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I wanted to cut up some Hot Tamales candies for cookies, but had a horrible time cutting them. I couldn't get the candies small enough and they stuck together. I tried cutting with a knife and a food processor, the candies stuck to the blades. The hot tamales candy are large and difficult to cut. I wanted pieces about the size of medium chocolate chips. Any suggestions?

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  • OK, Hot Tamales are not "red hots"... they're totally different candies. Red Hots are practically hard candies. Hot Tamales are soft candies. "Red Hots" are also called "Cinnamon Imperials". I was trying to figure out why you needed to cut them up because normal red hots are exactly the size you want. – Catija Jan 2 '17 at 23:02
  • Sorry, the original recipe called for Red Hots, couldn't find them at Christmas time and I purchased Hot Tamales. I know I can't exchange them exactly, but thought they would go nicely in a sugar cookie base. – Kyera Jan 2 '17 at 23:04
  • Fair enough :D I've edited your question to reflect that. If you can't make the hot tamales work, you'll have better luck with the cinnamon imperials. If you look for that name, they should still sell them in most areas. Hopefully they will bake up the same. As I said, the texture is different between the two, so the hot tamales may melt, particularly if they're chopped up, while the imperials will not. – Catija Jan 2 '17 at 23:07
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    Of interest: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/24620/… The scissor answer might work for you too. – Jolenealaska Jan 2 '17 at 23:28
  • I was thinking of putting them in a baggie, covering with a dish cloth and lightly smashing with a rolling pin to break through the hard exterior. If that works, then scissor cutting with sugar. – Kyera Jan 2 '17 at 23:34
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Freeze them. After they are frozen, put them in the food processor and you should no longer have the issue of them sticking to the blades. As Dougal mentions below, you can also freeze the blade to help keep the temp down.

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    +1 This works for almost any kind of gooey or gelatinous ingredient, even soft fruit. – John Feltz Jan 3 '17 at 2:11
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    Perhaps also put the cutter part of your blender in the fridge/freezer to help keep the temp down. – dougal 5.0.0 Jan 3 '17 at 7:15
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    ..and depending on final recipe: you could add a pinch of flour to the process to keep them from sticking to each other. I do this when dicing dried fruits for canoli. – Paulb Jan 3 '17 at 11:50
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    @Dougal I am adding that to my answer as an improvement. – Caleb Jan 3 '17 at 16:43
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    Also, don't break your teeth trying to eat the frozen candy when you take it out of the freezer! – Caleb Jan 6 '17 at 1:57

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