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October 05, 2009

Field Guide to Candy is Out! Win a Copy of Your Own!


Two years ago, one of my long-cherished goals suddenly blossomed into reality: I was offered the chance to write a cookbook. A great deal of testing, retesting, writing, and rewriting later Field Guide to Cookies emerged.

One year ago, just as the reality that I was now published was sinking in and the sight of my book in bookstores was becoming less surreal, fate came tripping round again: I was asked if I'd like to do a companion piece to my book, on candy.

Today, I'm happy to announce that my second book, Field Guide to Candy, is officially out in bookstores and available online !

Taking on candy was a truly exciting challenge for me. I had learned basic confection-making in pastry school and always wanted to keep expanding my knowledge. The plethora of renowned chocolatiers and candymakers in the Bay Area also served as constant inspiration. I'd take home a box of chocolates from Charles Chocolates or toffees from Fiona's Sweet Shoppe and dream of reproducing them at home. Now, with the second book, I was able to turn my apartment into a miniature candy factory (sometimes a great thing, other times maybe not so much).

In Field Guide to Candy, I explore 100 candies from all around the world, from fudge to toffee to peanut butter cups to truffles. One of the reasons I think I've worked well with the Field Guide format is that I have a natural tendency to categorize things. It's how I figure things out, by determining how they relate to each other and fit into the big picture. Knowing that toffee, caramels, and taffy are all variants of working with sugar, or that fondant and fudge are based on similar principles suddenly makes it easier to grasp the dizzyingly wide world of sweets.

I've tried to break the world of candy into bite-size categories in my book, from chocolates to sugar candies, to even a simple classics section. If you're wondering if caramel corn, peanut butter balls, and rocky road made it onto the list, be assured these childhood favorites are there.

I've also included notes on the all-essential tasks of working with chocolate and working with sugar. Knowing how to work with these ingredients is integral to candy-making, and surely the root of many candy-making fears. I've tried to address many of the common pitfalls, and provide guidelines to make tempering chocolate or cooking sugar a snap.

Also, anyone who's ever had a favorite candy, be it Milky Way or gummy bears or peppermint patties, likely knows there is a fabulously colorful history behind candy. From the origin of saltwater taffy, to Joseph Fry's creation of the first chocolate bar, to why English toffee and sherbet mean different things in the UK and the US, there are plenty of fascinating stories once you pull back the sugary sweet curtain. Learning about the history behind some of the most well-loved candies was definitely a highlight of the research I did, and I hope that you'll find the tidbits I share in the book as entertaining as I did.

Finally, in creating the photos for the book, I got a chance to work with Tucker+Hossler, a very talented SF-based team. Their experience in working on cookbooks really shone through as we blazed through a three day photoshoot. I'm really happy with the art direction for this book; as you can see, we got to do a bit more styling this time and come up with some really lovely shots. Just as with the Field Guide to Cookies, there is a photo of every candy in the book!

You can find Field Guide to Candy at your local bookstore, or order it from Amazon, Quirk Books, or Chronicle Books.

Most exciting, there's going to be a party!! if you are in the Bay Area, I'd like to invite you to the book release party for Field Guide to Candy which will be

Saturday, October 17, 2009, 3-4 PM at

Omnivore Books

3885 Cesar Chavez Street

San Francisco, CA 94131


Omnivore Books is like my my fondest foodie dream realized: a bookstore filled exclusively with books about food. The owner, Celia Sack, knows so much about food literature: the fabulous vintage cookbooks displayed throughout the store are from her collection. I had a great time speaking there last year about my cookie book, and I'm extremely excited to be able to celebrate the release of Field Guide to Candy there! I hope to see you October 17!

Even if you can't make it, I'd like to thank all my readers for their continued support by giving away two copies of Field Guide to Candy. Just tell me your favorite candy in the comments below, and I will randomly pick two winners at the end of Sunday, October 11. Good luck and happy candy-making!


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Wow! Isn't that exciting and congratulations! What a thrill! I'd love to win a copy of your cookbook. My favorite candy? Difficult! Either chocolate-covered soft caramels or chocolate-covered marshmallows. Yum!

Congrats on your second book Anita. No mean feat & an excellent one. My fave candy is the English toffee that the nuns used to sell in the tuck shop in school! Good luck to you for the release & book signings. Wish I lived in the US!!

Hmmm, I'd have to say my favorite candy would probably have to be Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Turtles, but if marshmallows count as candy then peppermint marshmallows.

omg, it's already out! congrats, anita!! i love peanut butter cups...and toffee, too...

It's truffles - in every way! But actually chocolate is my favourite.. ;)

Wish you all the Best with yout new book!


