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Christmas Candy Tested Recipes & Videos

 

Buttercrunch Toffee Peanut Brittle Peppermint Bark
The sweet buttery flavor of this Butter crunch Toffee is so good when covered with a layer of chocolate and toasted almonds. Perfect for the holidays. more Peanut Brittle has a delicious sweet buttery flavor and hard and crunchy texture that seems to literally melt in your mouth. more Peppermint Bark is composed of two layers of chocolate; one dark one white, that are topped with crushed candy canes. more
Simple Chocolate Fudge Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge Cake Pops Recipe
Simple chocolate fudge is just that, simple to make. It is also loaded with nuts and is creamy smooth with a nice chocolate flavor.  more Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge is a smooth and creamy fudge that contains marshmallow cream. more Cake Pops are cake crumbs mixed with frosting, formed into balls, and covered with a crisp outer shell of colorful candy coating. more
Peanut Butter Fudge Peanut Butter Balls Peanut Butter Cups
This Peanut Butter Fudge has a smooth and creamy texture with a lovely peanut flavor. It is firm yet still melts in your mouth. more Peanut Butter Balls have a lovely coating of chocolate with a smooth and creamy filling that is almost fudge-like in texture. more Peanut Butter Cups have a shell of milk and semi sweet chocolates and a smooth and creamy peanut butter center. more
Toffee Peppermint Patties Chocolate Truffles
This crunchy Toffee, also known as Butter, Buttercrunch, or English Toffee, has a layer of buttery smooth toffee smothered in dark chocolate and toasted almonds. more Peppermint Patties have a shiny dark chocolate coating and inside is a smooth and creamy mint flavored filling. more Chocolate Truffles are a smooth and creamy mixture of dark chocolate and cream. They are formed into rounds and often rolled in cocoa powder. more
     
    More Recipes Below

Candy. The very word conjures up so many wonderful images: caramels, lollipops, chocolate covered nuts, marshmallows, fudge, taffy, chewing gum, citrus rinds, cotton candy, and candy bars. Carole Bloom in her "The International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and

Confections" defines 'candy' as any of a variety of confections made with sugar and often combined with chocolate, fruit, and/or nuts.

Of course, you can buy all the candy I mentioned above, but making your own is so much fun and it gives you a real sense of accomplishment. Eyes light up when you present someone with a homemade batch of caramels or fudge. If you are a little tentative about candy making, start with easy recipes; things like chocolate truffles, fruit and nut balls, hazelnut Ganache cups, white chocolate candy bars, or peanut butter balls. All of these recipes just require mixing ingredients together. Then, when you feel more confident, try the recipes (buttercrunch toffee, caramels, caramel corn, fudge, marshmallows, and peanut brittle) that use cooked sugar. Cooked sugar is where sugar, along with water and other ingredients, are boiled to a certain temperature. As the sugar mixture boils, water evaporates from the mixture, making a dense syrup. The longer the mixture boils, the denser the syrup will be. There are various stages of Cooked Sugar: thread, soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, soft crack and hard crack. (See 'Stages of Cooked Sugar' Table) Each stage has a corresponding temperature range, and at each stage, when you drop a spoonful of the cooked sugar in cold water, it will behave in a certain way. How it behaves at each stage also tells us how the candy will eventually set. For example, at the soft ball stage (234 - 240 degrees F) (112 - 115 degrees C) the sugar, when a little is dropped in cold water, will be a soft, sticky ball that is perfect for making caramels, fudge and butter creams. However, this water test can be tricky and oftentimes, for the inexperienced candy maker, by the time you do the water test and figure out what stage you are at, the sugar has cooked too much. Luckily there is another way to tell the stage of the cooked sugar. And that is with an accurate candy thermometer. This tool eliminates any guesswork........Continued Below

Caramels

Maple Pecan Caramels

Caramel Corn

Caramels have that wonderfully smooth and creamy texture with just the right amount of 'chew'. more Maple Pecan Caramels are a lovely golden colored confection that are soft and chewy with a sweet complex flavor. more Caramel Corn is made with freshly popped corn that is coated in a caramel mixture made of white and dark sugars, light corn syrup, and butter. more
Rum Balls Bourbon Balls Fruit & Nut Balls (Sugarplums)
Rum balls are the perfect adult indulgence for as their name implies, 'rum' balls contain rum and since we do not bake these cookies the alcohol taste and content are not lost during baking. more Bourbon Balls are a sweet and chewy, no-bake confection made from a combination of crushed vanilla wafers, confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, chopped pecans or walnuts, held together with a little corn syrup and bourbon. more Fruit and Nuts Balls (Sugarplums) are a delightful mixture of nuts and dried fruits binded together with a splash of Grand Marnier or orange juice. more

Homemade Marshmallows

Coconut Marshmallows

Chocolate Peanut Squares

Homemade Marshmallows have this wonderfully sweet vanilla scented airiness that makes them perfect for eating on their own. more Coconut Marshmallows are delicious vanilla scented cubes of spongy airiness that are coated with crisp shreds of toasted coconut. more Chocolate Peanut Squares are a delicious combination of peanut butter, cocoa powder, marshmallows, rice cereal, and peanuts. more

