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Recipes

Christmas Candy Recipes

Recipes in this Feature:

~ Chocolate Cherry Fudge
~ Eggnog Fudge
~ Sea-Salted Caramels
~Pistachio Toffee

(Family Features) - Homemade candy is a year-round treat, but it's especially delicious during the holidays. Stir up sweet family traditions in the kitchen this season with a few simple tools and the perfect candy ingredients. Gather a heavy saucepan and wooden spoon, along with plenty of real butter, pure sugar and high-quality chocolate.

These recipes are easy to make, from melt-in-your-mouth caramels to crunchy, nutty toffee. If your candy-making technique could use a refresher course, visit butterisbest.com for a short video demonstration of the Pistachio Toffee recipe, along with helpful hints for using a candy thermometer and testing candy temperatures.

Candy Making Tips

Sweet Tips for Candy Success

  * No substitutions - real butter, not margarine or spreads, gives candy the best flavor and texture.

  * Don't double up - make only a single batch of candy at a time. Extra ingredients may prevent the mixture from cooking properly.

  * Temps on target - the bulb of the candy thermometer should be completely covered by liquid, but don't rest the thermometer on the bottom of the pan.

  * Be patient - candy takes a long time to cook - don't rush it by turning up the heat.

  * Measure up - measure all ingredients before beginning a recipe.

  * Keep it fresh - store finished confections in an airtight container in a dry location. Use wax paper to separate layers of candy.

For more holiday recipes and tips for cooking and baking with butter visit butterisbest.com.

Chocolate Cherry Fudge

Makes 3 dozen pieces

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup whipping cream

2 cups sugar

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

1 cup chopped slivered almonds

1 cup chopped dried cherries

1 teaspoon almond extract

  1. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, cream and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture reaches 234°F (soft ball stage).

  2. Remove from heat; add chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until smooth.

  3. Add, almonds, cherries and almond extract; mix until well blended.

  4. Pour mixture into 9-inch square pan lined with buttered foil. Refrigerate until cool; cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Eggnog Fudge

Makes 3 dozen pieces

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup eggnog

2 cups sugar

10 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

1 cup chopped pecans,

1 teaspoon rum or rum extract

  1. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, eggnog and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

  2. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture reaches 234°F (soft ball stage).

  3. Remove from heat; add chocolate and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Add marshmallow creme, pecans and rum; mix well.

  4. Pour mixture into 9-inch square pan lined with buttered foil. Cool completely; cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Sea-Salted Caramels

Not your standard caramel - this sea-salted version cuts the rich, buttery flavor with just a hint of salt. Makes 3 dozen pieces

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Butter sides and bottom of heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add butter and melt over low heat. Add sugars, corn syrups and cream; mix well. Raise heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil until mixture reaches 248°F (firm ball stage).

  2. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour caramel immediately into 9-inch square pan lined with buttered foil. Cool at room temperature until caramel begins to set, sprinkle with sea salt; cool completely.

  3. Use foil to lift caramel out of pan. Butter a large chef's knife and cut caramel into 1-inch squares. Wrap caramels individually in plastic wrap or store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Pistachio Toffee

Buttery, crunchy and nutty, Pistachio Toffee featuring a delicious and festive white chocolate layer. Makes 3 dozen pieces

1 1/4 cups shelled pistachios, divided

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon corn syrup

6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place pistachios in single layer in pan; toast 3 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and coarsely chop; set aside.

  2. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, sugars, water and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to boil until mixture reaches 300°F (hard crack stage), stirring frequently.

  3. Stir in 3/4 cup pistachios; mix well and pour into jellyroll pan lined with buttered foil. Spread mixture into large rectangle. Cool completely.

  4. In microwave-safe container, microwave chocolate 30 seconds; stir. Continue microwaving in 10-second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and smooth, but not hot. Using spatula, spread over toffee, covering it completely. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and gently pat into chocolate.

  5. Place pan in refrigerator for 5 minutes, or until chocolate has set. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

SOURCE: America's Dairy Farmers.


 
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