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Grandma's Christmas Candy-Easy, and inexpensive.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to make the most incredible candy! I couldn't wait til Christmas just to have some of her homemade candy! All the pretty presents would be under the tree, and the table would be set in all the elegant china, linens, lights on the tree adorning, and all I could think about would be that candy!
The gift that keeps on giving, year after year. My grandmother has been gone for years now, but her candy will live on forever. One of those glorious childhood memories that you will never forget. I decided to share it with you. Her recipes that is! I still have them hand written, to cherish forever. To make them year after year and share them with family, friends, when you need a last minute gift idea, give candy I say! You can find Christmas tins all over! I have found them at garage sales for pennies, I have found them at Goodwill for pennies! Dollar stores have them, and other places. A very grand inexpensive gift idea. People do not have to spend a lot to give a lot. And when you make something homemade and wrap it up in your pretty paper and tins, I think that is what gift giving is all about.
1 6oz. pkg of Chocolate Chips.
1/2 cup sugar.
1/4 cup light Karo syrup.
1/4 cup water.
2 1/2 cup crushed vanilla wafers. (About 5 dozen)
1 cup nuts, chopped. (Your choice on what type you prefer)
1 tsp. orange extract.
Colored sugar, red & green. Candy sprinkles. (You can decorate these any way you wish.)
Melt chocolate chips, use a double boiler pan, so they do not burn. Once melted remove the pan with melted chocolate chips from water pan. Add in orange extract, stir in sugar and corn syrup. Blend in water, and combine vanilla wafers and nuts. Form into one inch balls. Roll in sugars, sprinkles or whatever you wish. You can use different colors of sugars, candy sprinkles, crushed nuts, confectioners' sugar, cocoa, coconut. These will keep 3-4 weeks.
You can put each one in a paper wrapper/cup to look pretty, before putting them into a tin/container.
Grandma's Chocolate Caramels.
Combine over low heat. (Double boiler works best)
1 cup sugar.
3/4 cup white Karo syrup.
2 1/2 squares Baker's chocolate.
1/4 tsp. salt.
1/2 heavy cream.
Stir constantly and boil to 234 degrees F. or soft boil stage. When it reaches this stage, add 1/2 heavy cream and again cook to soft ball stage. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and cook to 242 degrees F. or firm ball stage. Add a cup chopped nuts, (Any type you desire), and pour at once into slightly greased 8" by 8" pan. Let stand until cooled. Turn onto cutting board or marble slab, countertop. Cut into even squares and wrap in parchment papers. Store in tins, containers.
Okay, this one is not my grandmothers, but mine! I love peppermint bark chocolate candy! And it is very expensive in the stores, so make your own! This is great for Holiday giving!
Laurie's Peppermint Bark.
9 peppermint candy canes. (crushed)
1 lb. milk or dark chocolate. (I prefer dark, but again this is a personal choice.)
1 lb. white chocolate. (Almond bark)
1 tsp of butter. (You only need this if you use waxed paper) I use parchment, and do not need the butter.
Crush up your candy canes. You can do this by putting them in a baggie, and crushing them with a rolling pin. Or use your imagination! Place them in a bowl to the side.
Get out a 15" x 9" jelly roll pan, cookie sheet, baking sheet. Line it with parchment paper. If you use wax paper, grease it with the butter.
Melting the chocolate, you can use your microwave, or a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler, you can place one pan over another with the bottom one filled with water. You can even place a glass bowl over a pan of water. Be careful of steam. Just do not let the chocolate touch the water! IT will ruin it.
I prefer to use my microwave. First melt the dark or milk chocolate. Break it into chunks, or use your food processor, and place into a microwave safe bowl, use glass. I place in microwave for 30 seconds, bring out and stir, repeating til it is all melted. Then pour the melted chocolate over the paper, smoothing it out with a spatula.
Place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow it to set and harden.
For the white chocolate, break into chunks, food processor, or use a food grater. Those old-fashioned kind that are box graters work wonders.
Next melt the white chocolate, the same way you did the other chocolate. I again use the microwave. When all melted, pour over the dark or milk chocolate, getting it as even as you can. It does not have to be perfect to the edges.
While the white chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the peppermint pieces all over the top. Place back into the refrigerator for 15-20 mins, til firm.
Bring out the pan and turn it over another baking pan, peeling off the paper. Next comes the fun part, break it up into pieces! And any lost peppermint bits, just place into the tin/container.
And here is another one, if you like chocolate-covered pretzels, you can do this easier without all the fuss!
16 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating, (Almond bark), chopped or shredded.
2 cups small pretzel twists. (You can break these into pieces too if you prefer)
1/2 cup red and green candy-coated chocolate pieces. M & M's work great!
Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. In double boiler, or microwave, melt candy coating, (Almond bark).
Add remaining ingredients, toss to coat. Spread mixture thinly on lined cookie sheet. Add candy sprinles. Cool 30 minutes or until set. Break into pieces and enjoy!
All of these make wonderful Christmas gifts, or just to eat yourself! And a very inexpensive gift to tell someone that you care.
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