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Homemade Christmas Candy – Taste of Traditions

December 1, 2014

800px-English_FudgeAlsterdracheNothing quite says Christmas like homemade Christmas candy. Many remember the candies from when we were growing up and if we get those at all today it’s often if someone else makes them. Candy making is exact but not difficult and with a good homemade candy recipe it brings those tastes of Christmas past to the present.

A tip for the best candy is using, wherever possible, real ingredients. Real butter, eggs, cream and other ingredients add a richness to the Christmas season that butter flavored spreads just can’t hold up to. They’re fine on your toast or biscuits but candy is a taste of luxury!

One of the favorite things about the Christmas season growing up was divinity. This was a “Christmas only” candy, often with black walnuts that we collected on fall Sunday drives. The black walnut is somewhat “oilier” tasting than the English walnut, which for some is an acquired taste. This adds a different flavor to candies and other items.

Divinity is made by dissolving 2 cups sugar, ½ cup light corn syrup and ¼ teaspoon salt with ½ cup hot water, cooking to 248F (use a candy thermometer clipped to the side and make sure it isn’t resting on the bottom of the pan!). While that is cooking, separate 2 egg whites and beat until stiff and peaks hold their shape. Once the sugar mixture is at 248F gradually add to the egg whites, mixing in as you pour. Finally, add a teaspoon vanilla extract and a cup chopped walnuts beating until thoroughly mixed together, working quickly to drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper, letting it cool. You can make multiple batches with white and adding green and red food coloring to others. This makes a rich candy that you don’t need very many of!

Fudge is another holiday favorite, often in its own “class” due to the variety of ways it can be made. Peanut brittle, cookies and other sweet desserts offer a luxurious taste of the holiday season that is traditional and, as long as done in moderation, doesn’t alter the life. Remember 1-2 candies is a treat – the whole recipe of 30 will make you gain weight and have a sugar “hangover!”

Treat yourself to real homemade Christmas candy this year. Restore the tradition, making it with family. It’s not Christmas without a little candy.

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