I was scrolling through Amazon looking for sprinkles and cupcake toppers when I stumbled upon freeze dried candy. They have so many kinds and I thought wow that could be really fun to bake with! So first I did a little Google research to see if it would burn in cookies or not and found out that it doesn’t! So I ordered some and made this Freeze Dried Jolly Rancher Cookies Recipe! They turned out just fabulous too.
What Is Freeze Dried Candy?
Freeze-drying is a method of preserving food by removing moisture through sublimation, where water transitions directly from a solid (ice) to a gas (water vapor) without passing through the liquid state. This allows the candy to be preserved, retaining its original shape (kinda), flavor, color, and nutrition. So it’s essentially a delicate, very dry, version of itself. The slightest bump and it will crumble.
How Does Freeze Drying Candy Work?
The candy is first frozen at very low temperatures, usually below freezing point. It’s then placed in a vacuum chamber, where the pressure is reduced significantly. This creates a low-pressure environment necessary for sublimation. The temperature in the vacuum chamber is raised slightly, causing the ice crystals in the frozen candy to vaporize directly into water vapor. This process removes most of the moisture from the candy without causing it to melt. Then the candy is quickly sealed in a moisture-resistant package to prevent reabsorption of moisture from the air.
Why You Will Love This Freeze Dried Jolly Rancher Cookies Recipe
- Aroma: The smell of the Freeze Dried Jolly Ranchers is very strong (in a wonderful way!) it’s really nostalgic- it reminded me of my childhood!
- Color: The colors are bright and vibrant. It adds a lovely shade to the cookie dough, the frosting, and makes a super pretty garnish.
- Flavor: Not only is the smell nostalgic, so is the flavor! The Freeze Dried Jolly Ranchers add a fun, whimsical, and strong flavor to the cookies and frosting! It’s even better than flavor extract!
- Texture: It adds a fun extra little crunch that’s super tasty and pops in your mouth.
Baking Tips & Cooking Hacks
I like to separate the Freeze Dried Jolly Ranchers by color and add the darker colors to the dough and frosting. Then save the lighter colors for topping garnish. It’s super pretty and helps you distinguish flavors better.
Don’t skip chilling the dough as it really helps the cookies hold shape and ensures the delicate FD-JR don’t burn.
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Vanilla Cake Mix – I used Betty Crocker but you can use any kind you want! You can also try other flavors like Lemon or Funfetti.
- Eggs – Can be replaced with a vegan substitute if you wish such as banana or apple sauce.
- Vegetable Oil
- Vanilla Frosting – I used the jar kind but you can always make fresh buttercream frosting!
- Freeze Dried Jolly Ranchers – there are so many kinds of freeze dried candies you can use like skittles, peach rings, and more.
Freeze Dried Jolly Rancher Cookies Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- Medium Cookie Scoop
- 1 Box Of Vanilla Cake Mix
- 2 Eggs
- ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
- 16 oz Vanilla Frosting
- 3 oz Freeze Dried Jolly Ranchers
- When I made these cookies I separated the freeze dried jolly ranchers by color for aesthetic purposes but you don’t have to do that
- There was also a lot of powder of mixed color in the bottom of the bag (think of an empty bag of Cheetos) and I went ahead and used that in the cookie dough as well
- Crush the candies up, they are so delicate and crush up very easily
- You can use a plastic bag and a rolling pin or literally just your hand
- Next combine your box cake mix, eggs, and oil and whisk until your cookie dough forms
- After the dough is properly formed then you can add about ½ cup of the freeze dried candy – I used the mix from the bottom of the bag and 3 green ones
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper then use a medium cookie scoop to form the cookie dough balls – don’t over crowd them
- Bake for 14 minutes
- In the meantime combine ½ cup of the freeze dried Jolly Ranchers in the frosting
- I used all my blues
- I also saved all my pink for garnish
- Once your cookies cool down to room temperature you can drizzle some of the frosting on top as well as some more crushed up Jolly Ranchers
More Cookie Recipe Ideas You May Like:
- Cheesecake Stuffed Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Cookies
- Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake
- Banana Bread Cookies
- Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Recipe
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cheesecake Cookie Recipe
- Pineapple Cookies
- Funfetti Cookies
How To Store Your Freeze Dried Jolly Rancher Cookies Recipe
Wait for the cookies to cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container. Then you can store them on the counter for 1-2 days max.
If you need longer storage you can keep them (still in the airtight container) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. But as the time passes the Freeze Dried Jolly Ranchers will start to absorb moisture and become kind of stale in texture. For that reason I don’t recommend long term storage in the freezer and it’s best to eat your Freeze Dried Jolly Rancher Cookies Recipe within 1-2 days.