Sunday, April 16, 2017

Candy Making 2017

No one would guess looking at our kitchen today that 24 hours ago there was chocolate and confections spread across every horizontal surface and most of the utensils and bowls.  There was a constant chatter of conversation, a stack of bowls and spatulas that needed to be washed and used again, plus a pair of guinea pigs that managed to sleep through most of the hubbub.

All signs of a successful day.

My usual candy making crew showed up; we were in full swing by noontime.  The recipe list was most of the usual, too:  butter creams, mint Oreo truffles, peanut butter balls, cookie dough truffles, ginger nut clusters, paves, straw baskets and toffee. 

We had one new addition - pumpkin cheesecake truffles.  I had a half cup of frozen pureed pumpkin I had roasted in November, which was too small for cookie or bread recipes.  As I pondered what to do with it, I rediscovered this Halloween themed recipe I had bookmarked, and rolled it into the Easter lineup.  Everyone really liked these; they've been put on the list for next year.  We dipped the truffles in white chocolate, which was nice, but I bet they'd be good in dark chocolate.  We'll try that next year.

I was willing to take on another dipped item because I managed to eliminate dipping the toffee.  I found this toffee recipe and merged the chocolate chip and nut method with my toffee base.  The end result is excellent!  The pieces are thicker than my usual batch, but it's less dense with the pressed-in nuts.  Since they weren't dipped, they could be snapped into smaller pieces (and some big ones, too!).  Everyone liked how the toffee looked.  Drizzled with a little leftover white chocolate and they looked even fancier.  Faster, easier, more impressive looking recipe?  Sold.

Additionally, I replaced the Nestle butterscotch chips with Ghirardelli chips this year.  Much better.  I was told they melted smoother and tasted a whole lot better than the other chips.  Another keeper.

Candy Crew 2017 (half of us laughing at the photographer's antics,
half of us laughing at the goofy light-up chick on the table
We corrected some mistakes from last year (like really hot white chocolate doesn't cover well).  We discovered I forgot to take some notes, too (like how best to load up the tempering machine).  I got too cocky tempering the dark chocolate and totally botched the process, but the dipped chocolates still managed to harden correctly and I haven't seen any blooming.  (Whew!)  I've updated all my notes while the event is still fresh so maybe we won't have so many troubles next year.  And even though it can be a challenge with so many people in the kitchen at once, we really need six people when it comes time for dipping and decorating.

Overall, a success.  I am enjoying my sugar coma this afternoon, as I'm sure the rest of my crew is as well.


  1. Maureen had told me about you and your candy making gang and said you had run into the same problem as I on the butterscotch chips from Nestle tasting odd. Glad to hear the
    Ghirardelli chips were a great substitute. May I ask what it is that you make in candy with the Butterscotch chips? I'd like to know.

  2. It all looks delicious! Hope you had some veggies for the piggies to enjoy. Happy Easter & Happy Spring.


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