books

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


Instagram
  • Such a thoughtful birthday gift from @melissaweisspottery. Been using it every morning to get sugar from the sugar bowl out for coffee. Thanks, sweet friend!
  • If you're going to help a friend with wedding planning, then this is totally the view you should have whilst doing so. Lovely afternoon sipping hard cider, eating hush puppies, and helping @shelterprotectsyou plan, with @thecuriouseye @forvillagers @toandfromwithlove and Claire Hummel at the Grove Park Inn.
  • Bonsais, I love you. @thencarboretum
  • Wild berries for breakfast, with French toast. So, so good.
  • Quilts of flowers, from yesterday's @thencarboretum excursion.
  • Misty, magical day for strolling at the N.C. Arboretum.
  • Happy Friday, friends! Got a new
  • The Land of Sky, indeed.
  • This amazing pile of all organic produce hails from Hominy Valley Organic Farm, a gorgeous plot of earth just down the road from us. Tom's prices are astoundingly good (he posts a weekly listing of what's available on his FB page). If you're in the area, Fridays are open farm days for purchasing produce. If you go, please do tell him I sent you!
  • The amazing Dave Bauer, mastermind and baker extraordinaire behind @farmandsparrow and @allsoulspizza, cradling some precious loaves for yesterday's River District Tailgate Market. Easily the best bread (and pastries, and pizza!) I have EVER had!!!
  • Warm olive salad at @allsoulspizza... That's what I'm talkin' about!
  • Amazing flora to be found up on the Parkway right now!
my sponsors
Lucky-Design-7
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

A Sweet Deal (+ Giveaway!!!)

If you know me personally, then you know that I have a sweet tooth. It cannot be helped. It’s genetic, you see, with my Pop always having something sweet after dinner, his mom (Gran) always maintaining a candy drawer for her multitudinous grandkids to draw upon, my mom typically stashing atomic fire balls in her purse, and her mother (Nanny) drinking her iced tea as sweet as sweet can be (I cannot begin to tell you how many times we’re been out eating somewhere and she frustratedly states “this tea is not sweet enough”).
While I try to temper my cravings and enjoy my sugar judiciously, I will openly admit to enjoying a little sweet sumpin’ sumpin’ with regularity. You need the sweet in life to help to overcome the sour, yes? Owing to that tendency, and coupling it with a profound and abiding fondness for baking and confectionery-making, I found myself looking several weeks ago for a go-to how-to book on creating candy at home. And that’s when kismet struck.
Beth Sweet (one can only imagine the sweet tooth possessed by someone with such a last name!), editor at Lark Crafts (my publisher), knew nothing of my searching. And yet (AND YET!) she sent me an email wondering if I might be interested in reviewing and possibly giving away a copy of a new book she’d edited, Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home by Nina Wanat. How terribly serendipitous! How immensely auspicious! Why, yes, indeed, Beth, I would be interested! Yes. Indeed.
And so it was that this fine book on candy-making came into my world. With glorious styling and expert photography throughout (courtesy of White On Rice Couple Diane Cu and Todd Porter), Sweet Confections will make a home confectioner out of you in no time. The recipe titles alone are enough to make your teeth ache, your dentist grin, and your mouth water: Salted Chocolate Caramel Lollipops! Honeycomb Candy! Orange Walnut Chocolate Nougat! Vanilla Marshmallows!
If you, like me, enjoy the sweeter side of life, then I invite you to leave a comment below, sharing with me your absolute favorite sweet. It’s hard for me to choose favorites when it comes to this particular category, but, if backed into a corner, if forced on my life to pick just one, I’d probably say the salted caramels at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. They are absolutely transcendent; like giggles from a baby, they’ll soothe whatever ails you. I say this from a vantage point of much, much experience.
The giveaway will run for one week, ending next Monday, October 3rd (is it really October already?!!) midnight EST. As with prior contests, it’s open only to domestic small measure readers (sorry international buddies!). And do be sure to leave me some means of reaching you in your comment, either by leaving an email address or a link back to your blog or website.
Good luck, sweet things!!!

*As a sweet treat, Beth recently posted this Candied Apple recipe from Sweet Confections, perfect for autumn!


**UPDATE: The winner of “Sweet Confections” is Booga J, lucky #18 according to the Random Widget! Thank you everyone that stopped by. Look for another fantastic giveaway soon (this one is personal-it’s for a copy of my friend Jodi ‘s brand spanking new book, Cake Ladies!!!)!

