The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman and Jen King

I'm a candy fan. I'll admit it. There is something decadent about spending time in the kitchen sans flour and yeast and just create something un-wholesome, just for the comfort and love of candy. Unless you argue that chocolate is a power food, then, well, you are doing something good for you, too. I also love new cookbooks that show me new things with familiar ingredients and turn them into something fun. Something fun is what Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook is all about. Written by co-authors and co-owners of Laddabit Sweets in New York, Liz Gutman and Jen King explore the 'Magic of Homemade Candy.'

Is creating candy at home hard? According their introduction, it is easier than you think, with the right tools and recipes that will enable successful results. To begin with, the authors use a term that I live by, namely because in culinary school it is ingrained into your brain - mise en place. My kids are little cookers who know that term, and any professional cook knows that good organization generally leads to successful adventures in cooking. I love that they put that in there. Also, I prefer to measure by weight rather than volume and you'll find both in the recipes. And if you want to experiment a little, they give a good Improvising Dos and Don'ts to get you started.

There are seven chapters in the book, each exploring something a bit different: Candy 101; Chocolate Loves You and Wants You to be Happy; Gummi and Gooey and Chewy OH MY!; Creamy Dreamy Candies; Crispety Crunchety, Sticky and Scrunchety; Party Time in Candyland; and Candy Bars for Mad Scientists.  Tucked inside the chapters is a great chocolate tempering guide and their version of pâte à glacer - which is no longer a trade-secret coating, and stages of sugar explanation. When I have multiple things on the stove and not enough thermometers to go around, I use the finger test for different sugar stages, and the book gives great pictures for those wanting to see what the stages look like when the hot sugar is dropped in water.

A favorite resource in the Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook was the "Speeddate The Candies" chart which listed all the recipes in a chart format with different attributes checked off, making finding a specific one very easy. Attributes include: Nutty; Boozy; Ship It, Ship It Good (very handy to know before making something to send off); Vegan; Gluten/Dairy/Nut-Free; and Make With the Wee Ones. There are 18 different categories for all 75 recipes.

All in all, one of the better candy cookbooks out there. But if I had to rate it on a scale of 'funness' though, this was off the charts. The photos were as much fun to flip through as the actual text.

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Disclosure: This eARC was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.


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