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Candy And Confections Cookbook
My great adventure in candy started many years ago when I wanted to do a little something on the side to help out with our debts. It turned out to be more of a business than we ever expected. The most candy we ever made during a Christmas season was some over two thousand pounds. One day when I was working alone, I used a 50-pound box of chocolate just for peanut butter cups. Remember, no machines were involved; everything was done by hand. Chocolate was melted in a slow oven in a 13-quart mixing bowl. All candy was put in paper cups by hand to pack boxes. Imagine all the stirring and dipping! We finally quit because it was getting to be almost more than we could handle in our basement, although I do make some every year for gifts and so on.
The main reason for this cookbook is the many requests I get for the candy recipes. I have often heard the remark, "I can't make candy; it never turns out right." I think it's about the easiest thing a person can make. If you bake a cake and it flops, it's a goner. But if you cook a batch of candy and it turns sugary (before you stir it, of course), you can just pour a little water in the bottom of the pan you originally cooked it in and slowly reheat it, keeping it stirred, and bring it up to the original temperature, and start all over. Remember, practice makes perfect.
The Christmas candy making usually started in mid-November, when I would make order sheets of all the varieties of candy I made and send them out to the customers. They were to have them back by Thanksgiving with the date they needed the order finished...and stir and mix we did!
I had many interesting experiences, most of them good, during our candy making years. We had some customers who would come in the evening to pick up their candy. They sometimes stayed a while and visited, even helping us a little, just for fun. They liked trying to dip centers and so on, getting chocolate on their clothes, hands and face-what fun! More than once I saw people open bags almost as soon as they were out the door, and start eating candy. One customer would lock her candy up in a safe at her local bank so her husband wouldn't eat it before Christmas!
When my husband was still single and living at home, his sister would make divinity. He always snuck around and ate it. Well, she decided to hide it good and hard so he wouldn't find it. She hid it way up in the attic! Wouldn't you know, he found it. He wasn't that crazy about divinity; he just wanted to show her he could find it.
When I was still living at home, I tried to make candy one when Mom wasn't home. Things didn't go too badly till I melted the chocolate. I got the water too hot in the double boiler and the chocolate was too thick, so I added a little water to the chocolate! What a mess...the whole batch was ruined. But then, isn't that how we learn-from our own expensive mistakes?
We feel this is a unique collection of recipes. The book was mainly started for the candy recipes, but we also added some other favorites we're sure you'll enjoy. You will notice that hardly any mixes are used; almost everything is made from scratch. Of course, it takes a little longer, but it's well worth it. Doing something the fast way takes all the enjoyment out of cooking.
Candies & Confections
Cooked Cremes & Fudges
Frostings & Toppings
My Own Candy Recipes
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