What Kinds of Candy You Can Freeze (and What Kinds You Shouldn’t)
Candy lasts a long time, as we explained earlier this week—chocolate, caramel, and hard candy will all last nine months or more at room temperature if properly packaged. But what if some of the bars in your haul are already creeping close to their expiration dates, or you have fresh candy but want to keep it around until next year? Good news: you can probably freeze it, depending on what kind.
If your candy is on the okay-to-freeze list, make sure to set yourself up for a good experience when it’s finally time to unearth your frozen treasures. Candies should be wrapped tightly, either in their original wrappers or in bags or wraps with as much air removed as possible. If you can vacuum-seal the candy, that’s ideal.
Here are the types of candy you can freeze
Chocolate lasts just as long at room temperature as it does in the freezer, which may make freezing seem unnecessary, but that depends on where you are. If you live in a place where the inside of your house can hit chocolate-melting temperatures during the summer—only about 85 degrees Fahrenheit—chocolate will be safer in the fridge or freezer than in your pantry. Dark chocolate lasts one to two years; milk chocolate and white chocolate last eight to 10 months.
Hard candy and gummies are similar: Keep them in a cool, dry place and they will last about a year. That could be anything from a cool room-temperature cupboard to a freezer, so freeze them if you want to be sure they can survive the year.
The University of Missouri Extension warns that your candy may change its appearance while in the freezer. The fat in chocolate can “bloom,” causing a dusty appearance that should disappear when the chocolate is thawed. Brittles and chocolate-covered nuts may develop cracks while in the freezer, but these should also disappear with thawing.
Many homemade candies can be frozen, too, says the extension, including “fudge, divinity, brittle, taffy, creams and caramels.” Wrap them tightly, ideally in individual servings.
Here are the types of candy you shouldn’t freeze
Chocolate-covered cherries aren’t suitable for freezing, according to the University of Missouri Extension, because the filling expands when it freezes.
The National Confectioners Association advises against freezing candies that contain fruit or nuts, but it doesn’t get specific about which ones are in this category. I’m sure we’ve all had a frozen Snickers bar that came out great (and if you haven’t, please try this!) but proceed with caution if you’re freezing something with fruit or nuts for the first time.
Here are types of candy you can freeze, but only for a little while
The National Confectioners Association says that truffles and toffees should only be frozen for two months. Toffee only lasts a few weeks in the fridge, at least if it’s the fresh, homemade kind, so this extends its lifespan by a good bit.
If you have a particular recipe you’d like to try freezing for the long term (for example, so that you can make holiday candies early), see whether your recipe comes with storage instructions, or make a test batch early and see how well it lasts. The exact properties will probably depend on the ingredients you use, which may be why it’s not easy to find a firm answer. When it comes to commercially-packaged candy, anything that can last a while at room temperature is probably good for at least that long in the freezer.
What happens if you freeze candy for too long? Fortunately, it’s not a food safety issue. Old candy isn’t going to make you sick. But it might be freezer-burned or the texture may be different from when it was fresh.