Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Candy Ideas

Candy box

My kitchen has turned into a mini chocolate factory. It's candy making time! For the past few days, I've been filling these boxes with all sorts of mouthwatering candies to give to my friends and family. Yes, it's been a little crazy in the kitchen and I'm sure my lack of sleep has contributed to my loopy mental state, but I think it's all worth the effort in the end. I just couldn't think of anything more special to give to my loved ones than these homemade candies.

candy box

If you're thinking of making homemade treats for the holidays, here are some that you might like to try.  They range from elegant truffles to quick-and-easy treats and allergen-friendly candies. You can make them a few days in advance and store them in airtight containers in the fridge.  If you're planning to ship them, I recommend overnight or 2-3 days shipping so they'll still be fresh when they arrive at their destination. And if you're wondering where I bought the boxes and satin ribbon, I got them from Paper Mart . I've always ordered my boxes in bulk because I use them throughout the year but especially during the holidays.

Happy Holidays Everyone and Happy Candy Making!

Champagne Truffles are an all-time favorite with my friends and family.  Everyone loves them and I think they're the perfect chocolates to ring in the new year.

champagne truffles

These El Diablo Chocolate Truffles have ground cayenne pepper in the filling and generously sprinkled with more cayenne pepper outside. If you like fiery foods, these truffles will be perfect for you.

El Diablo Chocolate Truffles

Cobblestone Fudge  are my version of the chocolate cobblestones we made back in pastry school. They're traditionally topped with dried fruits and nuts. To save time, I usually mix in the fruits and nuts in to the fudge, let them set in a baking pan then cut them into squares or portion them out straight into the candy paper liners. For a nut-free alternative, I replace the pistachios and almonds with roasted sunflower seeds and roasted pumpkin seeds (also called "pepitas").

Cobblestone Fudge 

Although these Egg-free Coconut Macaroons are technically a cookie, they're so sweet and chewy that they taste like a candy. If you want, you can even drizzle or dip them in melted chocolate.  For a tropical and exotic flavor, you can try my Jackfruit Coconut Macaroons.

Egg-free Coconut Macaroons

These Sunbutter Cookie Candy were inspired by Paula Deen's recipe for Georgia Cookie Candy. I replaced the peanut butter with Sunbutter spread and added roasted sunflower seeds for extra crunch and texture.  For an allergen-free chocolate, you can use Enjoy Life brand or Chocolate Dream if you're not allergic to soy.

Sunbutter cookie candies

You can turn these Bird's Nest Cookies into festive holiday candies by leaving out the egg-shaped candies and topping them with colorful sprinkles, red and green candies or dried fruit.

Bird's Nest Cookies

I melted some allergen-free chocolate chips and Sunbutter spread then tossed in some Chex cereal and powdered sugar to make these Sunbutter Muddy Buddies. You can tuck these inside a cellophane bag to give away  as a gift or serve them at your holiday party.

Muddy Buddies with Sunflower Seed Butter

Another fun melt-and-mix candy is White Trash.  There's lots of recipes out there and different ways to make them. I just melted a 12 ounce bag of white chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of shortening in the microwave then mixed in 1 cup Rice Chex, 1 cup pretzels and 1/2 cup dried cranberries.

White Trash

Try the shortcut version of these Salted Caramels. By replacing the light cream with 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, it shortened the cooking time to 15-20 minutes!

A sea of salted caramels

Would you believe that the secret ingredient to these Chocolate Orange Truffles  is Tang? Yes, I used a powdered drink to flavor these truffles and they taste just like those chocolate oranges you have to whack to open.

Chocolate Orange Truffles

If the El Diablo is too much cayenne for your taste, try these Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles . They have just enough cayenne to perk up your taste buds and I also added some ground cinnamon and almond extract.

Mexican hot chocolate truffle

I made these Red Wine Truffles with Dried Cherries in honor of my grandmother Dolores. She loves red wine and chocolate so I combined them into a truffle and topped them with chopped dried cherries.

red wine truffles and dried cherries

I haven't posted the recipe for these Black Coffee Truffles yet but if you follow the El Diablo Truffle recipe, just replace the 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper with 4 tablespoons Kahlua coffee liqueur and then sprinkle with ground coffee instead of ground cayenne pepper.

black coffee truffles

I was scrambling for something to make for my kids' classmates last week and decided to make Candy Cane Marshmallows. All you need to do is to melt a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of shortening in the microwave.  Then, completely cover the marshmallows in the melted chocolate before coating them with crushed candy canes (1 package).

Peppermint Chocolate Marshmallows

You can also try these S'mores Marshmallows. Simply follow the instructions above but replace the crushed candy canes with crushed graham crackers. If you want you can package these with the candy cane marshmallows for the kids :-)

s'mores marshmallows

Please note: I am not a paid endorser nor did I accept any freebies of the brands or products mentioned in this post. I just love them and wanted to share them with you :-)


Unknown said...

These all look amazingly delicious!
What an inspiring post, thanks for sharing.
Happy Holidays!

- dlm. said...

Thank you SO much for sharing your ideas for making nut-free/peanut-free confections. I can't wait to make some truffles and salted-caramels today.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

The Food Hunter said...

So many yummy treats!!

Kenzie said...

It almost makes me sad Christmas is over!



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