Easy, No-Cook Christmas Candies - Holidappy - Celebrations
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Easy, No-Cook Christmas Candies

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

Time's Running Out

Today we're going to make candy. Please, don't run away in fear. Truth be told, I don't even own a candy thermometer. Fretting over whether my soft-ball stage is going to rapidly deteriorate into a hard-crack is not my idea of fun. (And I wonder how many of you even understand what I just wrote?)

I'm just not myself today.

The holidays are almost here, so this will be a short, brief, and to-the-point article. No side-splitting jokes, no pithy quotes, and no wildly entertaining history lessons.

Just recipes. Consider it my gift to you.

Recipes in This Article

  • Nut bark
  • Apricot-Macadamia Nut Bark
  • Pralines
  • Chocolate-Coated Coconut Candies
  • Chocolate-Covered Cherries
  • Marshmallow Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Original Fantasy Fudge
  • Butterscotch Fudge
  • Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
  • Stained Glass Windows
  • Decadent Chocolate Truffles
  • Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
  • Pecan Pie Truffles

Nut Bark

easy-no-cook-christmas-candies

Ingredients

  • Three 6-ounce packages of semisweet chocolate chips or 1 pound of white candy coating
  • 2 tablespoons of solid shortening
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts (unsalted peanuts, toasted unblanched almonds, walnuts, pecans, or Macadamia nuts)

Directions

  1. Line a 10x15-inch pan with parchment paper or waxed paper to cover the bottom of the pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips or candy coating with the shortening following package directions.
  3. When completely melted, stir in chopped nuts.
  4. Turn mixture into prepared pan and spread to distribute nuts evenly.
  5. Chill until firm. Break into pieces.

Apricot Macadamia Nut Bark

See recipe above. Use 1 pound of white chocolate chips or 1 pound of vanilla-flavored candy coating instead of chocolate chips.

In place of 1 cup of chopped nuts, use 1/2 cup of chopped Macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup of diced dried apricots.

Pralines

These praline candies are buttery, rich with coconut, and packed with pecans. These are (in my opinion) the second best candy in the world. (Number 1, of course, is anything chocolate).

Chocolate-Coated Coconut Candies

easy-no-cook-christmas-candies

This is probably the strangest candy recipe you'll ever see, but despite its quirkiness, it is also one of the most popular recipes I've posted for "how to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers." These chocolate-coated coconut candies are made with leftover mashed potatoes.

Yes, you read that correctly. Mashed potatoes. Trust me.

Chocolate-Covered Cherries

My husband absolutely loves chocolate-covered cherries. Not so much that I should file for alienation of affection, but close. He only indulges at Christmas-time, and now that I've found the perfect recipe...well, let's just say that I'm not feeling alienated anymore.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup (Karo)
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups of powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • One 10-ounce jar of maraschino cherries with stems, drained
  • One 12-ounce package of dipping chocolate (I think some stores call it "candy coating")

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine milk and corn syrup; stir to blend.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar. Adding the last little bit might require that you knead it in (like you're making bread). Work it until you have a smooth "dough".
  3. Wrap a small amount around each cherry to cover completely.
  4. Chill about 20 minutes or until the dough (actually it's a fondant) firms.
  5. Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. In the top of a double boiler or in a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the dipping chocolate.
  7. Holding by the stem, dip the fondant-covered cherries, one at a time, in the chocolate, making sure to cover them completely.
  8. Place the chocolate-covered cherries on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator or until the chocolate firms (about 10 minutes).
  9. Dip the cherries again (they're getting TWO coats of chocolate).
  10. Place on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and cover loosely with waxed paper. Let stand several days in a cool place to allow the fondant to liquefy. But, DON'T put them in the refrigerator.
  11. After 2 or 3 days you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

Please don't ask me how these work. How does the fondant liquefy, and then stay that way after 2 or 3 days? I don't know. If you can believe in the magic of Santa, why not the magic of chocolate-covered cherries?

Marshmallow Rolls

The traditional recipe for this treat involves making a long roll of marshmallow filling, covered with chocolate, and rolled in coconut. Slicing the roll can become a bit "sticky." This recipe is so much easier. Individual large marshmallows are coated and then sliced in half. (And you know what, I think that when you use that method you end up with more chocolate coating. That's just my theory).

Caramels

I did not know that it would be possible to make creamy, dreamy caramels without boiling sugar, using a candy thermometer, and doing all that scary stuff with softball test, etc. But guess what? You can. Here's the perfect secret to easy caramels.

