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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Christmas Candy – Always a Special Treat To Make and Take

By Sherrie Norris

I’ve been stashing away ingredients for my Christmas candies for several weeks — and now all I need is the motivation to start putting them all together. Time is running out and I know it’s got to happen in the next few days.

My candy-making this time of year has always been a special time for me. I love to make, bake and take to others. Hopefully, we’ll all share a little of what we love with those around us in the coming days.

Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas. Even though much in our world has changed this year, the real reason for the season remains steadfast, and that gives me hope.

For our final week of Christmas goodies, we’ll try to post early next week to help with ideas for Christmas brunch.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate bits

2 cups butterscotch bits

1 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 ½ cups peanut butter

7 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Cook sugar and syrup over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and add peanut butter; then add cereal. Pack this mixture into an 11 x15-inch pan lined with waxed paper. When set, remove from pan by lifting the ends of the waxed paper. Place the butterscotch bits in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat 1 minute on medium heat. Add the chocolate bits. Heat about 3 minutes on medium heat or until melted. Spread the melted mixture over cereal mixture. Cut when cool.


Faye Brown’s Reece’s Candy

1 box powdered sugar

1 (12-oz.) jar peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

1 stick of butter, softened

1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

Mix together sugar, peanut butter and butter and press into a prepared tray or pan.

Melt chocolate chips and spread over peanut butter mixture. Cool and cut into squares


Candy Cane Fudge

2 (12 oz.) pkgs. vanilla baking chips

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

½ tsp. peppermint extract

1 ½ cups crushed candy canes

Dash of red or green food coloring

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil; grease the foil.

Combine vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes.

Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours; cut into squares.


Peanut Brittle

2 cups shelled raw peanuts

2 cups sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

2 Tbs. butter or margarine

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

Spread peanuts evenly in a jelly roll pan, bake at 350 for 15 minutes; stirring once. Set aside. Combine next five ingredients in large pot over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches hard crack stage (300 degrees). Remove from heat, stir in peanuts, soda and vanilla. Working rapidly, spread mixture in jellyroll pan. Let cool; break into pieces. Makes about 2 pounds.


Peppermint Patties

1 box powdered sugar

1 stick melted margarine

6 Tbs. water

8 drops peppermint extract

Mix together and roll out on waxed paper that has been dusted with a little powdered sugar. Use a small, round object (sterilized top of salad dressing bottle works for me!) to cut into small patties.

Dip patties into melted chocolate-paraffin mix (see below) with toothpick or fork. Let set on waxed paper until chocolate hardens. Can be stored in fridge or freezer.


Chocolate-Paraffin Coating

12 oz. semi-sweet chips

1/3 block paraffin

Melt together in double boiler, or in microwave, just a few seconds at a time to keep from scorching. Keep warm for dipping.


Chocolate Covered Cherries

1 can sweetened-condensed milk

1 stick melted margarine

1 box powdered sugar

1 jar maraschino cherries, drained

Mix milk, margarine and sugar. Roll into small balls and flatten. Put cherry in center and roll back into ball, covering cherry completely. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Dip into chocolate-paraffin mixture. (See above:12 oz. semi-sweet chips to 1/3 block paraffin.) Return to refrigerator until ready to serve or deliver.


Crock Pot Candy

1 (16 oz.) pkg. chocolate candy coating

1 (16 oz.) pkg. white chocolate candy coating

1 (4 oz.) box German chocolate

1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips

1 (24 oz.) jar roasted peanuts or 3 cups other nuts

Layer ingredients in a slow cooker in order listed. Cook on low for one hour. Stir. Continue on low for one more hour. Spoon out by teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Makes about 5 pounds.