Not only is it quick and easy to set up, use, and clean up, but the Cotton Candy tastes really good and is so much fun to eat!
Out of the box, you get the machine, very basic instructions, a sugar scoop, and two re-usable plastic cones.
My only complaint so far is with the instructions. There was a little bit of information about using hard candy in the machine, but almost no information on using sugar (which we happened to have plenty of).... so we started experimenting!
Yes! You CAN use regular sugar (one scoop will work), YES you can use food coloring to change the color, and YES you can flavor it (we tried vanilla). This by far made the lightest, fluffiest cotton candy, but was not loved by all as it didn't have the intense flavor that Jolly Ranchers and Lifesavers had.
I can tell you this of the candies we tried:
~ Lifesavers (Use 3 at a time) were the best to use based on how the cotton candy turned out, and how it tasted. (Saw this hint online and completely agree)
~ Jolly Rancher Lollipops came in next because they made a slightly more sticky cotton candy that seemed to be a little less light and fluffy. (Sadly, we didn't have any normal Jolly Rancher Candies in the house, so I pounded on the lollipop with a can opener until the candy broke, the stick came out and I had smaller pieces to put into the machine) BUT THESE TASTED GREAT!
~ DON'T try Jone's Soda candies in a tin... they just sit there and you have to clean them out
~ DON'T try Fun Dip candy... the mix just kind of turns into a sticky mess that is hard to clean up
~ DON'T try Nerds candies... the outside turns into a kind of gel while the inside stays hard and clear... I'm actually a little afraid to eat these ever again!
After a hugely successful weekend of trying this machine out, I'm going to jump online and find some actual Cotton Candy sugar so I can test that out as well.
** Special Note: The instructions say that kids shouldn't use the machine and I completely agree! The heating element that heats up the inner cup that you put the candy/sugar in to make the actual cotton candy is slightly exposed, and I caught one section of cotton candy on fire as I was winding it onto the cone because it slipped under the cup and made its way onto the hot element. But don't worry, it was just a quick little flame and it put itself out. :) So... enough said! **
Backstory - this is the first year our neighborhood can't do fireworks for July 4th, so I wanted something fun and "new" for the kids to try out at the block party, so I thought to myself, why not fill them full of sugary goodness, and that is why I picked this up! So neighbors - watch out!
Final thought: While experimenting with different candies, my niece and I found that for making lots of cotton candy in different flavors, the Lifesavers had the shortest down-time. In other words, we didn't really have to stop and then wait for the machine to re-heat. We just sorted the candies out and had them ready to make the next batch, turned the machine off long enough for the cup to stop spinning, added the next set of three candies and started it up again. Often, it would immediately start making the cotton candy.
by Nostalgia Electrics
Kitchen Gadgets ~ Candy Machine
Edition Reviewed: Actual Product - I picked this up myself at a local store.
About the Hard and Sugar-Free Cotton Candy Maker:
Hard and Sugar-Free Cotton Candy Maker
The Hard Candy/Sugar Free Cotton Candy Maker transforms your favorite hard candies into fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth cotton candy. For a low-calorie treat, sugar free candies can be used. Simply plug in, turn on, pour yummy candies into the center receptacle, and start spinning colorful and tasty treats. This fanciful product is fun for the whole family and brings out the kid in everyone. People love to collect the delicate webs of cotton candy on their cones while circling the translucent pink bowl. Instantly, gatherings are transformed into carnivals and dessert time into party time!
About Nostalgia Electrics: (from their site)
At the Nostalgia Products Group, LLC. we design, manufacture and market the Nostalgia Electrics brand of small electric appliances. Our wide range of innovative products our developed to excite consumers and retailers alike.
We sell through all major channels of distribution from both within the United States and worldwide. Our retail and e-retail sales include all major retail chains, home shopping-type networks, and e-commerce companies. Internationally, our products carry the GS and SSA electrical approvals. We ship to over 30 countries worldwide.
*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)