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  1. Good point! I hadn't considered that but you are absolutely right. That is why I come here for advice because I'm sure I will overlook so many things like this! Thanks
  2. I tend to get a lot more peaks on my dark chocolate ganaches, so I usually have to go back after the filling is set and use a gloved finger to gently press it down or even use a small angled spatula to scrape off the tip of the peak.
  3. Thanks so much for the advice. The main reason I am trying to make it look like a traditional kitchen/guesthouse is for resale down the road if we sell the house or if I end up growing out of the space and decide to move to a larger commercial space. I think the actual built-in "kitchen" will be quite small. I was thinking maybe a 2 burner induction cooktop, a small oven (the only thing I use it for in my current chocolate work is roasting nuts), microwave, sink, open shelving above and built-in cabinets below, a stone top island (maybe with a hand washing sink in it), and fridge/freezer combo
  4. Thanks! As far as the dish-washing, that will depend on if I can go the commercial route or not. Since it's residential I may not be allowed to do anything other than a cottage license anyway. But if I can do commercial I'm sure I'll need the 3 compartment sink and grease trap.
  5. Thank you so much Kerry! This is all very helpful.
  6. I am in the very beginning stages of building a chocolate house in my backyard. It will technically be a guest house/mother-in-law suite, but I will be using it mainly as my chocolate kitchen for my cottage food business (and am considering making it fully commercial if the health department will allow and if my budget allows). I plan for a main open kitchen/living room (with stainless steel tables instead of living room furniture), a large pantry for storage, a bedroom (with closet for extra storage), and a bathroom. The advice I am seeking is for a couple things specifically, and any advice
  7. I used these boxes for the large eggs https://www.nashvillewraps.com/boxes/clear-favor-boxes/p-358/1114 I had to custom make the colored inserts that hold the eggs in place myself. I have a cricut cutting machine and made a template that would hold my egg size in place. Since I only made a few of these, it worked well for my small scale production. I have used my cricut to make packaging for my bars and inserts for my boxes instead of trays. But it is only useful for very small quantities because it's quite time consuming. It does let me try different packaging ideas so wh
  8. Thanks! I actually didn't do much blending on purpose on those eggs. I was just doing layers of splatters, paint brush swipes, and finger swipes (when the big splatters started to drip down the side of the egg in a way I didn't like--that's probably where the blended look came in). I loved how they turned out in the end though. If your friend wants to find me, I'm on Instagram @handcraftedbyhaley
  9. I went ahead with my Easter chocolates this year and am so happy with how they turned out, but will never put myself through this painting process again! It turns out that I enjoy painting a few intricate eggs at a time, but not 60 per batch at a time. I was worried that all my hard work would go to waste but it turns out that people were really looking forward to these chocolates with all that’s going on and I ended up selling every last box. Flavors are s’mores, caramel with shortbread cookie, cookies and cream, and caramel with peanut butter and pretzel. The large eggs have small milk ch
  10. Playing around with some egg designs. TBD which ones make the cut. Also waiting on a new order of cocoa butter colors so there will be more testing soon!
  11. The nice sold slightly better (as I suspected and was prepared for knowing my customers). I offered a slight discount when buying a box of each and that seemed to help balance out my inventory.
  12. Finally back on the forums to get some Valentine’s inspiration and thought I’d share my Christmas collections. I can never narrow down the flavors that I want to make, so as usual, I overdid it. I made 24 different bonbons this year in order to fulfill my idea of offering a “nice” box (more traditional flavors) and a “naughty” box (more non traditional flavors and more dark chocolate). Nice box flavors: turtle, salted caramel, strawberry, peanut butter, cookie butter, hot chocolate, peppermint, coffee, coconut, key lime, raspberry cheesecake, and hazelnut gianduja Naughty box flavo
  13. Here are a few of my pictures from the weekend so far. A few of us went to the City Museum last night and had too much fun. Can you spot Willow in the last picture?
  14. I made it to Atlanta. One more flight to go! I don’t travel by myself very often and I’m realizing that airports are so much easier without 3 little kids in tow. It’s kind of relaxing to sit here while I know my husband is at home running carpool and after school activities 😂
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