Old-Fashioned Vintage Christmas Candy Recipes
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
27 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Vintage Christmas Candy Recipes”
Linda, your timing is perfect! I have been searching for the candy recipes I made as a kid and they must have gotten lost in the last several moves I have made. Now I have all of them in one place thanks to you! Do you know of a Divinity recipe that is just the fluff? No nuts or choc chips or fruit? I seem to recall making some with my Mom but it was just the fluffy stuff that melted in your mouth. I thought we baked it on a low temp but its been so long I can barely remember. Thanks for all your great info! Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi Pam, I was so glad that Leanne sent me some recipes that I couldn’t find. The Divinity you do not have to add the nuts or cherries. I’m hoping Leanne sees this post today. We can ask her. I will be making these in Salt Lake City, Ut. the day after Thanksgiving with some of my daughters. Happy Thanksgiving! Linda
Linda, I think Pam is referring to Meringues. That is how they are made. Beat up the egg whites to a fluffy bowl full. Then dip them out onto parchment paper & bake in the oven a few minutes, turn oven off & let them sit in oven overnight. Next day they are Melt-In-Your-Mouth-fluff!!! So good!! Thanks for the recipes!!
Hi, LaRene, thanks for the tip, I think we all want to make Meringues now! Hugs, Linda
I have a fabulous recipe for Meringues if you need one.
LaRene, please share, I will add it to this post. I need to call you, I need some girlfriend chat time. Linda
I am going to try both the meringues and the plain divinity. The way Leanne described the plain divinity sounds like what I remember. Thank you both!
Hi Pam, I will post that recipe when she shares it. I can hardly wait to make them!! Linda
Pam ~ I am not sure what kind of candy you made as a child that you had to bake on a low temp. Perhaps they were meringues? Anyway, the divinity does not need to have anything (nuts/fruit) added to it. I actually prefer divinity plain – like eating a cloud!! But, I have also added crushed peppermints/candy canes to the divinity or just on top. Those were yummy.
Leanne, oh this sounds yummy with crushed peppermints/candy canes! I will try that this year! Linda
It’s great to see you guys had Rocky Road Candy too. That was our Family candy for Christmas.
But it wouldn’t be Christmas without Ribbon Candy ( which is now hard to find or if you do it’s so
costly) another candy we use to get was candy coins. I get those each year if I can. Of course you can’t
have Christmas without M&M’s.
You have a recipe for Peanut Brittle, I use to make and sell it. One year I think I made maybe 50 to 100 pounds and sold it. I have never tried a recipe with water in it, might have to try it. We have a
theme park in Missouri called Silver Dollar City and they use a recipe for Peanut Brittle using water. Ihave also “played” with the recipe and used Black Walnuts ( I have a tree) also tried sunflower seeds,
and pecans. I do want to try cashews.
Hi June, oh I remember Ribbon Candy!!! I love M & M’s! I love to make candy, this is such a fun time of year! Bring on the happy dance! Linda
Thank you for publishing some of my family’s favorite holiday candies. I have so many memories of mom making candies and other goodies for Christmas. One year we made something that mom called “Klefles”. The closest I can find on the internet are Kiffles, a Hungarian treat. She said it was something her mom made for the holidays. I am not sure where my grandmother got the recipe as she was not Hungarian! It is sort of a nut crescent with a pastry wrapped around a nut/sugar filling. I am sure I have the recipe somewhere but her note on the recipe was to have help making them. The year I helped her make them it seemed to take a whole day or 2 and it made a bazillion treats! what a job!
I could go on and on with memories of helping my mother make treats and baking! This kind of blog post really brings on the memories for me. Makes me miss my mother so much.
Hi, Leanne, your mom would be so excited to share her recipes with the world!I’m sure she is smiling from heaven! Thank goodness for memories, life is good! Linda
Hi Linda! I love making candy especially fudge and divinity but nobody in my family likes it, so I no longer make it. Instead, I make cinnamon rolls in small pans and take around to the neighbors in my area. They bring me fudge and divinity among other goodies, so it all works out and I always get requests for the cinnamon rolls year round! I have made friends with those rolls.
Hi Paula, oh my gosh, I love hearing this! Cinnamon rolls are the best!! Best way to make friends! Linda
Good Morning, Linda. I’ll be short and sweet today. Can the Divinity be made without using a mixer? I don’t have one so wondering if it can be done by hand. Thanks.
I have sooo many fond memories of growing up with my Norwegian family. My grandmother made all the traditional Norwegian cookies and her divinity was to die for! She put a cherry in the middle and dipped a tip in melted chocolate. I’ve never found any that could match what she made; they were always grainy. Hers were so smooth and melt-in-your mouth. I printed your recipe and it’s definitely in my to-do list of items to make!
Hi Robbie, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! I just love making Norwegian recipes! I wish my family loved Lefse as I do!! Oh well, I will make it anyway and eat all of them with butter and brown sugar! Life is so good! Linda
I love Christmas treats. I am going to try some of your recipes. I made nougats for the first time last year. So good. I used to have them when I was a kid. I’m now 75. Things I make are divinity, fudge, nougats, fruit cakes, ( mine is more cake like than the kind you buy in the store) It was my grandmother’s recipe, and some bars. Things the family likes to eat but don’t like to make. The cookies are left for the kids to do. I eat too much dough so I passed it on to them. Too putsy for me.
We moved to a much smaller house 7 years ago. I don’t have room for my big tree so I just use lights in the shape of a tree and a few ornaments. So much easier. Looks good too.
I sure like your website. Always something to be learned.
Hi Mary, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend! I love the idea of putting up lights in the shape of a tree! I have gifted almost all of my Christmas decorations to my granddaughters. I no longer have to store them and they are thrilled! It makes me happy! I will be 72 next year and Mark and I decided to downsize this year. It feels really good. I have never made nougats!!! I got the giggles over you ate too much of the dough!! Oh, the memories of making cookies when I was younger! I love your story today! Linda
Linda I would give you 20 star rating for these recipes. I will have to look for my my stuffed vanilla wafers. They are so to die for. and all it takes is Vanilla wafers, marshmallows, butter coconut and of course chocolate. My Ima gave me the basic recipe and then she said to cover it with chocolate because everything is always better with chocolate. She also put in nut in place of the coconut for a different flavor.
Hi Jackie, thank you for the 5 stars, you are so cute for saying 20 stars!! I love cooking and baking in the kitchen, it’s truly my passion. I would love the vanilla wafer recipe!! Oh my gosh, that sounds yummy! Linda
I just read all your recipes again. I think I gained 5 pounds! It all sounds so good I could almost taste it.
Hi Mary, LOL! I love this, it’s that time of year! Candy and chocolate everywhere!! Linda
The Cinnamon Glass candy reminds me of what my husband called it when made home some, before diabetes hit him. He called it Tail Light Candy. He walked in to work eating some and the guys wanted to know what he was eating. He told them he found a broken tail light in the parking lot. Nobody would try his candy. LOL They all wanted his jerky though.
BTW, when you put the cinnamon oil in, be sure you are in a well ventilated area or outside. It will burn you like a sunburn, and will make you cough. Ask me how I know. LOL
Another great candy is Martha Washington candy. Larry used to love it. Can’t have it now. Google it for the recipe.
Hi Deborah, thank you for the 5 stars, my friend!! The tail light candy story is the best! Oh, a good reminder about the cinnamon oil! I will Google her candy, thank you! Linda