First off, I'm not interested in debating the merits of mooncakes and fruit cake--I like moon cakes, the family likes moon cakes, the chow pup Loves mooncakes but face it, good mooncakes are expensive. We bought 3 boxes earlier this week [2 for gifts, 1 for us] and paid about $75 for 12 mooncakes.
So I've decided the solution is to make our own and since this is a four day weekend for me, now is the time. I've found a number of recipes, I understand what I'll be doing in a procedural sense but I don't understand the references to lye or where to buy it. Can someone explain that part to me and make suggestions on where to buy it?
And where should I look to buy maltose?
FYI I live in SoCal and am a regular visitor to the Ranch 99 market chain.