Here is something that will put your sweet tooth into overdrive. I had the pleasure to sit down and sample the wonderful candy and interview Julie Kamens (owner/operator) of Honeysuckle Candies recently and found out a few of her secrets but none of her recipes unfortunately.
Q: How did Honeysuckle Candies get started?
A: Honeysuckle Candies was inspired by not only my love of sugar, but also my passion for creating delicious treats in my kitchen.
Q: How long have you been baking and making candy?
A: I have been working with sugar since 1979. As a young child I would sit on the kitchen counter and watch my mother and grandmother bake cakes and cookies. When I became old enough to help (4 years old) my parents bought me the Holly Hobby Make-And-Bake Oven and a chocolate candy-making machine.
Q: How long before you were cooking in a real kitchen?
A: I spent hours in the playroom baking small treats and creating chocolate molded candy for my siblings and parents. When I outgrew the toys I moved into the kitchen and began crafting desserts for family gatherings.
Q: Which did you prefer baking or candy making?
A: Everything was of interest to me and I worked very hard to perfect my recipes throughout my middle and high school years.
Q: Did you go to culinary school or have any other formal training in baking and confection?
A: No, I actually went to Penn State for my undergraduate education, where I studied Sociology and took as many art classes as possible. In 1997 I began studying to become a lawyer at Temple University School of Law. I graduated, passed the Bar exam and practiced securities litigation for two years in Pennsylvania and California. At which point I decided that practicing law was not the correct profession for me.
Q: Where you able to still bake and make your candy while in school or did you take a brake?
A: Oh no! I still had the baking/candy-making bug. During college I would bake desserts for my roommates to enjoy during our weekly "Roommates only dinner party". In law school I consistently crafted treats for all of my friends for three years.
Q: So you left a nice paying job as an attorney to bake and make candy,is that what I am Hearing?
A: Yes, although I loved practicing law, I left the profession for baking and candy-making because I wanted to occupy my days with something that would make people happy all of the time.
Q: So tell me a little about Honeysuckle Candies.
A: Honey Suckle was created out of a desire to bring joy and bliss to people through delicious candies made from the finest ingredients (including Guittard chocolate ordered straight from France) all candies and cakes are made without chemicals, dyes, preservatives or artificial flavors. All of the candies that I make are created from my own recipes, in my home kitchen, one item at a time, to ensure quality and complete satisfaction.
Q: So what kind of candies do you actually make?
A: We make all kinds of favorites, with my own variation of course, on some great classics such as Brittle with any kind of nut you can think of. We also make bark which is made with or without nuts as well as Kona coffee and infused with the different flavors while the chocolate is being cooked to give the candy more dimension, there are of course the delectable truffles(in many flavors) as well. The most popular seems to be the chocolate covered nut brittles which again come with about every type nut you can think of too. Last but surly not least is the chocolate dipped pretzels that are dipped twice then rolled in one the brittles or barks.
Julie also has in depth candy-making classes and lessons, were she will come to your location and weather it be a birthday party, a girls night in or just a quaint little personal lesson for you and the family. All of which are unique opportunities to have a great time and learn something that will definitely make you smile.
You can also purchase gift certificates for anything that Honeysuckle Candies makes. Julie has even been known to come up with special custom recipes for some of her long time customers. You never know there may be chocolate covered brittle of some kind that has your name.
As a classically trained chef I have come across a lot different and unique candy makers. I will tell you this, Honeysuckle Candies is definitely at the top of my list of where to get something to satisfy my sugar craving.
Honeysuckle Candies also ships to anywhere in the U.S. so if you know someone back east or just up the road it won't be hard to get them a delicious gift. You can go and learn more about Honeysuckle candy and order online by visiting there website at: www.honeysuckle-desserts.com
Keep an eye out for my review on the Honeysuckles baked goods coming real soon. I can hardly wait!