to be part of the few remaining confectionery houses and independent family candy makers who make the candy, ended up in my creating the Toy Lion Confectionery.