91 Responses to A Sweet Deal (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • elisa says:

    i not only have a sweet tooth but after a dozen years of motherhood i have a chocolate quota which MUST be met each week. the book looks gorgeous x

  • Yasmin says:

    And, I was just looking for something sweet to eat! My very favorite sweet would have to be any type of salted caramel followed by the amazing dark chocolate with a hint of mint (at Maison du Chocolat in NYC). Mmmm.

  • mandy says:

    My sweettooth is ridiculous. My favorite candy is from Italy called coffee pockets. There is a liquid espresso center surrounded by a layer of sugar surrounded by a layer of chocolate…and it all melts deliciously in your mouth.

  • MEG says:

    My favorite sweet would be anything invloving sea salt and dark chocolate… throw some carmel into the mix and I'm in heaven!

  • Carissa says:

    I also have an insatiable sweet tooth…. And it's too hard to pick just one thing, but I do love a good brittle.

  • ellen says:

    Here I am trying to reduce my sugar intake in general and yet I desperately hope to win this book! If I AM going to eat fewer sweets, then the ones I eat should be truly wonderful, as the ones in this book surely would be. My favorite indulgence would probably be dark chocolate covered mints – like the After Eights my mother served at holiday dinners when I was young.

  • Denise says:

    How can you have just one favorite sweet? Cherry pie, chocolate meltaways, gram's popcorn balls, candy apples, and my childhood fav giant Pixie stix (the plastic kind that you tried to chew through because mom didnt have anything to open it with until you got home and lord knows waiting til you got home was not an option LOL).

  • Gini says:

    Today I pick lemon curd. I love love love sweets in general, but I really could just eat lemon curd out of the jar with a spoon for the rest of my life!

  • My sweet tooth is notorious. I've made an art of of finding healthy alternatives to satiate it, but sometimes only the real thing will do. Top of my list would be truffles from the Chocolate Fetish in Asheville and Lemon Icebox Pie. I usually make the Lemon Icebox Pie only for holidays because if if it isn't eaten by company I WILL eat the whole thing myself. So yummy!!

  • angesinclair says:

    My cravings usually tend much toward the savory than the sweet, but where blackberry pie is involved, I'm powerless. Especially if it's made by my mom, with berries freshly picked that day. Nothing beats it.

  • Erika says:

    Well, I absolutely concur with the salted caramel chorus…however, one of the best sweets I've ever had is the Egyptian Chocolate at Cafe Angelina in Paris. Think Chocolate Lounge liquid truffle – but thicker, darker, and served with a small bowl of fresh whipped cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

  • I love violet flavored mints and gum, and rose flavored turkish delight. Guess I like my sweets with a side of floral ; ).

    margaret christine
    frommaggiesfarm.blogspot.com

  • Sunny says:

    Dark chocolate covered almonds, but dark chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are a very close second.

  • Stef says:

    I was born to a chocaholic, so there wasn't even an option for me. :) I think my favorite might have to be…fudge. Or chocolate chip cookies. Or dark chocolate truffles with dark chocolate creme or ganache inside… Do we really have to pick just one? This book looks truly awesome and devilish.

  • Heather says:

    I'm simply mad for chocolates!!

  • Chantal says:

    I have to say my favorite sweet is a chocolate caramel brittle that my mom would make every holiday season. It is just so delicious and brings back so many happy memories!

  • Maegan says:

    My favorite sweet treat is “buckeyes”, peanut butter chocolatey goodness!

    P.S. I absolutely love your books! I saw them on a display at a printer that I work with in Canada and I had to have them all!

    You can let me know that i have won at maegan1@aol.com. : )

  • BoogaJ says:

    My favorite sweet is toffee which I would love to learn to make. My daughter and I were diagnosed with Celiac Disease and cannot eat many sweets for fear of getting sick. Making my own candies would be awesome — especially for my 10 year old who misses out when her friends are having the sweets she would like to be eating.

  • Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • mybigthirty says:

    I think my favorite sweet is one I make myself: good milk chocolate with toasted coconut and sliced toasted almonds. Simple, easy, and absolutely delicious.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't have a real sweet tooth – that's my husband's role. But when I do need a fix I go to my childhood fave of peanut butter, butter & honey mixed and spread over warm bread. Sprinkle a touch of salt on top & it's divine simplicity!