Congratulations Anita on realising your dream. One more book and it'll be a hat trick! :)

I don't like toffee or caramel types of candy but if its chocolate I love it (so long as it isn't the liquor filled kind). :)

I have so many recipes tagged in Field Guide to Cookies that I haven't been able to try them all yet. I have only taken baby steps with candy making. I really look forward to the tips and techniques which you'll be providing in Field Guide to Candy. And there will be time to play with it and (hopefully) learn enough by Christmas to make candy good enough for gifts! I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. My favorite candy is any kind of chocolate-covered nuts.

Even more than cookies, I am really a candy freak, to be honest! I'm excited about your cookbook!!

I used to love Goetze Caramel Creams but I've been avoiding most things made with corn syrup so I haven't eaten them much - ditto for Candy Corn and all things caramel. But I love them probably the most of all candy. Last weekend I made some caramel at home (with honey instead of CS) and it was great so I'll probably try to recreate them now.

Here in Italy, I crave Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and chocolate with caramel or peanuts in it - here it's mostly almonds and hazelnuts. And of course things made with marshmallows, which are not popular here, or are only the French colored versions which are definitely different from our plain white ones.

Congrats! It looks fantastic. And peanut brittle is my hands down favorite candy.

Wow! That is so awesome!!! You should be super proud of yourself!

My favorite candy is really good dark chocolate.

Good luck!!

I remember picking out MilkMaid caramels from my Halloween loot so I could gobble them up right away. Now, mention anything caramel or toffee (anything browned sugar and butter!) and I'm interested!


CONGRATULATIONS!!! The front cover tells a lot about the contents of the book! WOW!

My favourite candy is FUDGE, especially Chocolate Pistachio Fudge. I love the contrast of the colours in it...deep brown n green :)

Thanks a bunch for the inviting us! :)


Congratulations on the book! How marvelous.

Favorite candy? Oh definately slightly salted hazelnut pralene

i recently found your blog, and it's been a real joy to read. congratulations on your second book.

by the way, my favorite candy is dutch liquorice.^^

My favorite candy: leche quemada, or burnt milk candy. Mmmmm...

Congratulations again, Anita! So happy for you! :)



Congratulations for your second book ! My favourite candy is salted butter fudge (I'm French so I don't know if it's the right translation...). Can international reader participate to the giveaway ?

Oh my lovely goodness.... truly. I make toffee with dark chocolate and toasted almost slices. Its wonderful. My children's teachers receive it for Christmas presents. They (the teachers) love my children. he he
So I would love to learn more about other candy making from you and your book. Please and thank you for this opportunity to receive your gift.

anything chocolate will be my favourite =)

I'd have to say lolipops and carambars! Your books sounds great!

Good Morning! YIKES, a candy book, a girl after my own heart!! Ummm...*gumdrops* would do it for me!!! Thx loads, Valerie xo

I love Snickers! Yummy :D

Oooooh, cool giveaway! I'd have to say my fav candy is Reeses! :)

Chocolate covered cherries especially at Christmas.

My absolute favorite candy is Chocolate Turtles. Love the nuts, caramel and chocolate. Yum!

So hard to choose! Depends on my mood, but for now, sour candies (e.g. lemon heads). Congrats on the book!

Oh, congrats and I am thrilled for you!! You are the field guide queen-I love this style of books-keep up the great work. My fave candies are pb cups and toffees, but there are soo darn many more, thanks for the chance to win a copy of this exciting new book!

Congratulations! How I wish I could attend the party! I'd love to enter the giveaway. My all-time favorite candy is my grandma's walnut chocolates :) K

Way to go, Anita!
My favorite candy would have to be truffles - as for the flavor, I don't know... that varies :)

Sounds like a really interesting cookbook! My favorite candies are peppermint patties, followed closely by peanut butter cups.

The book sounds wonderful! My favorite candy is white chocolate fudge.

Congratulations on the last book! I hope the sales are great!
I wish I could buy your books, and any of the books you recomend... but Amazon doesn't ship to my country...
I love skittles btw!!

All candy is my favorite! If I had to narrow it down however, it would probably be jelly beans or licorice.

Wonderful and Congratulations, my favorite candy is fudge, love it, love it, love it!!

This book is gorgeous and I can't wait to win one and buying one for Christmas, I have the perfect person for it.
My favorite candy is anything with nuts, chocolate and caramel, so turtles win.

My favorite candy are cold reeses peanut butter cups - i keep them in the fridge!

Keep up the good work, girl! love the site!

Congratulations, your new book looks super-fun and delicious! I would LoVe to win one. So here is my favorite candy: TURKISH DELIGHT. (especially the one with double roasted nuts: yummm!!)

First of all, congratulations on the new book! It has been such an exciting year for you! Secondly, my favorite candy is snickers. I could eat a bar every day and be completely happy :)

I can't choose only one favorite candy! My favorites are: dark chocolate truffels, daifuku mochi, licorice jellies, panforte and dark chocolate dipped nuts and coffee beans.

Congrats for your fantastic book!

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