At Christmastime, this is the one time of year where we often cook things that we wouldn’t at any other time of year. One example is candy making. While some cooks make candy throughout the year, many only make it at Christmas. It’s especially fun to make candy and homemade candy fits the bill for both giving for gifts and for just having around to munch on as we decorate the house and wrap presents.
I’m sharing a special Christmas candy in today’s column, which is simply called “The Best Christmas Candy”, because it is some of the best candy I’ve eaten. If you enjoy chocolate, nuts and coconut, then you’ll enjoy this sweet treat! And naturally, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without something chocolate around, so this will certainly satisfy those who enjoy chocolate at Christmas.
This is a large quantity recipe, so if after you read the recipe, you feel that it may make more than you’ll need, you can easily cut the proportions in half. If you plan to do some gift-giving, the full quantity would enable you to have plenty to give for gifts and have some on hand for yourself to enjoy. When you consider what gifts you may be giving this year, something homemade from your kitchen is often appreciated by the receiver.
One advantage to this candy is that it’s mixed ahead and it must chill. Once it chills, you roll the candy mixture into balls and chill them overnight. The next day, you make a chocolate dip and coat each candy in the mixture. These are set aside to harden and there you have some of the best candy!
The original recipe called for the use of parafin to be melted with the chocolate. Parafin is a wax that helps the chocolate to harden faster and is used most often in arts and crafts. In recent years, parafin has been discouraged for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration. This is said to be due to parafin not being classified as an edible substance. Therefore, in many candy recipes calling for parafin, vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, will work equally as well. You would simply melt the shortening with the chocolate chips in the dip recipe and proceed as usual.
For gift giving, these can be packed in an attractive Christmas tin with waxed paper between the layers and this would make a very appreciated gift. You can get creative in the ways you can pack and give the candy for gift-giving. Regardless of how you decided to present it, it’ll make a special gift that any one who loves chocolate will appreciate!
Another favorite Christmas candy is divinity and I shared a recipe for this a few years ago at the holidays. In case you missed the article on “Holiday Divinity”, simply click on this link:
Have fun making and giving this special Christmas candy to those who are special themselves!
THE BEST CHRISTMAS CANDY
- 2 lbs. confectioner’s sugar
- 2 cups flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- pinch of salt
- 4 cups finely chopped pecans
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk, such as Eagle Brand
- 2 sticks butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients and mix until well combined. Cover and chill until firm. When firm, roll the mixture into small balls and place on a baking sheet lined with foil or waxed paper. Cover and chill overnight. The next day, prepare the following chocolate dip:
- 24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
Melt the chocolate and shortening together. Keep the mixture warm as you dip the chocolates. Place each dipped candy back on the lined cookie sheet and let stand until firm (these may be refrigerated to help the chocolate set faster.) Store in a covered container with waxed paper between the layers.