Easy, No-Cook Christmas Candies
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, no wildly entertaining history lessons
Just recipes. Consider it my gift to you.
Recipes in This Article
- Nut bark
- Apricot-Macadamia Nut Bark
- Chocolate-Coated Coconut Candies
- Chocolate-Covered Cherries
- Marshmallow Rolls
- Original Fantasy Fudge
- Butterscotch Fudge
- Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
- Stained Glass Windows
- Decadent Chocolate Truffles
- Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
- Pecan Pie Truffles
Candy Bark Recipes
- Three 6-ounce packages semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 pound white candy coating
- 2 tablespoons solid shortening
- 1 cup chopped nuts (unsalted peanuts, toasted unblanched almonds, walnuts, pecans, or Macadamia nuts)
- Line a 10x15-inch pan with parchment paper or waxed paper to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Melt the chocolate chips or candy coating with the shortening following package directions.
- When completely melted, stir in chopped nuts.
- Turn mixture into prepared pan and spread to distribute nuts evenly.
- Chill until firm. Break into pieces.
Apricot Macadamia Nut Bark
See recipe above. Use 1 pound white chocolate chips or 1 pound vanilla-flavored candy coating instead of chocolate chips.
In place of 1 cup chopped nuts, use 1/2 cup chopped Macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup diced dried apricots.
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
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.
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 any more.
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup (Karo)
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
- One 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries with stems, drained
- One 12-ounce package dipping chocolate (I think some stores call it "candy coating")
- In medium bowl, combine milk and corn syrup; stir to blend.
- 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".
- Wrap a small amount around each cherry to cover completely.
- Chill about 20 minutes or until the dough (actually it's a fondant) firms.
- Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In the top of a double boiler or in a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the dipping chocolate.
- Holding by the stem, dip the fondant-covered cherries, one at a time, in the chocolate, making sure to cover them completely.
- Place the chocolate-covered cherries on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator or until the chocolate firms (about 10 minutes).
- Dip the cherries again (they're getting TWO coats of chocolate).
- 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.
- 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?
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).
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 soft ball test, etc. But guess what? You can. Here's the perfect secret to easy caramels.
Original Fantasy Fudge
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup margarine
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grease a 9x13-inch pan.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Bars and Slices
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
- 3 cups (18 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Coatings (There are so many choices—flaked coconut, finely chopped nuts, sprinkles, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, colored sugar.)
- 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.
- Pour into a bowl; cover and chill about 2 hours or until firm enough to shape.
- Form into 1-inch balls and then roll in desired coating.
- Store, covered, in refrigerator.
Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
- 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
- unsweetened cocoa powder or confectioners sugar (for coating)
- In a small heavy saucepan combine the chocolate chips, cream, and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth.
- Stir in raspberry jam.
- Cover the plastic wrap and freeze 20 minutes or until very thick.
- Drop by level tablespoons onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze 15 minutes.
- 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).
- 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