making your own candy this holiday season to give as gifts or to keep for yourself, you may be working with fondant or tempering chocolate. If so, you're going to need a marble slab. Marble surfaces are useful for working with certain types of food because they stay cool - if you place one in the fridge, it will hold the cold temperature for a few hours. When hot candy is poured on a marble slab, it cools more quickly and this makes it easier to work with.
However, marble slabs can get expensive. At kitchen supply stores, they cost anywhere from $35 to $150. If you order them online, you'll pay a hefty shipping fee due to their weight. Here's a much cheaper alternative: go to your nearest home improvement store and buy two 12x12 marble floor tiles. That will set you back between $10 and $14. You can also use the marble tiles for working with pastry or serving cheese on. (Images: Make and Takes - thanks!)