Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas and homemade candy... the perfect combination!

It just doesn't seem like Christmas without making some kind of homemade candy. Just the thought of making fudge or peanut butter balls brings back a flood of happy memories. I still have some of the recipe cards or little pieces of paper with the original recipes tucked carefully into my recipe binder ... the peanut butter ball recipe from Bruce's Grandma or the fudge recipe from my mom.  I'm still trying hard to stay on my Weight Watchers program, so probably won't make any candy until just before Christmas this year... maybe a fun activity to do with my granddaughters who will be here. Here are a few of our favorite family recipes ... enjoy, and Merry Christmas!


MILLION DOLLAR FUDGE

Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl:

3 large (7 oz.) Hershey Almond bars, broken up
1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream
2 tsp. vanilla

Bring the following ingredients slowly to boil, stirring frequently:

1 cube melted butter
6 cups granulated sugar
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

 Boil 7 minutes at a rolling boil; then pour second mixture over first mixture and let stand for a few minutes. Stir until smooth. Add 2 – 4 cups of nuts. Spread in greased pan. 


GREAT GRANDMA LEAVITT’S PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

2 cups peanut butter
½ cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 cups crisp rice cereal

Mix together and form into balls. Chill and dip in chocolate coating.

TERRIBLY TERRIFIC TOFFEE

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan or a 12x17-inch cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Lay a flat layer of crackers out on the foil. Melt the sugar and butter until a boil is reached. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until mixture is thickened and sugar is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture over the crackers and spread to coat evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the toffee becomes bubbly. After removing the pan from the oven, let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips, let them soften and melt, and then spread them into an even layer. (You can add nuts, cracker crumbs, etc. at this point.) Let cool or refrigerate until hardened. Break into pieces the size of your choice.
 



EASY OREO TRUFFLES

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 package ( 1 lb. 2 oz.) Oreo cookies, finely crushed (about 4 1/4 cups), divided
2 packages semi sweet dipping chocolate, melted


Mix cream cheese and 3 cups of the cookie crumbs until well blended. Shape into 48  (1 inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

COCONUT DIPPED CHOCOLATES

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 (2 lb.) bag powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
1 (14 oz.) package coconut
Your preference of amounts and kinds of nuts and fruit

Combine ingredients, roll into balls, chill, and dip in chocolate coating.

This last recipe I have catergorized under my cookie recipes, but it is so simple, unbaked, and dipped in chocolate, that it could also be thought of as a candy. We make tons of these every Christmas. It is one of my most popular catered items at Christmas time. 


RITZ PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Ritz Crackers
Peanut Butter
Chocolate candy coating

Spread small amount of peanut butter between two Ritz crackers.  Dip in melted chocolate and decorate or sprinkle with red and/or green sprinkles.  Set on wax paper to harden.  You can melt the dipping chocolate in the microwave, 30 sec. at a time until you can stir it smooth. 


EASY MINT COOKIES

Ritz Cracker or Oreos
Chocolate candy coating
Peppermint oil

Melt chocolate candy coating and add a few drops of peppermint oil (Make sure you use oil and don’t use too much as it is very strong.)  Dip Ritz crackers or Oreos.  Decorate or sprinkle as desired.  Set on wax paper to harden.

Some Christmas party trays...



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