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Great Confections for Even Greater Holidays

Updated on December 12, 2012
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Good candy begins with great recipes. I’ll be quite honest and tell you that if it weren’t for sweets, I would not be the happy person that I am. Also, I have no reason to feel guilty about my consumption of any confection, as I usually walk six miles a day. That is quite enough to burn off all those hefty calories.

Seriously, the art of candy making will be lost if we don’t use it, or have good recipes in order to keep it alive. Not only that, Christmas is coming, and you need some great recipes to make your holidays festive and memorable. So without further adieu, I bring you some of the best of the best that I have researched. This is my gift to you. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Happy Quanzzaa, and may your seasons be exactly what you hope for.

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Candy Cane Fudge

Original recipe makes 2 1/4 pounds

2 -10 ounce packages vanilla baking chips

1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes

1 dash red or green food coloring

Prep time: 20 minutes

Done in 2 hours and 20 minutes

Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, then grease foil. Combine sweeten condensed milk and vanilla chips in saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat, and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are fully melted, stir in peppermint extract, candy cane pieces, and food coloring. Spread evenly in bottom of prepped pan. Chill for 2 hours and cut into squares.

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Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Original recipe makes 3 pounds

1-7 ounce jar marshmallow cream

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk chocolate chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREP Time: 10 minutes

COOK Time: 20 minutes

READY In: 30 minutes

Line 8-inch square pan with foil and set aside. In large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, marshmallow cream, evaporated milk, butter, and salt. Bring to full boil, and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepped pan and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

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Peanut Butter Fudge

Original recipe makes 1 - 8x8 inch pan

1/2 cup butter

2 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

PREP Time: 15 minutes

COOK Time: 5 minutes

READY In: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in milk and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and peanut butter. Pour over confectioners sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth, pour into 8-inch square dish. Chill until firm, and cut into squares.

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Maple Walnut Fudge

Original recipe makes1 8x8-inch baking dish

3 cups white chocolate chips

1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon maple flavored extract

1 1/2 cups broken walnuts

PREP Time: 10 minutes

COOK Time: 5 minutes

READY In: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Grease 8-inch square glass baking dish and line with 8 x 12-inch sheet parchment paper. Ends will hang over side of dish. Melt white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in microwave safe ceramic or glass bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting phase for 1 to 3 minutes, depending upon the microwave.* Do not overheat, or chocolate will scorch. Stir in maple extract until just combined, then add walnuts. Pour chocolate mixture into prepped baking dish, then refrigerate for an hour, or until set. Remove fudge by lifting parchment paper, cut into squares.

*As all microwaves differ, you might want to melt on medium power. Cooking times could vary.

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Easy Uncooked Carob and Coconut Fudge

Combine one cup each carob powder and peanut butter, 2 cups grated coconut(unsweetened), one cup honey, and one teaspoon vanilla. Roll into balls.

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Bonus Recipe--Baked Fresh Figs

Wash two dozen large figs and cut off both ends. Set in baking dish and pour apple juice over them. While they are baking in a moderate oven, stir the juice occasionally to moisten the figs and roll them over once in a while. Cook at least 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.

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English Toffee

Combine one cup sugar, ¾ cup dark corn syrup, ¾ cup cream, and a pinch of salt in heavy saucepan. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Then cook until a firm forms in cold water, which is at 244 degrees F. Add 1 ½ tablespoons butter and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Pour in thin layer on a greased marble slab. While still warm, mark into squares. Wrap each square in waxed paper when cold.

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Candy Without White Sugar--Raisin and Nut Bars

Grind together 2 cups raisins and one cup of any kind of nuts that you like. Mix together with ¼ cup honey. Press into a ½ inch sheet pan. Cover and put a weight on top of this for 24 hours.

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Candy Without White Sugar--Honey Bars

Grind raisins until you have a cupful Finish grinding with a half slice of bread, as that will get the rest of the raisins out of the grinder. Combine with ½ cup peanut butter, ½ cup powdered milk, ½ teaspoon of any kind of extract that you like, and 2 tablespoons honey. Knead with your hands and form a log. Chill and then slice, as the chilling makes it easier to cut. If you’d like it sweeter, mix in a little powdered sugar. Nuts, coconut, etc. are optional. Any kind of home dried fruit could be used in place of raisins.

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Sauces--Hot Fudge

Mix a cup sugar, a cup water, a tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons butter, and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Cook over medium heat in heavy saucepan until thick, stirring constantly, or it will stick. When cool, store in a covered jar in a cool place. To reheat, place jar in hot water until needed. This makes a great base for a milk shake or a sauce for ice cream or cakes instead of icing.

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Sauces--Caramel

Put sugar in a pan and melt slowly. Cook until dark brown, but don’t scorch. Add as much boiling water as you had for sugar. Slowly continue to cook until you have a thick syrup. Pour into a covered jar.

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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, beingwell. You can bet that I love my sweets, too. I never refuse them.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 

      5 years ago from Bangkok

      I have a sweet tooth myself. And oh my, that chocolate fudge looks so yummy!! Voting up and shared.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad to hear it, Beckie. These are all tried-and-true recipes. Have a BALL!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Just an FYI. Mom and I made your chocolate fudge and it was the first time we had success. Very easy and delicious.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Globetrekkermel, I love my sweets, too. That's why I walk 6 miles a day or so.

    • Globetrekkermel profile image

      Globetrekkermel 

      5 years ago from CALIFORNIA

      I love the walnut and peanut butter fudge. YUMMYYY, never mind the pounds this time,LOL!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is excellent stuff, Bumpsysmum. You can make a bit of each, just to try them out.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Eddy! There's something for everyone in here.

    • Bumpsysmum profile image

      Bumpsysmum 

      6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      Oh my, what are you trying to do to me? My daughter is pressing me to try all these recipes, but I already have a sweet tooth! I shall have to start being a secret sweety maker. Love the pics, I was drooling just looking at them.....

      Great stuff

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      Another for me to save into my recipe book.Thanks for sharing.

      Eddy.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Why sure, Alicia. It was an enjoyable trip for me, as I know that it is for you, too.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Connie, usually. I have to go to the lake every day to see my birds, then walk to a friends house to use the internet.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      No need to pick, Highland Terrier, try 'em all.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nettlemere, they are all great. Try a little of each.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      To heck with the waistline, Eddy. You only live once, so have a great holiday!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Why, thank you, Martin. Time to make a treat...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a great collection of recipes, Deb. They sound so delicious - especially the fudge recipes! Thanks for the research.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, YUMMO! Can't wait to try the peanut butter fudge. That will be awesome. Do you really walk 6 miles a day?! That's amazing. I'm lucky if I get in a few hundred feet a day! Voted Up and Useful and AWESOME!

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 

      6 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Loved the opening paragraph. beautifully put.

      But the problem is this: which one, which one, you have ruined Christmas I'll be in a tizzy till I decide.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 

      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I'm voting for the maple walnut fudge, it sounds fab, but I'm also intrigued by the idea of the no white sugar ones and quite fancy giving them a go.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      Another for that recipe book of mine and again I can so easily forget that waistline.

      Havea wonderful day.

      Eddy./.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      "Heaven (sing along) I'm in heaven... ". Bless you for this.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, you'll be all right. The uncooked carob and coconut fudge wouldn't be bad for you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is just cruel, Deb! You have no idea how much I love fudge; if you did, you would have never posted this hub! Thanks a lot my friend! Now my stomach is growling at me. :)

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