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50 pounds later, I return after a well deserved break

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Pictured above is this year’s batch of holiday candies. I started with 17 pounds of chocolate, 10 pounds of sugar, 1 1/2 gallons of heavy cream, 5 pounds of butter, 1/2 gallon of corn syrup, 10 pounds of almonds and a few other ingredients to produce about 50 pounds of candies. This year I made 7 different kinds of candy: English Toffee, Coffee English Toffee, Classic Cream Caramels dipped in milk chocolate and another batch just wrapped, Espresso Caramels, Gianduja Truffles, Mocha Truffles, and Pecan Maple Caramels. I will share more detailed photos of each in a later post.

With each holiday season comes a return to The List, which I use to manage recipients of holiday candies. The total number of recipients has been hovering at just over 40 recipients over the years to divide the nearly 50 pounds of candy between. I wish I could make 100 pounds of candy, but I just don’t have the time. It is always a challenge to pick out 40 or so recipients from the ever growing list of friends. Read more about the challenges of maintaining the list.

Near Disaster
I almost thought my chocolate tempering machine broke while dipping caramels. The display started to flicker, the motor sound changed. To be honest, I was almost relieved, since I still had to make and dip truffles. A broken tempering machine this late in the season would mean no more candymaking and a much needed rest for me.

The past few years I have been taking a few days off of work in mid-December to help absorb the more than 40 hours that go into my annual candymaking marathon (read about last year’s). I wasn’t able to take time off this year since I just started a new job, and needed what little vacation time I had for the Holidays. The tempering machine hung in there, and apart from making a few strange noises that night, continued to turn out great tempered chocolate for my caramels and truffles.