S'Mores

Hazelnut Ganache Cups

White Chocolate Haystacks

S'mores are deliciously sweet and gooey. They take roasted marshmallows and pieces of chocolate and sandwiches them between two graham crackers. more Hazelnut Ganache Cups are a delicious mixture of chocolate, cream, and finely chopped hazelnuts. Each ganache cup is garnished with a whole toasted nut. more White Chocolate Haystacks takes melted white chocolate, peanuts and pretzels and forms them into small haystacks. more

No Bake Chocolate Cake

Panforte (Italian Christmas Cake)

Meringue Mushrooms

This wonderful chocolate cake is like making your own chocolate bar. No baking is involved and it contains only four ingredients; chocolate, butter, nuts, and digestive biscuits. more Bite into a slice of Panforte and you may be surprised to find how chewy it is. This chewy texture comes from mixing the fruit, nuts, spices, and flour with a boiled syrup made from sugar and honey. more Meringue Mushrooms are made with a meringue that is piped into shapes that look like mushroom 'caps' and 'stems'. They are sweet tasting with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. more

White Chocolate Candy Bars

White Chocolate Raspberry Brittle

Rice Krispies Treats®

White Chocolate Candy Bars are a lovely combination of melted white chocolate, dried fruits, orange juice and zest, and chopped nuts. more

This brittle is nice to eat alone or as a decoration on a plated dessert. Just white chocolate and raspberry puree are needed to make this delicious candy. more

This delicious candy-like square is made with rice cereal, melted marshmallows, and margarine. more

Rocky Road Pumpkin Seed Brittle Chocolate Bark
Rocky Road consists of white chunks of soft and spongy marshmallow together with crunchy peanuts, all enrobed in a silky smooth dark chocolate. more Pumpkin Seed Brittle is a delicious confection that is full of toasted pumpkin seeds encased in a cooked sugar syrup. Pumpkin Seed Brittle is hard and brittle, yet crunchy and sweet. more Chocolate Bark is jagged pieces of semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate studded with an assortment of dried fruit and nuts. more
   
  Chocolate Fudge  
  This Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge is made by boiling sugar syrup to the soft ball stage. It is often described as a "grained caramel". Delicious. more  

Continued from above

Speaking of candy thermometers. It is very important to buy a good mercury or digital candy thermometer with a metal clip so you can fasten it to the side of a heavy saucepan. The thermometer should measure, in 2 degree increments, from 100 - 400 degrees F (35 - 200 degrees C in 1 degree increments). When using a candy thermometer make sure the bulb of the thermometer does not rest on the bottom of the saucepan as this can cause an inaccurate temperature reading. It is also important to read the temperature at eye level and you may have to wipe the steam off the thermometer first in order to read the numbers. If you think your candy thermometer may be inaccurate, you can test its' accuracy by placing it in a saucepan of boiling water. The temperature should read 212 degrees F (100 degrees C). If you find your thermometer is off by a degree or two, simply adjust your recipe to take this into account. Another thing about candy thermometers is that they are fragile so after each use place in hot water (not cold) to dissolve the sugar coating. Never place a hot thermometer into cold water as this can cause it to break. And be sure to store your thermometer away from other kitchen utensils so it won't get banged around. Lastly, cleaning the dirty saucepan can be a problem. The best way to remove all that hard caramelized sugar is to fill the saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it sit until the sugar dissolves.

There are a few other things to know when making candy. One is that the weather conditions are important. Heat and humidity can negatively affect the outcome of your candy. So it is best to make candy on a cool dry day or have adequate air conditioning. Also, before you begin making any candy make sure you are familiar with the recipe, have all your equipment ready, and all your ingredients measured and within easy reach. Now, this is the important part. Sugar Crystallization is the biggest problem in candy making as it will turn a smooth sugar syrup into a grainy mess. This is caused by the formation of sugar crystals which can start a chain reaction of crystallization (the process of sugar particles clinging together) that makes the mixture grainy. So, to prevent this from happening, stir the ingredients constantly until they reach the boiling point as this ensures that the sugar has completely melted. Then, as per your recipe's instructions, you either brush down the sides of the saucepan with a heatproof pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water to remove any sugar crystals that may have formed on the sides of the saucepan, or you place a tight fitting lid on the saucepan and let the sugar syrup boil this way for a few minutes (this allows steam to form which then condenses and washes off any sugar crystals that have attached themselves to the sides of the saucepan). Then remove the lid and clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Normally the mixture is not stirred as it cooks, as introducing a wooden spoon to the mixture as it boils can cause crystallization. But follow your recipe's instructions as sometimes you do need to stir the mixture. One reason you can do this is that there are ingredients; such as corn syrup, honey, fat, lemon juice and/or cream of tartar that help to inhibit crystallization.

Sources:

Amendola, Joseph & Lundberg, Donald. 'Understanding Baking Second Edition'. Van Nostrand Reinhold. New York. 1992.

Bloom, Carole. 'The International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections'. Hearst Books. New York: 1995.

Friberg, Bo. 'The Professional Pastry Chef'. Van Nostrand Reinhold. New York: 1996.

Greweling, Peter P. 'Chocolates & Confections'. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York: 2007.

Rinsky, Glenn & Rinsky, Laura Halpin. 'The Pastry Chef's Companion'. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken New Jersey: 2009.

Rodgers, Rick. 'Christmas 101'. William Morrow. New York: 2007.

Rombauer, Irma & Becker, Marion Rombauer & Becker, Ethan. 'The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking'. Scribner. New York: 1997.

Rice Krispies Treats® is a trademark of Kellogg's NA Co.

 
 
     
 

 

 

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