Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
And yes, Susan puts the neon candy confetti pieces in each mold by hand before starting to cook the syrup.
Photo by Kevin Keeker
Monday, July 26, 2010
Thanks to reading about Susan's exploits with her lollipops through Facebook from even before This Charming Candy existed, my curiosity over making these treats at home was piqued.
On the surface, it didn't seem difficult. Heat sugar/corn syrup/water mixture to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Add color and flavoring. Pour into molds. What could be easier? Childbirth, for one thing. At least I had the benefit of drugs during that experience.
It turns out, making hard candy is a lot like playing Mouse Trap. You end up arguing with your brother about who gets to turn the crank to start the contraption. (At least that is the way it went in my house.)
OK, really, you could have everything set up in what you thought was the correct way, but there could be one or two things that were just out of skew that could make the whole thing go pear-shaped.
For example when I first started, I bought a liquid flavor enhancer to go along with my flavor oils. Not realizing that adding extra liquid after boiling the water out of the sugar mixture basically went against all that is sacred in lollipop-dom, I created tasty treats that were not quite hard enough. The technical term for this is "bendy".
I tried adding the liquid enhancer during the cook. It turns out any acid added during this phase creates a substance that is sort of like the adhesive used to stick gift cards/credit cards to paper...at least before it sort of hardens. This condition is technically known as "booger".
After this and consulting with Susan, I realized my answer lie within powdered acid. Now I am in the phase where I am trying to find the right mix for each flavor. How to make candy delicious without field-stripping taste buds is a time consuming business.
Now maybe I should look for a job with the pharmaceutical industry.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The Breakfast Tray lollipops are leaning oh-so-casually against this handsome chrome toaster, winking at you, just daring you to have candy for breakfast for a change. Or maybe that’s breakfast as usual, depending on how things work in your household. We don’t judge :-)
Oh! Those cheeky suckers hopped into the toaster to taunt you some more:
photo by Kevin Keeker
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Hard candy’s goal in life is to slurp water out of the atmosphere. If you’ve bought lollipops from us, then you may have noticed what we call our “care and feeding” statement on the back label:
Heat and humidity are the enemies of hard candy!
For maximum freshness, store your lollipops in this zip-top bag.
The main storage issues for hard candy are heat and humidity. You know how if you store cough drops in the bathroom, they start to get a little sticky and wrinkled from the wrappers, but they still taste fine? They're probably just picking up moisture from shower steam, etc.
As long as the lollipops are not stored in direct sunlight, sitting on top of a space heater, or stored in a refrigerator (which is a humid environment), etc., they'll do ok. In our experience, lollipops can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers for a few months. We ship them to you in a zip-top bag to help with that.
photos by Kevin Keeker
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Kate’s leaving this morning to go back to California. In honor of her visit, I want to share the many many awesome things that happened during her visit to Seattle. It’s wonderful when TCC North Campus and South Campus get to be together!
- The Breakfast Tray lollipops had a successful debut at Urban Craft Uprising – people seemed excited about the new flavors.
- Kate became a licensed food handler for the state of Washington, and we worked together on Tuesday to make more Breakfast Trays and Spice Racks.
- We watched Never Been Kissed – TWICE – and laughed ourselves into a stupor both times while shouting out all our favorite lines.
- At least three people asked us during UCU if our company name was related to The Smiths song “This Charming Man” (answer: HECK YEAH).
- We went to The Big Picture theater with a couple of friends and ate our own Blood Suckers while watching The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
- We set up a kick-ass command center in my basement as ground zero for all our other work.
- On Tuesday our Salted Caramel Special Event Subscription was featured in the Etsy Finds email & blog post.
photo of This Charming Candy’s booth at Urban Craft Uprising by Joyce Hwang
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Check out the recent updates to the packaging for the lovely lollies of the Spice Rack, our best selling collection. Not only are the labels even more awesome than they used to be, I prefer the lighter background in the new photos. So it’s also an upgrade to the photography: WIN WIN.
The labels were charcoal with spicy orange text. From now on, the labels are spicy orange with charcoal text:
As usual, all credit goes to Justine Kamionsky for the gorgeous branding design and creative vision, and to Kevin Keeker for the beautiful photography!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
We’ve mentioned a few times that Urban Craft Uprising takes place today & tomorrow in Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center.
Specifically, Exhibition Hall is in the basement of the Pacific Northwest Ballet building on Mercer Street, roughly across from Teatro Zinzanni. We are so excited to see you there!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Spice Rack, our first lollipop collection, was recently spotted hanging out with the Breakfast Tray, our newest collection. I like to imagine that the Spice Rack is offering words of wisdom to the new kid whose craft show debut will be Urban Craft Uprising…
“Stand up straight… smile at the nice people… be confident about how great you taste!”
Ok, I guess I have a pretty weird imagination. Come to Urban Craft Uprising and be nice to the Breakfast Tray!
photo by Kevin Keeker
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
photo by Kevin Keeker
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Man, every time I make Pistachio-Marshmallow lollipops, two things happen:
- Heather, the cake decorator at Starry Nights (the kitchen where I make all the candy), says something like, “Ohh that smells so good! You’re making my favorite flavor again, aren’t you?”
- I fall in love with their color all over again
Recently, I found out from a culinary student that she made pistachio-flavored fresh marshmallows in one of her pastry classes. She was amazed at how well the two flavors worked together – as are we. So even if This Charming Candy isn’t the only place in the world that took a chance on this flavor combination, I’m quite happy that we offer this unusual and loveable lollipop.
photo by Kevin Keeker
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I kind of love the cute little graphic that they're using for Urban Craft Uprising this year. As purveyors of artisan sweets, we love the idea of pie and cake and donuts crafting! (Added later: Susan just told me that CakeSpy drew this picture. She'll also be at UCU.)