The Unexpected Candy You Should Roast Over The Campfire

With summertime comes the official camping trip season, and one of the best traditions to celebrate while in the great outdoors is roasting some marshmallows around the campfire. While combining those marshmallows with chocolate and graham crackers is a perpetually flawless creation, it's always fun to think about different ingredients that can upgrade your s'mores. Or you can even experiment with entirely different alternatives to roast for warm, caramelized goodness, like glazed donuts. An exciting and extra colorful campfire option has entered the chat: Starburst candies. 

Like marshmallows, Starbursts contain gelatin. Made from animal collagen, gelatin is what creates that ooey, gooey, and even jiggly texture. When you think about it, both marshmallows and Starbursts have that dense yet springy chew to them. When marshmallows go over the open flame of a campfire, their exteriors brown and crisp, and the gelatin inside creates a satisfyingly sweet goo. This is what happens with Starbursts: When roasted, their outside becomes like a candy shell to crack into, and when you do, you find a fruity, sugary, stretchy interior reminiscent of saltwater taffy.

All you need to seriously update your favorite camping ritual is the same kind of metal skewers you'd use with marshmallows. Carefully hold the skewer over the fire until the Starbursts start to drip — that means they're ready. Make sure you let them cool for at least two minutes before enjoying them, as they will be extremely hot.

How to enjoy campfire-roasted Starbursts

You can easily roast one to four Starburst candies at a time on one skewer. Everyone has their favorite Starburst flavors, and the brand has even acknowledged that by creating all-pink packages of the candies, but the most fun approach is to stack different flavors on one skewer. As the Starbursts begin to melt over the fire, their colors will drip and swirl together, creating an almost tie-dyed treat.

For different ways to dig into roasted Starbursts beyond eating them right off the skewers — carefully, of course — you can turn to the classic s'mores construction and place the taffy-like result between the crunch of two graham crackers. If you want to add chocolate, white chocolate would be a good choice because of its more neutral, creamy sweetness. Another idea is letting the Starbursts be the vividly hued stars of a dessert kebab. You can get some healthy treats in on the fun: Fruits like pineapple, peach, apple, and banana are easy to roast over an fire. You can even add marshmallows for some more chewy fun.

Less a recipe and more an art project, kids may also get a kick out of sculpting their roasted Starbursts into different shapes. Once the candies are safely cooled, they'll still be tacky and moldable. You can remove them from the skewers and let little ones further mix colors and make shapes for their own candy designs.