    Amy L
    alpetcr8z@yahoo.com

  • Kathryn says:

    My favorite would have to be a chocolate I had once: marshmallow and caramel enrobed in dark chocolate with almond bits on top. So. Delightful.

  • My absolute most favorite candy would have to be the cookies and cream hershey bars. I haven't had one in forever though. :)

  • jennifer_f says:

    Ooh, I would love to make some of these recipes for Christmas time!

    My favorite sweet would be dark chocolate covered caramels topped with sea salt.

  • Wendy says:

    My favorite sweet (currently) is a toss up between birthday cake filled with my own champagne mango and key lime jam and homemade oreo truffles.

  • unsightly says:

    What a beautiful book. I may have to check it out even if I don't win it.

  • no4daughter says:

    My favorite sweet is chocolate covered strawberries. I love the flavor combination.

  • Heidi says:

    Oh my, how can I choose?? I consider myself a connoisseur of brownies (I remember fondly the cayenne dusted ones from French Broad). As for confections, my favorite combinations are dark chocolate and cinnamon and chocolate/peanut butter. Caramels are becoming more of a fave.

  • Julie says:

    Something I've always wanted to do–make my own candy! I also have a sweet tooth. My favorite is definitely torrone, the soft Italian vanilla-scented nougat candy with bits of hazelnut. One July I was laughed out of a Florentine sweet shop when I asked if they had any. They explained to me that it is a Christmastime treat. Now why would you deprive yourself of such wonderful stuff for 11 months?!

  • It's hard to beat chocolate or caramel, but I do love Haribo brand gummi bears! I love how chewy they are and the flavors are so much better than regular gummis.

  • Anonymous says:

    While I love home baked sweets the best, my favorite candy would have to be the Lake Champlain Maple Crunch.

    If you have never had this, I pity you. It is a maple candy crunchy center covered with a really smooth, strong dark chocolate.

    And, it's made right near where I grew up!

    tory at aya dot yale dot edu

  • oukay says:

    One of the most delicious and crave-worthy sweets I have had is something called Fudge Fingers (not at all like the name). I got the recipe from the restaurant at the Royal Lochnagar(sp?) Distillery in Scotland years ago.

  • Those sweets looked so pretty! I love things that are salty + sweet at the same time, so this whole “salted carmel chocolate” trend is RIGHT up my alley! :)
    Thanks for the opportunity,
    Sarah M
    sslamast@gmail.com

  • Mama Bird says:

    I come from a long line of sweetthooths. My grandmother always served dessert first at her table! My soft spot is for baked goods… dark chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with sea salt currently tops the list.

    Thanks for the chance to win this sweet book!

  • CCarter says:

    My mom's homemade pistachio brittle tops the list for me! That stuff is DIVINE!

  • Kay says:

    May favorite sweet is homemade cinnamon rolls with lots of yeast flavor….but light on the icing.

  • Hard to say what my fav would be, but I know hubby would love that Honeycomb candy!

  • Hugh says:

    Simply Heath Bars. Nothing is better.

  • Kathleen says:

    My favorite FAVORITE dessert is Kouign-amann, a Breton cake that's pretty much just butter and sugar somehow formed into a flaky crust. I ate it all the time with I was in France and miss it dearly each day…

    curlygirl8988@yahoo.com

  • Mmmmmm! Need I say more?

  • Helena says:

    That looks like a lovely book. My husband keeps saying he wants to learn how to make candy, but I've always been intimidated by it. A good reference might help me get over that. :)

  • Tony R says:

    I love dark chocolate, so much so that I now eat pure cocoa nibs in my granola and rice pudding

  • Crystal says:

    I can never say no to cheesecake. Ever. Sweet tooth takes over. “Just one bite!” it says.

  • This post is dangerous! My favorite sweet is Florentines, which I make once a year, at the holidays. So simple, yet so perfect!

  • cabighorse says:

    My favorite has to be an old Oklahoma candy called Aunt Bill's. Best made with two people, it puts pecan pralines to shame. Dangerously delicious. I'd like to see how some of the book's recipes compare.

  • petoskystone says:

    only one….caramel anything! that book looks wonderful…marshmallows would be the first thing to try.

  • Kirsten says:

    Being a rather salty individual myself I can wholeheartedly attest to the deliciousness of French Broad's salted caramels. However, my husband and daughter have sweet tooths that know no bounds so this cookbook would be excellent, especially considering Halloween and Christmas are right around the corner.

