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on December 23, 2012
I was super excited when I treated myself to this book. I've been to pastry school and have worked as a pastry cook professionally, but I never spent much time with candy. I thought the inspiring and elegant-seeming recipes in this book would be a fun project to work my way through. Alas it's been a nightmare. All 4 recipes I've tried so far have been failures. I've had to make a lot of adjustments to salvage wayward messes of expensive chocolate and other beautiful ingredients.

The Dorie bars sounded so perfect and unusual. There's something wrong with the recipe for the cookie base, though (I suspect the butter measurement is off; i played with the proportions and finally got something good) and altogether the bars just seemed too sweet and clunky. I'm not a fan of the recommended tempering method either; although it seems super helpful at first read, it ends up feeling imprecise as you're working with it. The mint chocolate meltaways were another confusing situation. I was skeptical of adding a healthy dose of sea salt to my mint chocolates, but I just trusted that the authors wouldn't lead me astray. I'm a HUGE fan of salty sweet / salted chocolate in general, but these were just bizarrely salty. Combined with mint, the salt gives this confection a taste like chocolate baking soda toothpaste or something. It was strange.

I love these ladies' beautiful ideas, but I'm dissatisfied with my results. I've wasted over $50 in Callebaut chocolate alone because of their unreliable instructions. As a previous reviewer pointed out, there are a number of typos throughout the book, which doesn't make me feel confident that there aren't similar mistakes in the recipes themselves. This book has made me realize how much goes into making a great cookbook. Liddabit Sweets looks and reads like it would be easy-to-follow and a great learning tool, but it fails upon testing. I plan to try a few more recipes, but I am worried I'll just be wasting more time and fine groceries concocting new disappointments. I'm sad to say that based on this book, I'm coming to the conclusion that candy-making is indeed an effort best left to professional kitchens. I've never felt so failed by a cookbook.
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on October 14, 2012
I've had this book almost two weeks now, and recommend it very highly, with only a few reservations. I think where this book excels is in interesting and innovative flavors. If you are bored by the basics and really want to tease your palate, this book is an excellent choice.

The reservations? Minor for most, I think, but beginners may find them helpful. First, the quantities are huge. HUGE. I rarely want 50 of the same truffle, and don't often want to have to buy and temper that much chocolate. Tempering chocolate is the hardest part to master (you can totally master it, and their instructions are pretty darned good), so it would have been very helpful to also give instructions on coating candies (truffles, really) with things like cocoa, nuts, and cereals. Moderately experienced candy makers know this, but the book seems to be directed at passionate beginners.

I don't think these points should stop you from considering this book, as it really is a fun and well-written book. Just know what you are getting. (It's worth buying just for the fig & ricotta and beer & pretzel caramel recipes. Mmmmm.)

Another great book to consider buying alongside this one is Elizabeth LaBau's book on candy making. Similarly inventive flavors, with a different approach to tempering chocolate and finishing truffles.

UPDATE:
I had to change my rating from 4 stars to 3 after testing a couple more recipes. I've found quite a few typos in this book, which I find VERY aggravating. The English measurements seem to be ok (cups, etc), but weights are off. The chocolate chews and caramels both call for 300g corn syrup by weight, but different amounts when using cups. My chews came out WAY too soft, and my caramels made half the amount specified and the texture was like hard candies. Just one example; I've found several others, which makes me nervous about trying more. The truffle flavorings are fabulous, but I don't want to have to scramble when I serve my candies.
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on February 16, 2014
was a bit taken back to find that there is an errata page on-line w/ several "errors" in the recipes - at least the authors did that!

recipes are not for an entry level chef - ya gotta have a feel for making candy before you try some of these!
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on October 3, 2013
I was really disappointed with the book because of the many mistakes. I made corrections from website but really I am not sure the corrections are correct either. There are some useful tips but way to many corrections. The authors should give new cookbooks to those that have purchased if they print an update.
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on October 3, 2012
I've been anticipating getting this book for a little while - so when it arrived yesterday, I was pretty thrilled (and no, not just because my UPS guy is pretty cute).

This candy cookbook makes sense - it doesn't just explain the "how" of making candy, it explains the "why" of making candy. For example - unlike other cookbooks that I own, that give a couple of sentences to tempering chocolate, this one gives over ten pages. And, it's complete with color glossy photos of how the chocolate should and should not look. There are another ten pages about how to cook sugar to it's different stages - and again, the pictures and exact descriptions are great. I also love that when a recipe tells you to bring something to a certain stage, it also tells you about how long it should take so that you can adjust your heat accordingly - this is a great detail.

Chapters are broken up by types of candy, like chocolates, creamy, crispety crunchety, and bar candies. There's also a helpful chart at the beginning that tells you which candies are vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, as well as which are great to gift, easy to ship, or good to make with kids. Also, if a recipe calls for an ingredient or a tool that's out of the ordinary, there's always a reference to where you can purchase it.