Original Fantasy Fudge

easy-no-cook-christmas-candies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of white sugar
  • 3/4 cup of margarine
  • 2/3 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) package of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar of marshmallow creme
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Grease a 9x13-inch pan.
  2. Mix sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and thoroughly combined. Beat in marshmallow creme, walnuts, and vanilla extract. Transfer fudge to the prepared pan and let cool before cutting into squares.

Butterscotch Fudge

This is an oldy but a goody, a tried and true recipe from the manufacturers of Toll House butterscotch flavored chips. One note of caution—be sure to use the small (5-ounce) can of evaporated milk, not the tall 12.5-ounce can. Several commenters complained that their fudge did not "set", and I'm betting that using too much milk was the problem.

Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

Melt together some peanut butter and chocolate, stir in some Rice Krispies for crunch, and add a wee bit of chill-time in the refrigerator. That's all you need to make these chocolate crunch bars.

Stained Glass Windows

Melted chocolate "glues together" colored mini-marshmallows in these treats. I recommend that you not slice these until you are ready to serve them because once cut the marshmallows tend to dry out and harden.

Decadent Chocolate Truffles

easy-no-cook-christmas-candies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (18 ounces) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • One 14-ounce can of sweetened-condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Coatings (There are so many choices—flaked coconut, finely chopped nuts, sprinkles, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, colored sugar.)

Directions

  1. In large saucepan melt chips with condensed milk, stirring often with a wooden spoon or heat-proof scraper. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  2. Pour into a bowl; cover and chill about 2 hours or until firm enough to shape.
  3. Form into 1-inch balls and then roll in the desired coating.
  4. Store, covered, in your refrigerator.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam
  • unsweetened cocoa powder or confectioners sugar (for coating)

Directions

  1. In a small heavy saucepan combine the chocolate chips, cream, and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.
  2. Stir in raspberry jam.
  3. Cover the plastic wrap and freeze 20 minutes or until very thick.
  4. Drop by level tablespoons onto a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet. Freeze 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from freezer; roll into balls and then return to the freezer for another 15 minutes. (Yes, I know this is boring, but you will soon be rewarded).
  6. Remove from the freezer and roll in unsweetened cocoa powder or confectioners sugar (your choice). Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Pecan Pie Truffles

Do you love the flavor of a pecan pie (I sure do!), but don't want to fuss with a pie crust, filling (will it set?), and have to buy 2 cups of pecans (those little guys are EXPENSIVE!).

Here's how to get your pecan pie fix without the hassle or cost. These pecan pie truffles are so small, they're almost guilt free.

© 2017 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 16, 2017:

Alexander, are you going to make some candy? If you do, please let me know how it turns out. I'd love to get some feedback on these recipes.

Thanks for stopping by.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on December 16, 2017:

This is making me hungry. XD

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 15, 2017:

Kari, then my work here is done. So glad you like this article. My favorite is the apricot bark, mostly because it isn't as sweet as some of the other confections. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 15, 2017:

MMMmmm, these all look so good. My stomach is growling for them. Thanks for the recipes!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 12, 2017:

Rachel - Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy them.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on December 12, 2017:

All looks like Heavenly goodness to me. I especially like the praline candies. I will be pinning all of these. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings to you.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 12, 2017:

Eric, sounds like you're baking cookies. One dozen of the apricot please. Can you get them here by dinner time?

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 12, 2017:

No sweat today I get the Macadamia and Apricot one ready to go.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 12, 2017:

Mary, you can do this. I have confidence in you.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 12, 2017:

Thank you KT Dunn. Please let me know which ones you try. I hope you have fun making them.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 12, 2017:

I never thought I could make candies but with these instructions, they seem possible.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 12, 2017:

Bill, do you provide a rating of each option, or does the smile on your face suffice? I KNEW you'd like the chocolate ones.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 12, 2017:

Flourish, I'm a truffles kind of gal, with a steaming mug of strong black coffee. Mmmm. But all I have right now is 12-grain toast {{sad face}}.

KT Dunn from United States on December 12, 2017:

Fun article, well organized. Now I'm about to go make some candy!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 12, 2017:

Kyriaki - If your crowd isn't pleased, then you need to change your circle of friends LOL. Thanks for stopping by.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 12, 2017:

Yes to the ones with chocolate!

Bev and Allora make cookies. My son will chip in with his own. Me, I eat them.

Division of labor at its best. :)

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 12, 2017:

Omg please stop it! These look way too good to resist! The truffles, pralines, chocolate covered cherries, fudge ... they look amazing.

Kyriaki Chatzi on December 12, 2017:

OMG! Everything looks so yummy!!

I need to make some of those PB crunch bars, though.

I think they'll be a definite crowd-pleaser for the holidays.