Best Candy Classes, August 2009
Chances are the 25 pounds of candy eaten by the average American last year were manufactured in some distant factory. Handmade confections are a rare commodity, so why not make them yourself? There are classes that require a semester of baking, but we wanted to cut straight to the sweeter stuff. At some schools we were terrified of sugar boiling at 300 degrees that still hadn’t reached the “hard crack” stage needed for taffy and brittle. So we were relieved to find novice-friendly courses and free two-hour demos at A&J Cake and Candy Supplies, a Glendora establishment since 1984. From September to June, A&J’s peppy instructors offer training in sugar flowers, fondant, cluster candies, dip cookies, bonbons, no-bake fudge, caramel apples, and chocolate pizzas. About a dozen women (and the occasional male student) help one another curl petals on sugar flowers and watch the proceedings via a ceiling-mounted mirror. The shop, in a forlorn strip mall overlooking Route 66, resembles a Home Depot for sugar freaks, with more than 900 molds for gelatin, candy, chocolate, and ice sculptures, ranging from a teeny skeleton to an entire Noah’s ark. A play area keeps kids occupied.