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Candy making classes on Long Island

Cindy Rothman, 35, of Merrick, works chocolate into

Cindy Rothman, 35, of Merrick, works chocolate into her molds during a candy-making class at The Chocolate Duck. (Nov. 11, 2010) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

At The Chocolate Duck in Farmingdale, eight women gathered on a recent Thursday night with one common goal: to learn how to create their own homemade treats to share with family and friends (or, better yet, just eat by themselves).

For Brandy Broder, a stay-at-home mom from Bellmore who has dabbled in chocolate making on her own, it was a chance to pick up some new techniques.

"I wanted to learn the right way, rather than trial and error," says Broder, 35, carefully dipping a cherry into a pink fondant and juice mixture to create a chocolate cordial.

On the other side of the counter, Deborah Connolly is making her own pecan turtle. "I am not good at this one," she says, strategically placing nuts into a ball of caramel. For Connolly, an accountant from Selden, the class is all about keeping up tradition - she remembers making chocolate-molded Santas every Christmas with her mother.

Those looking to create their own sweets - dark chocolate truffles, butter toffee almond, milk chocolate caramel clusters, homemade marshmallows - can learn step by step at candy-making workshops. Best of all, each participant goes home with a goody bag.

Holiday Sweets Workshop

WHEN | WHERE 6-9 p.m. Dec. 7 and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 15, Viking Culinary Center, Garden City

INFO 516-877-1010, vikingcookingschool.com

COST $89

Students will learn how to make homemade marshmallows, which wll be dipped in dark chocolate as a topping for hot white chocolate. Other goodies to be prepared include butter almond toffee, cranberry bliss bars and gingerbread scones with a maple glaze, according to the center's culinary director, Gerard Molloy. Additional techniques include learning how to cook with sugar, preparing dough from scratch and handling real chocolate to create a different spin on traditional hot chocolate.

Chocolate Molding and Candy Making

WHEN | WHERE Three-session series 7-9:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 9 and 14 at The Chocolate Duck, 310 Main St., Farmingdale

INFO 516-249-0887, chocolateduck.com

COST $150

Pastry chef Christina Bisbee will teach students basic to advanced molding techniques, including hollow and solid molding, painting on chocolate and creating popular holiday treats, ranging from peanut butter cups and nut clusters to marshmallows, coconut bars and peppermint patties. Students will work with modeling chocolate to create a hand-rolled basket that will be filled with a variety of handmade, flavored truffles - raspberry, Grand Marnier, amaretto, hazelnut and cappuccino. 

Chocolate Making

WHEN | WHERE By appointment, Craftcave, 120 Hillside Ave., Williston Park

INFO 516-877-2499, craftcave.com

COST $10-$40

Students will learn melting, pouring and unmolding techniques, from basic to advanced levels, says Craftcave owner Bob Sherman, whose store stocks more than 3,000 styles of candy molds. Popular holiday projects include gingerbread-style chocolate houses in a Christmas or Hanukkah theme, chocolate Christmas trees and Hanukkah bushes, chocolate sleighs, Santa Claus and reindeers, menorahs, dreidels, lollipops, chocolate-covered pretzels, dipped and filled chocolates. Depending on the class, participants also will learn embellishing techniques, including hollow molding, mold painting and working with edible glitter.

Holiday Chocolate Workshop

WHEN | WHERE 7:30-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in December (no classes week of Dec. 20), Candy Lane, 197 Higbie Lane, West Islip

INFO 631-669-9827

COST From $25 a session

From melting and molding chocolate to assembling and decorating a masterpiece, students will learn how to make their own creations. Mold selections include snowmen, wreaths and candy canes, ornaments, Christmas trees and Santa Claus as well as toy soldier lollipops and one-pound chocolate houses. Classes include preparation of other holiday sweets, such as chocolate-covered pretzels, peppermint bark and chocolate loaf.

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