Liz Gutman originally hails from Costa Mesa, CA (or “The Table by the Sea,” as no one else calls it). In 2007 she began working for pastry chef Will Goldfarb and enrolled in the French Culinary Institute’s pastry program shortly thereafter. While pursuing her Grand Diplôme, she worked for two years with the innovative chocolatier Rhonda Kave at Roni-Sue’s Chocolates.
Liz met her business partner, Jen King, at the French Culinary Institute and they became fast friends. They were soon sharing preclass snacks and recipe ideas on a regular basis. Realizing a shared passion for sustainably produced sweets made with fresh, superior-quality ingredients, they applied for a vendor slot at the famed Brooklyn Flea Market in 2009. Their candy was a runaway hit and Liddabit Sweets was born. Since then, they have garnered attention from The Today Show, O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Food & Wine, GQ, New York magazine, and many others.
Get ready for a candy revolution! Now, instead of commercial, processed chocolate bars; neon, sugary lollipops; or other boring candies that are ubiquitous at Halloween, indulge in artisanal confections that will take you to new heights of deliciousness. Think creamy-dense chocolate truffles, juicy fruit jellies, crackly nut brittles, and the French-style sea salt caramels that Daniel Boulud claimed were better than those he’d tasted in France. They’re all here in The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook: How to Make Truly Scrumptious Candy in Your Own Kitchen (Workman / October 2012) and, yes, you really can make them in your own kitchen.
Authors Liz Gutman and Jen King are the classically trained pastry chefs who traded in their toques to make candy—and now lead the candy-craft movement as proprietors of Liddabit Sweets, a Brooklyn confectionery. Their irresistible creations have drawn the attention of The Today Show, O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Food & Wine, GQ, New York magazine, and more.
Geared toward home cooks, The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook is the perfect marriage of sugar and spice, packed with 75 foolproof recipes, full-color photographs, and a dash of attitude. Liz and Jen begin with Candy 101, a chapter dedicated to basic ingredients, techniques, and the equipment (minimal—really!) you’ll need to get started. A handy, at-a-glance-guide helps you find the perfect recipe in seconds, whether you are looking for something nut-free, fruity, quick and easy, or a candy that ships well for a special gift.
And no matter what you are in the mood for, The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook has exactly the treat to satisfy any craving from tender salty sweet pralines, to chewy, chompy taffies to gooey, melty caramels. Plus candy bars crammed with crunchy nuts or crisp cereal flakes, or stacked tall with layers of crumbly cookie or fluffy marshmallow.
The authors share their top-secret candymaking tricks, such as:
• Gummi Candies (page 112) can be made with Jell-O and a few other simple ingredients.
• An intensely flavorful beer reduction is the key to their famous Beer and Pretzel Caramels (page 133).
• Coconut oil is what gives the Andes Candy-like Chocolate Mint Meltaways (page 92) their creamy melt-in-your-mouth texture.
• Add cayenne pepper to the dredging sugar for Candied Citrus Peel (page 114) for a surprising kick.
• Give a S’mores Bar (page 271) that fresh-from-the-campfire flavor by infusing the chocolate ganache with smoked tea.
• Warm ganache with a hair dryer on low to soften it up and help the layers of a candy bar stick together (page 252).
Through it all, Liz and Jen remind us that home candy-making is meant to be fun. Their offbeat humor, step-by-step photographs, down-to-earth advice, and clear, easy-to-follow directions make this the guide to turn to whether making candy for a treat, a holiday, a gift, a party favor, or a bake sale.