This is exactly what I wanted in a cookbook. It really emphasizes that cooking and candy-making should be fun, and that you're going to end up with a product that's so much better than anything that's mass produced. I look forward to making these recipes, and staining the book with chocolate, sugar syrup, and nougat.
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on December 5, 2015
At first glance the book would be five stars. Then you see all of the typos and mistakes. There is a whole page of mistakes listed on their website but this is just a small amount of what should be listed. I'll use corn syrup as an example. The weight of corn syrup is not consistent for the same volume amounts or for the average weight of a tablespoon. The average tablespoon weight is from 14.5g to 25g. There are also different volume amounts with the same weight.

1 Tbs = 25g (Page 92)
1 Tbs = 20g (Page 280)
2 Tbs = 45g (Pages 59 and 62)
2 1/2 Tbs = 50g (Page 273)
3 Tbs = 50g (Page 163)
1/4 cup = 80g (Page 168)
1/4 cup = 85g (Pages 229 and 268)
1/4 cup = 70g (Pages 242 and 243)
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs = 140g (Page 277)
1/2 cup = 175g (Pages 106, 169, 187, and 211)
1/2 cup = 150g (Page 138)
1/2 cup = 165g (Page 230)
3/4 cup = 255g (Pages 142, 273, and 288)
3/4 cup = 275g (Pages 147, 193, 196 after correction from website)
3/4 cup + 1 Tbs = 300g (Pages 123, 126, and 224)
3/4 cup + 2 Tbs = 300g (Pages 257 and 265)
1 cup - 1 Tbs = 300g (Page 68 after correction from website)
1 cup = 300g (Page 128)
1 cup = 350g (Pages 115, 184, 190, 198, 226, and 262)
1 1/3 cups = 450g (Pages 109 and 153)
1 2/3 cups = 575g (Page 150)
3 3/4 cups = 1.3kg (Page 257)
3 3/4 cups = 875g (Page 283 after correction from website)

This is just an example for one ingredient. There are many more problems.
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on September 6, 2014
This book is a fun read - some great info, lots of humor, and I noted 17 recipes I want to try (which is pretty good for ANY cookbook). I've already tried the buttermints and they were deemed "Yummy!" by my faithful taste testers at work. I will try their truffles next since a friend has requested them for a birthday. It's still too hot where I live to play with chocolate, but in another week or so I should be able to do some dipping in the early morning.

As others have noted, there are some errors in the book, so be sure to grab the corrections from the website. I'm sure they will be updated in a future version. If you have any problems with the recipes, please do alert the authors - I sent in a comment after reading the book and received a lovely reply the next day.

Please note: if you are at a high altitude and have not made much candy, be forewarned that you will need to adjust the temperature for any recipe that indicates you must cook candy to a certain temperature. Boil some water in the pot/pan in which you will cook the candy and use your candy thermometer to take a reading after it has been in the boiling water for a few minutes. At sea level, water boils at 212F. At my house, my candy thermometer registers 204F in boiling water, so I lop off 8 degrees from a candy recipe with a stated temperature. At your house, figure out the difference between the boiling point and 212 and made that adjustment in recipes.

I also want to try the fudge recipe soon, and the honeycomb candy, and the hip-to-be-squares, and...well, yeah, you get the idea. :-)
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on October 8, 2012
I've been a fan of Liddabit Sweets since the day I first tried one of their delectable caramels years ago. I was thrilled to find out that a book was in the works. I just got it on Friday and have been entirely engrossed. Not only are there great recipes, but the detail is just amazing. Lots of how-to instructions WITH photos! Guides on how to purchase equipment and select the right ingredients. This is my favorite kind of cookbook-- intensely detailed text, fabulous photos, easy-to-follow recipes and at the end a fabulous dish, well in this case, candy! Who can resist? If you're a candy-lover, you have to buy this book. I'm so excited to test out some of these recipes and share them with my family this holiday season!
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on February 27, 2016
When I first saw the mini documentary for this company and what they were doing, I nearly flipped. I had been making candy for some time and still in my experimental phase, and these ladies with another author pushed me into really going for it. It's just now that I'm getting their book, but I'm glad we have it because it's everything I'd hoped it would be and then some. Totally not disappointed after such a long wait. Expert information, fun and goofy explinations and the recipes are amazing! Why write a cookery book if not to share your success?! Great job ladies. Love it!
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on March 25, 2015
I have been making homemade candies for years and always like to look at recipe books. I took the time to sit down and look carefully through this one yesterday and, though I appreciate their creativity and the beauty of the book, I can see that many recipes are off. For instance, we, meaning my Ohioan self and friends, have been making Buckeyes for years. Never have we used a recipe with flour in the filling - it's unheard of. Buckeyes are made best with three simple ingredients - peanut butter, butter, and 10X sugar. You can't improve upon it. All the extra ingredients here are disappointing. The photo tells me everything one needs to know. The buckeyes look dry and unappealing. We also never put salt on them. In fact, the entire book seems to promote throwing on salt, rolling in salt, adding salt to every recipe - a trend that is definitely overrated. It did my heart good to see that other commenters, who are serious candy makers and have tried several of the recipes, feel the same way. Did anyone else feel that the recipe for peanut butter cups is more like a three-layer candy? The filling mixture is one I use separately. I don't write to run the authors down, only to spare others the cost of the book. Get it from the library first and have a close look before you spend your hard-earned pennies.
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