As part owner of a retail cake and candy supply store, I realized there was a need for a basic, comprehensive candy making book. When I was a little girl my grandmother, Mildred Brand, always had a variety of homemade candies and chocolates in a beautiful glass candy jar. She wrote several candy books in the 1970’s, that are no longer in print. I selected a few of my favorites and included them in my book as well as some modern twists on classic flavors. “All About Candy Making” quickly turned into Country Kitchen’s bestselling book and indeed was a great book for the beginner as well as the accomplished confectionery artist. While traveling to various trade shows, I am often approached by other shop owners who let me know that they are using “All About Candy Making” in their own classrooms for their candy classes. “All About Candy Making” was published in 2003, with a second edition out in 2007. As of December 2009, over 20,000 copies have been sold! In 2008, “All About Candy Making” was made available in Spanish.
For over 10 years, I have been demonstrating at International Cake Exploration Societé (ICES) annual convention. In 2003, I was teaching a demonstration on creating 3-D projects from cookies. I thought to myself, why not put together a small booklet with pictures and instructions on the projects I was demonstrating, and add more for the student’s inspiration. Thus, I completed “Cookie Boxes and Other 3-D Projects”.
2003 was a very busy year for writing! Another book that was published in 2003 was “Letter Perfection and All Occasion Sayings”. 5 or 10 years ago, we sold a book in our shop called “What do you Say?”. This book had several suggestions for creative text on cakes. Because this book wasn’t in print anymore, my mother, Vi Whittington and I decided to put a little booklet together with some sayings. Mom and I had a lot of fun and laughs coming up with the sayings in the book. Many of the sayings are cute and clever, while some are just plain silly and fun! Whenever we need a good laugh, we open up this little booklet and look at the silly (and sometimes quite corny) sayings and sample cakes, such as the barbeque themed cake with the saying, “To a Grilly Great Dad”!
I have always had a passion for decorating cookies, which prompted my second full-size book, “Cookie Decorating”. There were very few books on decorating cookies when this was written in 2005, and the few books that were on the market were limited in techniques. I wanted a cookie decorating book that would give basic instructions for several techniques along with various cookies decorated to inspire creativity.
My third book, “Creative Cupcakes” was another combined effort with my mom, Vi Whittington. Again, she and I enjoyed our time coming up with clever and practical ideas. This book was printed in 2005, and was a wonderful compliment to the cupcake craze that was just beginning.
My fourth full-size book is “Fun Cookie Bouquets”. Because cookie decorating is my favorite past-time, the bouquet book was so much fun. I also wanted to provide clever ideas for containers, such as the fish bowl shown on the cover. Cookie Bouquets have become very popular and are often seen at upscale bakeries. “Fun Cookie Bouquets” was published in 2005.
In 2006, Chocolate transfer sheets became an increasingly popular trend. The completed projects were impressive, but look a little intimidating for beginners. I wanted to show others how easy it is to create edible works of art with chocolate and chocolate transfer designs. Luckily, I have a sister-in-law, Kelly, who knows how to edit videos. With the help of Kelly, I began posting online video tutorials on our website www.shopcountrykitchen.com. That same year, I demonstrated chocolate transfer sheets at the ICES convention and decided to put the videos on a DVD for students to purchase.
In 2008, “All About Candy Making” my bestselling book was made available in Spanish.