Well, here we are in the final few frenzied days before Christmas. If hope all of you are super organized and have everything finished and are just sitting back relaxing until the big day. However, if you're anything like me, you're still running around trying to finish about a million last minute details. Shopping, cooking, wrapping gifts. I just keep humming "It's the most wonderful time of the year" as a reminder to myself. The humming isn't really working.
Since I haven't had much time in the kitchen the past few days, I thought I'd do a little round-up for you of some of my favorite Christmas candy recipes. One of the things I do enjoy most everything Christmas is having time to make homemade candies. I'm planning to set aside one afternoon next week just for candy making. The recipes I've included are some of the ones I'll be making. A few are new, but most are old family favorites. Hope you find one you'd like to try.
This Bacon and Pecan Topped Toffee is perfection in every way. It has a foundation layer of buttery, sugary, rich toffee topped with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate, topped with toasted pecans and…wait for it…bacon! Then the whole thing is drizzled with white chocolate just for good measure.
If I do say so myself, this sweet buttery toffee and chocolate combination with the rich, toasted pecans and salty, luscious bacon is something just this side of nirvana. It’s one of those bites that will make your eyes roll back in your head and keep you coming back for more…and more…and more.
This is another of those back-in-the-day recipes that I’ve had in my files forever. They’re a delightful combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy and make a lovely addition to your assortment of more traditional Christmas candies. I remember making these with my friend Sandra back in high school. Yes indeed, this recipe has stood the test of time.
Now this one is a really old, old recipe. I remember my mother and grandmother making Chinese Chews every Christmas when I was a girl. They were and still are a tradition.
I did some searching on the internet for the origin of this recipe and it seems to have first appeared in the early 1900’s. However, no one really knows why they’re called Chinese Chews. There’s nothing particularly Chinese about them. Maybe back in that time, the dates seemed exotic and anything exotic was perhaps associated with the Far East? I dunno. What I do know is that these little bar cookies are very delicious. And they’re another recipe that has firmly withstood the test of time.
The easiest toffee recipe I know! And one of the most interesting, too. This is, believe it or not, saltine crackers topped with all kinds of goodness - melted butter and sugar, chocolate, and nuts. It takes just a few minutes to make and everybody love this one!
I really enjoy making homemade marshmallows. I've seen several companies that sell “artisan” marshmallows. They are truly beautiful and I’m sure quite tasty, but you’d better be willing to open up your wallet to purchase them. I always pass them by because I know just how easy and cheap homemade marshmallows are to make. And they taste so much better and so different than the bags of marshmallows you buy at your regular grocery store.
I think pralines are generally associated with the South and, according to online sources, they evolved from recipes brought to Louisiana by French settlers. The original French confection known as “praline” was individual almonds coated in caramelized sugar. New Orleans chefs substituted pecans for the almonds, added cream to thicken the candy and that became what is known throughout the South as pralines. Our pralines have a creamy consistency, similar to fudge.
And, of course, there’s always the debate over whether the word is pronounced “pray-leen” or “prah-leen”. It’s pray-leens around here :-). Emphasis on the first syllable, please.
One of our all-time favorites and probably one of yours as well. Fudge! This is a really quick and easy recipe, too. I’ve had this recipe for years and years and it has never failed for me. Except once. And I still don’t know what I did wrong that time. But all of the other 2,437 times I’ve made it have been perfect. It always turns out nice and creamy, never grainy, and using chocolate chips in it gives a wonderfully familiar chocolate flavor that is especially appealing to children. No fancy ingredients required – in fact you probably have every one of them in your pantry right now. So, what are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and make some of this fudge!
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