Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Candy: Part 2

If you can believe it, I had even more candy recipes that I wanted to make this year. However, I ran out of time, calories, and people to give candy to! Ah well, there is always next year.


Cream Cheese Mints


4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Food coloring, optional
Granulated sugar or color sprinkles, optional


Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or waxed paper.

Place the softened cream cheese, butter, corn syrup, and mint extract in the large bowl of a stand mixer (alternately, a hand mixer can be used). Beat until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until the candy is well-combined. Taste the candy and adjust the flavoring to suit your taste. If you want to make different colors of mints, divide the candy into separate bowls and work the desired coloring into the portions of candy.

Using a spoon, scoop walnut-sized balls of candy and roll it between your palms into a ball. Roll the ball in granulated sugar or colored sprinkles. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet, and use the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass to flatten the ball into a patty. If desired, you can instead press down on the mint with the tines of a fork to create a pretty cross-hatching pattern on the mint. Repeat with remaining candy until all the mints are formed.

Alternately, you can mold this candy by pressing small ball of the mint mixture into candy molds. After you have firmly pressed the candy into the mold, quickly pop it out and repeat with remaining candy.

Store mints in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. These mints are good straight from the refrigerator, or at room temperature.

Recipe notes: These candies make perfect favors for baby or bridal showers, weddings, and holiday parties. They can be decorated to suit any color scheme, and also work well as a molded candy. This recipe yields approximately 4 dozen 1" mint patties.

Source: I found these on the About.com website. You can find them here.

Chocolate Coconut Haystacks


Sweetened flaked/shredded coconut
Chocolate (milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark--your preference)


Toast the coconut. This can be done in the oven (at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes), a toaster oven, the stove-top (over medium heat, stirring frequently), or the microwave (cooked at 15 second intervals and stirred between each cooking time).

Melt the chocolate either in a double-boiler or in the microwave (at 30 second intervals, stirred between each cooking time).

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour the coconut into the chocolate and stir until the coconut is coated completely. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Refrigerate until the chocolate is completely set.

Source: This came from my wonderful chocolate loving grandpa! It was originally posted here.

Notes: I didn't offer ingredient amounts because it depends on how much you want to make. But it is about a 50/50 ratio. So, for example, 1/2 cup of toasted coconut and 1/2 cup of melted chocolate. Just enough for the coconut to become evenly coated.

Five Pounds of Chocolate Fudge


2 (12-ounce) packages semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup butter or margarine
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
Butter or margarine
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted, optional


Combine first 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Combine sugar and evaporated milk in a buttered Dutch oven.

Cook sugar mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches soft ball stage, or candy thermometer registers 234°; pour over chocolate mixture. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss. Stir in vanilla and chopped pecans, if using.

Spread into a buttered 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. Cover and chill until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: Makes 96 pieces.

Source: Southern Living, June 2008. You can find it here.

Notes: This is just a good, classic chocolate fudge recipe. I made mine without nuts because of my son's allergies. It's a good way to make a lot of treats for a crowd!

Penuche Fudge (Mexican/Spanish Caramel Fudge)


Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
5 ounces (1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces toasted walnuts, chopped (1 cup), optional


Coat a 5x10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.

Bring evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 236 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes.

Transfer to a mixer bowl, and beat in confectioners' sugar on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium, and beat until mixture is thickened and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add vanilla and walnuts, if using.

Spread mixture in pan, smoothing top. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, about 25 minutes. Unmold fudge using plastic overhang, and discard plastic. Cut into 18 pieces.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2008. You can find it here.

Notes: I made two changes to this recipe. First, I doubled it and poured it into an 8x8-inch square pan instead of a 5x10-inch loaf pan. Second, I skipped the nuts because of my son's nut allergy. If you follow the recipe as written below, you will get about 18 pieces of penuche (very generous-sized pieces of penuche. You can cut them into smaller pieces, and still have a good-sized piece of fudge).

Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels


Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (16 ounces)
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 1/2 cups roughly chopped miniature pretzels


Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Place butter, chocolate chips, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until chocolate just melts and mixture is combined and warm, but not hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups pretzels. Transfer mixture to pan and smooth top; press 1/2 cup pretzels on top. Refrigerate until set, 2 hours (or up to overnight, wrapped). Using parchment, lift fudge from pan and cut into 36 squares.

Recipe notes: You can use nuts, trail mix, your favorite chopped candy, or crushed cookies in place of the pretzels.

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2011. You can find it here.

Notes: The only thing I would change is that I would use 2 cups of pretzels instead of 2 1/2 cups. I would mix in 1 1/2 cups into the fudge and top the fudge with the remaining half cup. Also, just a word of warning, this fudge needs longer than 2 hours to set up before cutting into squares (at least my batch did). I would say to refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to overnight, wrapped). This was good stuff! The pretzels were a nice way to add crunch to the fudge without using nuts.

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