My very first "real" job, real as defined as having taxes withheld, was at See's Candies, and I worked there for 6 years.
Okay! I lie, my first job was at Kienows, a small local grocery store stocking the shelves and helping patrons out to their cars with their groceries. The assistant manager hated me though, and was a beast to work with. I only lasted 2 weeks because the day I quit, I was working the late afternoon/evening shift. I arrived to work and the assistant manager immediately let me know that a child had thrown their whoozeewhatzits all over the bathroom! But the thing was..., it happened earlier that morning and she had left it there all day!!! Then she made sure to let me know she had left it there all day, waiting for me to come in to clean it up.
I love to tell people the story of how I got hired at See's Candies. During my interview the manager, Steve, asked me, "Why should I hire you?" I answered, "Because, I really want this job!" I thought it was a great example of how confidence can get you places. I found out years later, it turns out, I got hired because Steve was a pervert. And that makes sense, because c'mon really, how original is, "I really want this job!"?
Nonetheless, I loved working at See's Candies. The pay is excellent - really, and you get to eat all the candy you want as long as you are on the clock. Plus, every 5 years they send you and your spouse on a free trip to San Fransisco. Unfortunately, the rest of the people you work with seem to have a tradition of being cranky.
Gabriel and I started a tradition the year we were married of exchanging heart shaped boxes of candy on Valentine's Day, from none other than See's Candies. For the past several years, I have given Gabriel a heart shaped Tuxedo box, and every year he presents me with a heart shaped Red Satin box; 1 pound each of our favorites. For Gabriel, that is a majority of Rum Nougats. We still talk about how some day when we have a disposable income it would be fun to go and pick out our favorites and fill the incredibly massive 5 pound Pink Velvet box..., someday.
2 years ago Gabriel and I altered our tradition a little, from filling heart shaped boxes with See's Candies, to filling them with my scratchmade chocolates! The process is a labor of love, and well worth the time and effort. However, since Gabriel already knows that he is getting a fresh box of Fahrenheit 350° chocolates every year, and is present while I labor extensively over their creation, the surprise is that each successive year I create new flavors to give him.
So, let's move on to Step Two of making chocolates! If you missed Step One - click.
This process, although tedious, is fairly simple.
- Set your fondant out a few hours in advance so that it can warm up to room temperature
- Divide fondant into sections for flavoring (as I mentioned before, you need not use all the fondant at once, it will keep for several weeks in the fridge)
- Flavor your fondant by kneading with different flavors; lemon juice, peanut butter, peppermint, orange juice, raspberries, etc. There is no technical procedure for this, simply use your imagination
- Mold flavored fondant into desired shape/s
- Allow to set in fridge
- Melt chocolate
- Dip fondant in chocolate and allow to set on wax paper
- Decorate with garnish
For this candy I used equal parts fondant and melted chocolate and kneaded with fresh rind and squeezed juice from one lemon
Knead equal parts peanut butter and fondant
Over med heat melt 1 or 2 oz. white chocolate, a few marshmallows, a teaspoon or so of milk or half and half, and fresh rind from one lime; stir constantly; allow to set
Knead with fondant
Knead fondant with 1 oz. cream cheese and 1/2 graham cracker; add raspberry or strawberry flavoring as an alternate option
Present to your sweetheart!
Or,... purchase them from Fahrenheit 350°.