Oh my goodness, I’m dying to update this post where I share several of my family’s Old-Fashioned Vintage Christmas Candy recipes, and those from a good friend! Many of these recipes are well over 70 years old, so I had to modify the margarine to butter and make a few other minor changes to some of them.
It is so fun to dig through my mom’s recipes, and those from my friend, Leanne. I met Leanne through my blog, and I sincerely wish we were neighbors because we chat online like we have known each other for years. Plus, we share ideas for preparedness. Thank you, Leanne!!
I’m looking on Facebook, and people are sharing the pictures of their Christmas trees all decorated and we haven’t even had turkey for Thanksgiving. I LOVE it! I can picture my two small trees on each side of the TV. It’s not too early to get started with Christmas decorations!
Oh, my goodness, this year’s Christmas decorations, special food treats, and the overall celebration will be much different for Mark and me. We’ve moved back up to Northern Utah and will be spending the holidays with our dear family and friends. We’ve missed them so much, it will be good to get back together now, and for all future special holidays and other special activities.
Where we’re staying right now is with our daughter Heidi. She has a big beautiful kitchen and dining area. It will be so fun to have access to her kitchen this time of year so I can get back to cooking for the holidays. For me, that’s one of the things that make the holidays so special.
I hope you find the following recipes as fun to make and eat as our family does. As you make them, be sure you take stock of what is needed, how many ingredients you have readily available, and which ones you had to make a special trip to the store to buy so you could complete the recipe. It’s a great time to evaluate your pantry inventory and replenish what is missing. That’s all part of being prepared, not just for the holidays, but for emergencies too.
Kitchen Items You May Need:
- Chopper for Nuts
- Cookie Sheets
- Candy Thermometer
- Hand Mixer
- Cake Pan ( 9″ by 13″)
- Glass pan ( 6″ by 10″)
- Cake Pan ( 9″ by 9″)
In case you missed this post, You Don’t Want or Need Christmas Gifts
Vintage Christmas Candy Recipes
Christmas and candy seem so natural to be used in the same sentence. You really can’t have one without the other and still call Christmas a special time of year. I know, we all should try to watch what we eat during the holidays, I get it. But, being with family and having treats around that we usually don’t see during the rest of the year make the time unique and memorable. So, try out these tasty recipes and cherish every minute as you share them with those you love.
1. Chocolate Almond Bar Candy by Leanne L.
Chocolate and almonds seem like BFFs in the food world. They go together so well and taste delicious at the same time. Almond Joy is one of my favorite candy bars, and yes, they have coconut, but just having almonds mixed with quality chocolate makes for a memorable treat. Give this candy bar a try, you’ll love it too!
- 1 large Almond Chocolate Bar – grated
- 1 cup finely chopped almonds
- Spread ½ of the chopped nuts in a small greased pan(I use a 6” X 10” glass pan)
- Top the nuts with ½ the grated almond chocolate bar.
- Set aside.
- Combine in a pan over medium heat
- 1 cup butter (salted) no substitutes
- 1 cup brown sugar
Bring to a rolling boil – takes a while and will burn very easily. Don’t rush. Once the butter/sugar mix is boiling, boil for 12 minutes – no longer.
Pour hot butter/sugar mix over prepared pan and immediately cover with the rest of the grated chocolate bar, then the rest of the nuts. Press lightly into the hot sugar mixture.
Let cool completely. When cool, use a butter knife to break the candy up. The pieces will be irregular.
Note: my mom also used walnuts and pecans when she had them.
2. Mom’s Honey Taffy by Leanne L.
It doesn’t seem like I see many recipes these days where honey is used. I love honey and often use it as a sugar substitute. Honey is a natural sweetener, and as such, is really more healthy for us. I remember as a child watching my mom “pull” the taffy we’d enjoy eating during the holidays. As mentioned in the instructions, be careful not to get burned by the hot taffy as you do the “pulling” part. What a fun family activity this can be, and just think how buff your arm muscles will be.
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2/3 cup honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Touch of vanilla
Cook the first 4 ingredients without stirring to the hard ball stage. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Cool on greased dinner plates until cool enough to handle. Grease your hands and pull until creamy colored. We used butter to grease the plates and our hands.
The faster it cooks the better, but watch it carefully so it doesn’t scorch. My Dad NEVER pulled taffy. He said it melted in his hands. I really think it was because the candy was so hot still and could cause blisters!!
