A Homemade “Scotch Kiss” + A Giveaway

November 29, 2011

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Homemade Scotch Kisses-A Perfect Holiday Gift | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.com

I both love and dislike this time of year. I love the spirit of the holiday; the lights, the decorations, the flavors, hand making our holiday gifts, and the excitement that takes over my kid’s energy. What I dislike is the frenzy, the obligatory buy, the last minute running here and there, thus the chaos.

My meditation, aside from a very early, long walk, is making my list of what to make for whom. The kitchen becomes my office, my lab, my sanctuary. And it is there that wonderful things happen. It was exactly 30 years ago that I started making my holiday gifts. I had always loved baking, but it was a friend that suggested we bake together. Creating holiday gifts is something I look so forward to. Choosing the recipes, crafting the packaging, knowing the whole time that the receiver is just as excited to get the package as I am to share it.

Dreambars and my Grandma Rose’s have been on the menu since 1991 and each year a few are added and sadly, some are dropped (sad, but true). Over the past few years, candy making has become part of the agenda. Almond Joys, Almond Caramel Corn, Toffee, and Marshmallows all remain on the “keep” list. So, when I got an email from an editor at Lark Crafts asking me if I would like to receive a copy of Sweet Confections for review, the answer; yes – without hesitation.

Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comThe first thing I did when I unwrapped the packing material, was read Nina’s bio. I had heard about Nina about two years ago, when I was talking with my friend, Clemence. I was telling her about my new found love for candy making and we talked about Nina, whom just moved to Northern California, and discussed her famous candy. The second thing I did was drool over the photos (Todd and Diane worked their magic), and lastly, I earmarked all the recipes I wanted to attempt.

Homemade Marshmallows Sans the Corn Syrup | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comI made her marshmallows first. What attracted me to this recipe is the absence of corn syrup. I have made a lot of marshmallows in my day, and these are by far the best. Easy to make, easy to cut, easy to eat. These will be the perfect partner for my Hot Cocoa on a Stick, as well as rocky road fudge. I also made a batch of her chocolate caramels and made home made Scotch Kisses(Levi’s favorite See’s candy). So good. I plan on making her English Toffee(also omits corn syrup), Fruit Jellies, and Truffles. I want to find the time to make everything in this book.

Vanilla Marshmallows
adapted from Sweet Confections
yield: 110 marshmallows

ingredients:
3/4 cup cold water
3 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
3 1/4 cup organic, cane sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar

instructions:
• spray a 10×15 jellyroll pan.
• in the bowl of a standing mixer, pour in 3/4 cup cold water and sprinkle the gelatin on top. stir with a fork until the gelatin is moistened and free of lumps.
• in a heavy duty saucepan, bring 1 cup water, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. stir occasionally with a rubber spatula until the sugar dissolves.
• boil to 250* and then remove from the heat and let cool to 212*.
• when the syrup has cooled, break up the bloomed gelatin with a rubber spatula. add the cooled syrup and pour it over the gelatin. stir until the gelatin has melted completely.
• using the whisk attachment, beat for 1 minute on low speed.
• increase speed and whip for 5 minutes on high speed.
• add vanilla and whip for 1 more minute.
• pour the mixture into the prepared jellyroll pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
• let the marshmallows set overnight.
• remove the marshmallows onto a cutting board. cut marshmallows into 1″ squares.
• place cornstarch and powdered sugar into a bowl. whisk until combined.
• toss cut marshmallows in cornstarch mixture. remove marshmallows, shake off excess cornstarch and place in an airtight container.
• I freeze unused marshmallows, stored in an airtight container(Levi sneaks these and eats them right out of the container, Eli likes them in his hot cocoa).

Along with receiving a copy for myself, Lark Crafts offered to send me a book for one of my readers. Thus, a giveaway!

How to Enter

You have until Monday, December, 5 midnight PST to enter this giveaway. The Winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 2 days to respond or a new winner will be selected. U.S.A. residents only.

You can enter multiple times by leaving a separate comment for each of the following steps listed below:

• tell me what your favorite homemade candy is. also, if you do package and gift for the holidays, what do you make.
• go to Nina’s Facebook page and become her friend.
• go to The Urban Baker’s facebook page and become my friend
• tweet about this giveaway. make up one of your own or tweet this sample message: pls RT @theurbanbaker has a copy of Nina Wanat’s book #giveaway. yummy candy + treats; photos by @WhiteOnRice http://is.gd/okohEG
• follow @therubanbaker on Twitter
• sign up for my RSS feeds and receive my blog posts each week
• Stumble this post and follow me (and see who I follow) @theurbanbaker on StumbleUpon.

Good Luck!

More Candy around the Web:
Mint Chocolate Bark – Bakers Royale
Peppermint Bark – A Taste of Koko
Rocky Road Fudge – Recipe Girl
Peanut Brittle – Brown Eyed Baker
Lavender Honey Caramel Candy Bars – Cherry Tea Cakes
Homemade Three Musketeer’s Candy Bar - Bean Town Baker

 

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] November 30, 2011 at 6:49 am

I am such an advocate for homemade gifts. Once I graduated college and worked for “pennies” and then went on to grad school, which comes with student loans I began to really appreciate homemade gifts for their charm and how economical it is.

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2 Susan November 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

even if I made a million dollars a year, I would still make my holiday gifts!

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3 aida mollenkamp November 30, 2011 at 7:15 am

Those marshmallows do look great, Susan. And all your holiday edible gifts sound delightful!

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4 Alicia @ Treble Tart November 30, 2011 at 7:25 am

I love everything homemade, really. My favorite homemade holiday treat would have to be either peppermint bark (or any kind of bark, really) or Ribbon Layer “Cookies,” which are to die for! They’re made of three layers (red, green, and white) of an almond-paste-based cake kind of thing, with raspberry jam in between and a layer of melted chocolate on top! So good.

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5 Alicia @ Treble Tart November 30, 2011 at 7:26 am

I already like you on Facebook! :)

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6 Alicia @ Treble Tart November 30, 2011 at 7:27 am

Already following you on Twitter!

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7 Alicia @ Treble Tart November 30, 2011 at 7:30 am

Tweeted! (trebletart)

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8 Marla November 30, 2011 at 9:23 am

Such a great book!! Love that there is no corn syrup in the marshmallows. A must try. Fun giveaway :) Sign me up.

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9 Marla November 30, 2011 at 9:23 am

I am a Urban Baker fan on FB :)

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10 Marla November 30, 2011 at 9:23 am

I follow you on twitter… xxoo

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11 Rachel November 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

I make something different every year, but black bottom cupcakes are a favorite.

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12 Rachel November 30, 2011 at 10:23 am

I follow you on twitter. (psst, there is a spelling error in the link to your twitter feed–@therubanbaker)

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13 Rachel November 30, 2011 at 10:23 am

I like you on facebook.

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14 Rachel November 30, 2011 at 10:24 am

I subscribe to RSS.

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15 Mercedes November 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

My favorite homemade candy to make is marshmallows and I plan to give them this year as gifts!

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16 Susan November 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Mercedes – you would love this recipe. I didn’t post the recipe out of fairness, but I will try and get it to you!

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17 Mercedes November 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

I follow you on Twitter!

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18 Mercedes November 30, 2011 at 10:26 am

I subscribed via email!

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19 craftytammie November 30, 2011 at 10:33 am

last year i made peanut butter fudge for the first time – so yummy! and i love to give homemade gifts – usually cookies or jalapeno jelly. this year i made pepper & onion relish instead, and will be giving out little jars of it. i also like to include a hand knit or crocheted dishcloth!

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20 Susan November 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm

peanut butter and fudge in the same sentence. that’s is something I could get used to!

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21 Julie @BananasForBourbon November 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I really want to perfect my fudge. I love to eat it. :) And peanut butter cups!

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22 Julie @BananasForBourbon November 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I like Urban Spoon on facebook!

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23 Julie @BananasForBourbon November 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I friend/like/follow Nina’s facebook

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24 Julie @BananasForBourbon November 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I tweeted! And follow of course

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25 Julie @BananasForBourbon November 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Oh, I guess following you on twitter is separate? Separate comment then! ;)

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26 Julie @BananasForBourbon November 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

And I subscribe to your RSS feed. It’s a must read! :)

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27 Brooke @ Food Woolf November 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Can making candy at home really be easy? Could someone who doesn’t like to bake want to start up with this holiday tradition? If anyone could convince of me of such things it’s you. You make baking look so delicious I’d be crazy not to try my hand at the whole thing.
xxoxoxo,
Brooke

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28 Susan November 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Brooke – candy making is a whole nother dimension. Doesn’t always work (come and see two batches of caramels – trying to repurpose them). With that said, it is so fun. Come over sometime and I will pull out my tempering machine – that’s where the fun begins!

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29 Cindy B. November 30, 2011 at 1:51 pm

My favorite homemade candy is.Peanut Brittle.

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30 Cindy B. November 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I like The Urban Baker’s Facebook page.

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31 Cindy B. November 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I tweeted about this giveaway.

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32 Cindy B. November 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I follow @therubanbaker on Twitter.

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33 Cindy B. November 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I subscribe to your RSS feeds and blog post.

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34 Cindy B. November 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I stumble this post.

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35 Andrea D. November 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I love homemade buckeyes or peanut butter cups.

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36 Andrea D. November 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I added her to become a friend.

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37 Andrea D. November 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I am a friend of yours.

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38 Andrea D. November 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I am an email subscriber of yours.

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39 Jennie November 30, 2011 at 3:27 pm

It’s hard to beat toffee!

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40 Alyse November 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm

My favorite homemade candy is salty soft caramel.

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41 Georgia Pellegrini November 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Gorgeous book and gorgeous kisses! I really want to make these just because of the name :)

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42 Tanya November 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Homemade spicy nuts and almond joys!

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43 Tanya November 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Already follow you…

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44 jocelyn November 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm

i do all of the above except twitter- but i do love the look of these treats and the candy. (oh no, i better go have shake- ha ha ha)

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45 jocelyn November 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm

i haven’t made too many candies in my day but i have made amazing peanut butter, chocolate fudge. mmmmmmm goood. i am sure knowing what i do know about baking and cooking, i can even perfect this recipe and change it up a bit.

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46 Denise P. November 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I requested to be Nina’s friend on Facebook!

Denise P

sandpaperxsilk -at- hotmail.com

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47 Denise P. November 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I tweeted about the giveaway! @bittersweetmess

Denise P

sandpaperxsilk -at- hotmail.com

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48 Denise P. November 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I like the Urban Baker on FB!
Denise P

sandpaperxsilk -at- hotmail.com

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49 Denise P. November 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I follow you on twitter!

Denise P

sandpaperxsilk -at- hotmail.com

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50 Denise P. November 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I subscribe to your blog posts!
Denise P

sandpaperxsilk -at- hotmail.com

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51 Denise P. November 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm

My favorite homemade candy is Marshmallows!!

Denise P

sandpaperxsilk -at- hotmail.com

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52 Pedro N. November 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I love to make Marshmallows with my fiance!

Pedro

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53 Pat R November 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Salted caramels!!!! YUMMMMMMMMMMM

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54 Pat R November 30, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I “like” Nina on FB

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55 Pat R November 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I already “like” you on FB

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56 Bebe November 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm

We make Buckeyes every year to put on our cookie plates that we give to our friends and neighbors.

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57 Lucy Lean November 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm

huge fan of homemade marshmallow – can’t wait to try a recipe sans corn syrup – thanks for this beautiful post.

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58 Mb December 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

homemade toffee!

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59 Nancy@acommunaltable December 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

I love this book too Susan and your scotch kisses are gorgeous – watch out See’s!

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60 Amanda Thompson December 1, 2011 at 9:35 am

I love homemade English Toffee!

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61 Amanda Thompson December 1, 2011 at 9:36 am

I follow you via rss feeds/email!

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62 Deb December 1, 2011 at 11:00 am

A holiday tradition is to make “See’s Fudge” with lots of walnuts. I also enjoy making peanut butter cups and want to try them with Nutella and Biscoff. To package I use wax paper between layers and am fond of lots of ribbons to finish my gift.

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63 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm

That looks like a great book, I love to make homemade candy. My favorites are usually candied fruit peels dipped in chocolate or chocolate truffles! See a theme there? lol I love my chocolate!

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64 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Tweeted it!

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65 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Already following you on Twitter.

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66 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm

and on Facebook of course!

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67 CK December 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

My favorite candy is my friend, Stacy’s daughter, Paige, recipe for Texas Homemade Toffee.

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68 CK December 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Went to Nina’s Facebook page and became her friend

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69 CK December 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Retweeted about this giveaway.

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70 CK December 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Following @therubanbaker on Twitter

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71 CK December 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm

My son, Clay, absolutely LOVES marshmallows but hasn’t one since we have been eating an organic, healthy lifestyle! I would LOVE to win this book and have that recipe! <3

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72 Rowena December 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm

My favorite candy to make is Nina Wanat’s soft chocolate caramels with pecans, followed by fleur de sel caramels. First, I wrap them in cellophane squares or wax paper squares, then the caramels are placed in a Weck jar – the labels on the jars are hand stamped and tied by red baker’s twine.

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73 Rowena December 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Followed you on Twitter!

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74 Lori S. December 3, 2011 at 5:36 am

My favorite homemade candy is pralines. I do make homemade gifts every year. I haven’t made very much candy in the past, but I use old china plates I find at resale shops for cookies and then use color cellophane to tent them. If I give homemade vinegar or infused oils I use recycled interesting bottles and cover or paint the cap to make it more attractive.

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75 Lori S. December 3, 2011 at 5:37 am

Friended Nina on Facebook.

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76 Lori S. December 3, 2011 at 5:37 am

I follow @the urbanbaker on Twitter

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77 Lori S. December 3, 2011 at 5:37 am

I previously liked The Urban Baker on Facebook.

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78 Lori S. December 3, 2011 at 5:38 am

I signed up for the RSS feed.

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79 Lori S. December 3, 2011 at 5:40 am

I tweeted about the giveaway. @thriftyfoodies

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80 Amy December 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm

My favorites are peppermint bark and almond joys.

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81 Amy December 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm

i friended nina!

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82 Amy December 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I liked your page

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83 Amy December 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm

i signed up for your rss feeds

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84 Amy December 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

and i stumbled this post!

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85 Jillian_R December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I have asked to be Nina Wanat’s friend!

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86 Jillian_R December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I follow @the urbanbaker on Twitter

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87 Jillian_R December 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I am already signed up for the RSS feed.

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88 Jillian_R December 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I previously liked The Urban Baker on Facebook

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89 Jillian_R December 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I stumbled this post.

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90 Tina W. December 6, 2011 at 10:44 am

My favorite homemade candy is peanut brittle. I do usually give out homemade gifts – this year, lots of bloody mary mix and infused vodkas.

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