Tagged With candy

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Something about the holidays makes people want to gift sweet, homemade treats to each other. Even the most kitchen-avoidant among us flock to theirs to whip up seasonal confections. If you possess such an impulse but, like me, are quite lazy, I have good news: we have many treats you can DIY, with required effort ranging from “falling off a log” to “wow, I must love this person a good bit.”

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Video: “Ugh, saltwater taffy is kind of gross.” That’s what Marisa Wu thought years ago, when a colleague suggested she make some of her own. But then she investigated and figured out how to cook taffy flavoured by real ingredients, not lab-created chemicals. Now Wu runs Salty Road Taffy, a popular high-end taffy brand where the banana flavour tastes like (and is made with) real bananas, where each recipe is carefully calibrated and made on antique equipment.

Wu gave us a video tour of the taffy factory, and talked about juggling production, marketing, and other aspects of her small business from a desk on the factory floor.

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The first time I tasted orangette - after making a batch out of curiosity and kind of expecting to hate it - my tongue perked up in recognition. It was like a gourmet version of those sugared gummy orange "slices" except way better. Orangette, or candied orange peel, is now my go-to giftable sweet.

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Whether you chose to give out chocolate or take small people trick-or-treating, you will no doubt find yourself in possession of some amount of Halloween chocolate on November 1. You could shovel it into your mouth mindlessly, dole out a piece each day and make it last until Christmas (my mum's favourite), or you could take a page out of Taco Bell's menu and fry it in a flour tortilla.

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There are sweet makers, and there are sweet eaters, and I am firmly in the latter camp. Though I don't mind a cathartic cooking sesh, my main goal - during the holidays especially - is to churn out the treats. This is why this fudge, which takes less than five minutes of your active time, gets made every single Christmas.

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As we approach Halloween, there will be much talk of making your own Snickers or DIY-ing candy corn. I usually leave that stuff alone, as the Snickers bar has already been perfected. If I'm going to make my own candy, I want it to be unique, special, and -- why not? -- boozy.