3. Cinnamon Glass Candy by Leanne L.
Cinnamon can be such a tasty addition to many recipes. I like mine very cinnamon flavored, while Mark likes his a little more subdued. Either way, I can picture myself sucking on a chunk of this candy while waiting for Santa to make his entrance to family gatherings. Be sure to watch kids with this candy so they don’t get it stuck in their throats. Enjoy.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon oil
- Red food coloring
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup water
Prepare a jelly roll pan (the cookie sheet with sides) by lightly greasing OR line the pan with foil that is lightly greased.
Mix sugar, syrup, and water together in a large heavy pan. Bring to the hard crack stage (300°F – 310°F). Stir constantly. Add cinnamon oil and food coloring to reach the desired color. Pour into prepared pan. Cool completely. Break into pieces.
4. Mom’s Homemade Divinity
My view of divinity is a white, melt-in-your-mouth, hard-to-describe, heaven-sent, candy. I haven’t made this one for a while, but that’s one of those shoulda, coulda situations. Of course, with the suggested nuts and candied cherries, not all the good stuff will melt in your mouth. I think I’ll make some changes this year and be sure to add this one to my “need to have” desserts. You gotta love a new treat to share!
- 2-1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped candied cherries (optional)
Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt in a large heavy pan. Bring this mixture to a boil and continue boiling until it reaches a “hard ball stage” (265 degrees). Now, beat the egg whites until stiff, slowly pour the hot syrup above over the egg whites beating with a high speed on your mixer. Add vanilla, and continue to beat for 4-5 minutes or until the candy starts to take shape. Fold in nuts and cherries. Quickly drop teaspoon size pieces of the candy onto a buttered cookie sheet.
5. Peanut Brittle by Leanne L.
Peanuts may not be the most common Christmas treat ingredient, but when you use them as the base for a brittle dessert, it makes the treat especially flavorful. This is one of those treats that you relish as you break off a piece to munch on throughout the holidays. Just be careful and make sure your teeth are still in place as you crunch this delicious combination of some of your favorite snack choices.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cup nuts (mixed nuts work great!)
- 1 tablespoon butter
Prepare a jelly roll pan by lightly greasing OR line the pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
In a heavy pan, bring the sugar, syrup, and water to the hard ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in the nuts. Return to the heat and continue to cook until tan. Remove from heat. Add the baking soda and stir. Pour into the prepared pan. Cool completely. Break into pieces.
NOTE: Mom always used salted mixed nuts – she actually did not like peanuts! So, to peanut or not to peanut, that is the question!
6. Rocky Road Fudge
When I hear the words rocky road together I immediately think of one of my favorite ice cream choices. Anything with that name just has to include chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts. The great thing about this recipe is that as you bite into the resulting treat you get to enjoy a whole bunch of flavors! Better get a plate or napkin, this one will definitely melt in your hands.
- 12 ounces chocolate chips
- 1 cup butter
- 4 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups evaporated milk (not Eagle Brand)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 20 large marshmallows
- 2 cups chopped nuts
- 10-15 large marshmallows cut into pieces (then freeze them)
Grab a large bowl and cut the chocolate chips into the butter. Set aside. Now combine the sugar, milk and the 20 marshmallows to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour this mixture over the chocolate chips and butter mixture. Stir until thick. Add the nuts and the vanilla and the frozen marshmallows. Pour into buttered 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Chill until firm. Cut into squares.
7. Easy To Make Caramels
Talk about a tooth and tongue teaser. These taste so awesome and can melt in your mouth, if you’re patient. The butter, sugar, and syrup make these a real sweet treat. Be careful with this one if your usual approach to candy is to chew it. Caramels have been known to pull tooth fillings out, which isn’t what you want to deal with during the holidays. Yes, be patient and let it melt in your mouth.
- 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup white Karo Syrup
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Butter a 9-inch by 9-inch pan. Combine the ingredients in a medium to large size heavy pot and cook over medium heat until it reaches 242 degrees (or a firm ball stage). Add the chopped nuts if desired. Pour into the buttered pan. Let the caramel set overnight. Cut into one-inch squares and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. This recipe makes about 50 one-inch squares.
I hope you enjoy trying some of the old-fashioned Vintage Christmas Candy recipes by my family and Leanne’s family. As I think of cherished memories regarding Christmas, and the holidays in general, one thing that makes them so special is the variety of special desserts and between-meal treats as highlighted in this post. Don’t be shy, give your family some special offerings they’ll remember for a long time. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda