December 21, 2011

royalties, hobbits, and candy

A few things today… I now have four reviews of The Clockwork Giant on Amazon! As far as I’m concerned, I’m doing rather well. I’ve sold 21 books in the past week, most of them on Amazon, and even one international sale. I’m hoping to get more through Smashwords once the book goes live on Apple iBooks, Kobo, and Sony Reader. And maybe sales will pick up after Christmas when people have more money. I’m not sure that the wave of new e-reader owners will give me many sales, seeing as they’ll likely only download books in the FREE -- $0.99 range. That’s what I did with my first e-reader. Anyway, I’m doing better than I thought I would with sales. I figured I’d be lucky to sell 10 copies in the first month. Instead, I’ve sold double that, and I’ve accrued $76.05 in royalties. That’s $76.05 that I didn’t have before. Woo!

In other news, if you stay plugged into the internet, you’ve likely seen this. But for those of you that haven’t seen it, you’re welcome.

And last, I have some Christmas candy recipes for you. These are the more complicated ones that require a whole lot of time. I plan on posting some easier recipes on Friday, ones that the kids can help with.

Turkish Delight
Time: 2 hours | Makes: 80 pieces

4 cups sugar
4 ½ cups water (I used 1 ½ cups water and 3 cups fruit juice)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 ¼ cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ½ tablespoons rosewater (I couldn’t find this anywhere, so my recipe lacks this)
red food coloring (optional)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

9-inch square pan
Candy thermometer
Two medium saucepans

  1. Oil a 9-inch square pan. Line with plastic wrap and oil the plastic wrap (I used a 9x13 pan because the only square pan we have still had brownies in it).
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, 1 ½ cups of the water, and the lemon juice. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, without stirring, until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (240oF on a candy thermometer). Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. In a second heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together 1 cup cornstarch and the cream of tartar. Gradually stir in the remaining 3 cups of water (or juice), until no lumps remain. Stirl constantly, until the mixture boils and is a thick, gluey paste (if you use juice, I recommend whisking the mixture to get rid of the lumps).
  4. Slowly pour the hot sugar, water, and lemon juice syrup into the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking, for about 1 hour.
  5. Stir in the rosewater and tint as desired with food coloring. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Cool to room temperature and let stand, uncovered, overnight to set.
  6. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining ¼ cup cornstarch onto a large cutting board (or flat surface). Turn the Turkish Delight out and cut into 1-inch squares with an oiled knife. Roll pieces in the sugar mixture to coat well. Store in an airtight container with sheets of waxed paper, dusted with the sugar mixture, separating every layer.

Peanut Brittle
Time: 1 hour | Makes: 2 ¼ lbs; 72 servings

2 cups sugar
1 cup light-colored corn syrup
½ cup water
¼ cup butter
2 ½ cups raw peanuts
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

Candy thermometer
Medium saucepan
Two large baking sheets

  1. Butter two large baking sheets; set aside. Butter the sides of 3-quart heavy saucepan. In pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 275oF, soft-crack stage (about 30 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.)
  2. Stir in nuts; continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 295oF, hard crack stage (15 to 20 minutes more).
  3. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Quickly sprinkle baking soda over corn syrup mixture, stirring constantly. Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheets. Use forks or spatula to spread the brittle across the pans. Cool completely; break into pieces. Store, tightly covered for up to 1 week.

On Friday, I’ll give you an easy recipe for Gingerbread cookies and Chocolate Peanut Toffee drops.

Any Christmas candies or holiday snacks that you make or eat every year?


  1. YAY!!! Three cheers for making sales. I'm sure more sales are forthcoming.

  2. Actually, you have five reviews ;) I finally had some downtime today, so I figured I'd make good on my promise :)

  3. I saw that not long after posting this. It's a fantastic review :) thanks!