  • Molly says:

    I adore the truffles from Marie Belle chocolates. They are transcendental.

  • Anonymous says:

    I love sweets too, as do my husband and 4 kids so this would be perfect!
    I have made a few candy items, caramels, toffee, lollies, and fudge, but would love to try some new things to surprise people for the holidays.

    Michelle
    steim99@yahoo.com

  • Karen says:

    I love chocolate and peanut butter especially fudgy salty peanut butter bars!

  • Meg says:

    Choosing just one is so hard! But I guess I'll say my favorite sweet is a jasmine chocolate truffle. Mmmmm.

  • Rois says:

    Maple sugar candy is my #1 favorite but it's hard to come by.So I usually settle for dark chocolate and carmel.

  • Susan says:

    Comfort food at it's finest. Two layer chocolate cake with old fashioned boiled chocolate frosting. The kind that gets hard like fudge.

    sheepishgrin(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Alexandra says:

    Tunnock's Caramel Wafers oh yum yum yum

  • Yummm Yumm! Love chocolate truffles
    lavignephoto.com

  • Michelle says:

    I love sweets (too much). I love all kinds from Lemon Meringue to Candy Corn, from Maple Nut Goodies to German Chocolate Cake. Mmmm…

  • Kate says:

    My choice of treat would be Fairy Food (or Sponge Candy as I think it's known in more parts of the country!) My dad always gave my mom a box for special occasions and if we were good, we were allowed a piece out of her box after dinner sometimes. It reminds me of home, family and childhood. :)

  • Stephanie says:

    My ABSOLUTE favorite is the banana pudding with chocolate ganache (& homemade vanilla wafer oh & spun sugar) from the Peninsula Grille in Charleston, SC. I would go here even if the dinner was gross…the pudding is THAT delicious! Oh boy…I'm craving it now!

  • sarah says:

    I have a super sweet tooth, but I'm not a chocolate fan – my very favorite in all the world sweet is real maple sugar candy. I love salted caramel just about anything, too! The book looks incredible, I'd love to check it out.

  • Right now I would say my favorite candy is the caramels I made last year for Christmas from an old recipe I found. It was so neat to be able to make them myself, and they tasted like Werther's candies. :)

  • Erica says:

    Chocolate Truffles or mousse would have to be my favorite, but I also have a sweet spot for my great grandmothers chocolate covered cherries..the nostalgia definitely gives them an edge on everything else!

  • Oh, how wonderful! I have a house~full of sweet tooths! And of course, I collect cookbooks!!!

  • Molly says:

    Love the salted caramels at French Broad Chocolate Lounge, but my all time favorite sweet is probably good shortbread.

  • redhott says:

    Oh man, all you chocolate people! I love sweets and am comforted to see I am not at all alone. If I had to pick just one (extreme duress!) it would be black licorice. I find as I get older the salted licorice tastes better and better. But I am eating candy corn right now.

  • JenEngland says:

    I crave salt more than sweet, but would never kick a sweet treat off my plate. I'll eat anything (duh!) but I love sweets that have complex, multi note flavors. Salt and sweet is my life long love, but I also really appreciate bitter/sweet and sour/sweet. To that end I love a dark chocolate, or a booze spiked dark chocolate for a truly amazing flavor combo. This milk chocolate mouse with port wine ganache and creme fraiche is literally the best thing I've ever eaten! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Milk-Chocolate-Mousse-with-Port-Ganache-and-Whipped-Creme-Fraiche-357277

  • Jennifer says:

    Nutella on a spoon. Ok, not my favorite but it works in a pinch. How about hazelnut, pistachio and almost toffee with white chocolate on top? Or a good homemade caramel.

  • Cynthia Wood says:

    Have you ever had a slice of peanut butter pie? awh – it is heaven on a plate, especially with a little drizzle of chocolate syrup.

  • Rachel says:

    Caramel pudding is my very favorite sweet! But orangettes make a close second.

    My email is rmariemill at gmail dot com (just in case!)

  • Beegirl says:

    I love dark chocolate dipped maple creams–they're also super simple to make and packed with my favorite sweetener–maple syrup.

