Candy maker shows off creations

Staff photo by Connor Cummiskey Sharon Schaller dips a cherry into melted chocolate confectionary coating to make chocolate-coated cherries. Schaller demonstrated how to make different candies Wednesday evening at the Library.

NEW ULM — It was a sweet night Wednesday at the Library during a candy-making demonstration.

Owner Sharon Schaller of Sharon’s Craft-N-Floral in North Mankato showed her audience how to make different chocolate-based candies.

Schaller used what she called “confectionary coating,” a type of chocolate that does not need to be tempered. Tempering is a process of heating and kneading pure chocolate to produce the best quality for coating candies.

The best way to melt the chocolate is to put it in a double boiler, Schaller said. In this case she placed a metal bowl, large enough to catch the rim, in a pot.

Schaller boiled water in the pot, which in turn heated the chocolate wafers she used, melting them.

The easiest thing to make is chocolate-dipped animal crackers and chocolate-dipped cherries, Schaller said.

She demonstrated by placing a cracker, then a cherry, in the chocolate and using a spoon to pull it out, making sure it was covered.

Most of what Schaller demonstrated involved using molds. She used a spoon to coat the sides of a transparent plastic mold to make dessert cups.

Homemade peanut butter cups was another trick Schaller shared. She coated the bottom of a mold with chocolate, let it set, then pushed a piece of peanut butter into the cup and drizzled some more chocolate on top.

Schaller also showed how to decorate chocolate candies made in molds by painting the mold with powdered coloring before pouring in the chocolate.

Her example was a reindeer chocolate-pop with a red nose and blue eyes to look like Rudolph.

For more information or to purchase molds, confectionary coating and more, visit Schaller at her vintage craft store located at 241 Belgrade Ave., N. Mankato.

It is open Tuesday through Friday until 5 p.m., though she is usually willing to open the store if you call ahead at (507) 388-7211. Her website is sharonscraft-n-floral.com.

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at ccummiskey@nujournal.com.

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