The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

December 23, 2008

A sweet job: Owner of candy business says some holiday favorites are labor intensive

By Dustin Shipman

With no shortage of sweet tooths, Christmas is among one of the busiest times of the year for Terry Hicklin, who along with his wife, Pat, owns the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates.

“We will do as much today as we do the entire month of June,” Hicklin said on Monday. “Our No. 1 item all year is our English toffee and our caramel pecan treats.”

Along with the favorites that have been in demand since the Candy House was founded back in 1970, there is an ever-evolving selection that Hicklin has made available to his customers since he bought the business 10 years ago.

Some of the holiday favorites can be hard to keep in stock.

“As far as holiday items, we sell a lot of peanut brittle, divinity and we have like 17 different kinds of fudges,” he said. “We also sell a lot of sugar-free gift boxes. In fact, we ran out of the sugar-free gift boxes this week and we are pushing to get some more.”

One of the more popular and unique items that the Candy House makes is called “Mine Run,” which is a treat similar to a honeycomb in texture. It’s made with corn syrup and sugar, then baking soda and gelatin are added to make it porous, and the whole thing is covered in chocolate.

“It’s very labor intensive, and when people know we are out of it, it’s like a flag goes up,” Hicklin said. “Once we dip them in chocolate, we have to go back over by hand and touch them up because even if a little pin hole is in the chocolate then air will get inside and dissolve them from the inside.”

Hicklin said cherry cordials are another favorite which take quite a bit of work to make, but something that several of his customers seem to enjoy.

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