  • Tori Nonnemacher says:

    Salted fudge!
    Torinonn@mail.com

  • Alison says:

    I'm with you on the FBCL salted caramels (did you ever get to try their Betwixt bar?). Pretty much anything with good, dark Belgian chocolate gets me. As I get older I find I don't want quantity but I must have quality in my sweets–that's why FBCL is perfect with so many amazing truffles. The book looks great. I've been promising myself that this is the year I'll master making honeycomb candy (Crunchies–chocolate covered honeycomb–are a vice we picked up while living in England years ago).

  • Chocolate covered pretzels are a favorite treat of mine. I usually crave them once a month, if ya know what I mean!?

    ~MaryDeluxe

  • Grace says:

    Ooh, I need this book! It's hard to choose a favorite sweet, but at the moment I'm thinking of the french macaroons from the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. They are light and perfect!

  • Oh my goodness, did you say “Orange Walnut Chocolate Nougat!” I think those four words put together are revolutionary. When I was growing up, we used to buy dark chocolate covered marzipan at a little German bakery. I think that is still my very favorite sweet treat!

  • Kelly says:

    I think similar sweets have been said but dark chocolate covered caramels with sea salt. Can't mess with perfection- no wonder it's popular!

  • Liz S. says:

    Oh my! That book looks lovely! We have a lot of sweet teeth around these parts. Would love this book! Thanks for offering it!

  • Jody says:

    Probably candied ginger covered in dark chocolate. I have a hard time sharing them!

  • OMG, I think I may have died and gone to heaven. Chocolate covered candies orange peels would do the trick for a few minutes. But those homemade marshmallows have my mouth watering.

  • Brittany P. says:

    Oh, what a yummy giveaway! I would have to say peanut butter and chocolate fudge would be my favorite though I admit I have not had the chance to sample a varied range of confections. I would love to win so I could, Ha.

    abpughsley@windstream.net

    Brittany P.

  • Christine says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Marie says:

    Wow!!! What a wonderful book to add to my collection. I love to make sweet treats… And a sweet tooth. Let's just say we won't discuss that… LOL

  • Anna says:

    Goodness, I am a total sweet tooth. When I was a kid Jujyfruits was my favorite candy, but now I can't single it down to one so I will give a few in no particular order:
    1. Turkish delight
    2. doughnuts
    3. Salty-sweet (mmm, salted caramel chocolates…)
    4. Dark chocolate
    5. Any candy with nuts in it

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a fool for anything nougat, caramel, marshmallow or toffee. This book looks absolutely amazing, just what I need to get me off of this silly diet I am on. :)

    stierlefamily@yahoo.com

  • Katie B says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Katie B says:

    Homemade Buckeye's at Christmas time! The perfect amount of Chocolate and Peanut Butter rolled into homemade goodness :)

    brennan.katie.l@gmail.com

  • Katie S says:

    The FBCL is one of my must stop at shops when I visit Ashville, and you are so right about the salted carmel. But my favorite all time candy has to be toffee, there is nothing better than butter, cream, salt, and almonds.

  • Lina says:

    I inherited the biggest sweet tooth from my mother! My go-to is her butterscotch brownie recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it's made in a saucepan over the stove, so there's very little clean up!

    Lina
    ci.rodriguez04@gmail.com

  • I adore making candy to my husband's chagrin (he'd much rather I cook a balanced dinner) and I'd love to learn some new treats. My favorite to make is a toffee bar that's become a holiday staple. This year I'm adding peppermint marshmallows to the season!

  • Kathy R. says:

    I too love my sweets, but I am easily soothed with a box of Junior Mints, especially refreshing straight from the refrigerator in the summer. We had a local shop (Glarus Chocolatier) that had cinnamon ginger truffles that were incredible. I would love a copy of the book so I could make my own treats / gifts. Thanks for the chance.

  • Lemonpuss says:

    My friend who runs our lovely fruit CSA gave me a delectable gift bag of homemade goodies last holiday season; this is an experience from which I am still reeling. Homemade peppermint patties, a pot of lemon curd, marshmallows three ways, and the piece de resistance, caramels rolled in tiny, melt-in-your-mouth bits of minced bacon. No kidding.

    I've been wanting to jump into the breach ever since, but spent the year having a third baby, an experience which has seriously cramped my confection-experimentation time. A book full of recipes that will work the first time in my random 27-minute windows of free time? Heaven.

  • Jamie says:

    I like any kind of dark chocolate candy. This would be a great addition to my cook book collection, because I have also recently discovered that I like to cook too :-)