Give the Gift of Candy
Instant Pot Peanut Brittle
This Instant Pot candy recipe delivers a classic candy shop treat with no intimidation factor. In fact, you don’t even need a candy thermometer to make this perfectly porous and crisp brittle. While it makes a scrumptious treat any time of year, our Instant Pot Peanut Brittle is especially awesome to make during the holiday season. Being that the recipe produces a generous yield of candy, it’s an excellent goody for gifting. A key factor in candy cooking is making sure you sugar granules are completely dissolved. If you want to give your brittle a little test as it cooks, take your wooden spoon or rubber spatula (whatever you’re using to stir the mixture) to scoop a small amount of the melted sugar mixture and spread a thin layer onto a paper plate. This allows you to see any sugar crystals that may still be in the mixture, as well as observe how the mixture hardens as it cools. If the mixture hardens like glass and cracks easily, you know it’s ready.
Ice Cube Tray Chocolate Treats
This genius technique allows you to make rich and delicious homemade chocolates with minimal mess and ingredients. In fact, making these ice cube tray candies is so easy, it’s a great rainy day kitchen project for the kids to take charge on. Use this recipe as your guide, but feel free to customize the candy as you see fit. There’s plenty of room for creativity with your chocolates’ fillings, and you can swap the milk chocolate chips for white chocolate if you prefer. Any type of ice cube tray will do here, so you may want to grab a few inexpensive ones from a dollar store specifically for chocolate making.
Paleo Almond Fudge
Creamy and decadent, but not overly sweet, this paleo fudge is everything we want in an afternoon pick-me-up. No, its not your nana’s traditional sugar-rich holiday fudge, but a subtle crunch from finely ground almond flour paired with this paleo candy’s salty-sweet factor makes it an incredibly satisfying bite—especially when a dessert craving strikes. We found that Barney’s Bare Smooth almond butter works exceptionally well in this recipe, and can be found at most health food markets and online. Pro-tip: Use plastic wrap to help press your fudge into the pan without it sticking to your hands.
Almond Antique Brittle
When cooking sugar to a high temperature, things move very quickly in the last few minutes or even seconds. To avoid burned sugar syrup, be sure to have the almonds toasted and ready to go before starting. A significant amount of vinegar in this brittle adds complex flavor.
Candied Orange Rind
Both kids and adults will enjoy stretching the honey into taffy, and the longer you stretch the honey, the easier and more pliable the taffy becomes. To avoid a sticky situation, make sure any surface you set the taffy on is thinly coated with cooking spray. You can also wear latex gloves (coated with canola oil) to make the pulling a little easier.
Add holiday flair to these salty-sweet treats with crushed peppermint candies.
Nana’s Christmas Caramels
This yummy caramel recipe comes from an old family recipe and straight from a grandmother's heart.
Salted Chocolate-Pecan Toffee
Gift recipes are best when they offer flavor beyond the ordinary. The slightly salty addition of fleur de sel, added just before chilling, highlights the sweet toffee and rich chocolate.
Give yourself an extra day when making these beautiful sugared cranberries since they need to soak in a sugar syrup for eight hours. But beware, once you pass these around to party guests there's no going back. You, and they, will be hooked for life.
This crispy almond brittle takes a walk on the light side since it's free of traditional staple candy ingredients, butter and cream. Even better, you won't need a candy thermometer or any special equipment to make the treat.
These addictively sweet candied pecans are a great gift for the holidays. The recipe makes 8 cups so there's plenty to share with others as well as enjoy for yourself. Place small bowls of pecans around your house during a party and watch how fast they'll be gobbled up.
A beautiful salute to Christmas, this peppermint bark is a perfect hostess gift. Wrap it in clear plastic bags and tie with red and green raffia or ribbon.
Mocha Almond Fudge
This rich chocolate fudge can be made and frozen for up to two months so it is ideal for gift giving. Make one batch and divide into six equal parts. Place the fudge in airtight containers and decorate with festive ribbon.
This crunchy brittle is made with walnuts instead of peanuts to make it a touch more special. Make it a few weeks in advance and wrap parchment lined holiday tins. Or try stuffing the sweet treat into clear jelly jars and tie with fabric ribbon.
Salty Chocolate-Pecan Candy
This super simple holiday bark from Southern Living is made by melting dark and white chocolates in the oven and then swirling the finished product. Chopped pecans and coarse salt are sprinkled over the top to offer contrast. Pack them in tins and ship in padded holiday envelopes.
These homemade butterscotch caramels are a rare treat to be shared with those special friends that you can't thank enough for all they do throughout the year. Give yourself a few hours to make the candy and another two hours to cool the caramels.
Let the kids assist you with the preparation of this decadent confection. They can help scoop the chocolate into balls then roll them in cocoa.
Key Lime Coconut Snowballs
These no-bake coconut snow balls are laced with key lime juice and fresh crumbled graham crackers. Sweetened with condensed milk and powdered sugar, they're a pretty little holiday confection. Wrap them in plastic bags and tie with lime green ribbon and a cranberry sprig.
Candied Orange Slices with Ganache Dipping Sauce
Discerning candy lovers will like the tart-sweet flavor of these candied fresh orange slices, but pack them with a crock of deep dark chocolate ganache for dipping to make them holiday special. Substitute lemons or small red grapefruit for the oranges if you like.
Honey Peanut Brittle
Many enslaved African-Americans came from beekeeping countries; others interacted with certain Native American groups who bartered with beeswax and honey. This candy deliciously celebrates those all-but-forgotten intertwinings in early American society. It also celebrates George Washington Carver, who advocated for everything peanut.
This classic pecan candy from Louisiana is an ideal gift and an easy candy to make. If you really want to splurge, try one of the variations: Chocolate-Pecan Pralines or Bourbon-Pecan Pralines.
Soft Apple-Cider Caramels
These chewy treats are like caramel apples in candy form, combining the tangy-sweet flavor of cider with buttery caramel. To create your own spin on them, use a flavored apple cider or add different spices, like ground ginger or black pepper.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Toffee
Crackers serve as the base to this chocolate and peanut butter treat. Make a batch of Chocolate-Peanut Butter Toffee to give as gifts or keep around the house for sweet nibbling.
For adults with a refined sweet tooth, these chocolate dipped dried apricots hit the spot. Rolled in crushed pistachio nuts, they're a sweet, creamy, crunchy treat. Try dried figs, papaya slices, or pineapple to replace the apricots.
Triple Chocolate-Covered Peanut Clusters
Satisfy your craving for sweet-and-savory treats with this super easy candy recipe. The combination of chocolate bark coating, semisweet chocolate morsels, and German chocolate baking squares will delight even the most demanding chocoholic.
Old-Fashioned Peanut Brittle
Giving this classic candy is now even easier with our microwave instructions.
Peppermint-White Chocolate Candy Slabs
Make the easiest candy ever for this season's gifts. You only need three ingredients and a loaf pan. And instead of the peppermint candy, you can make the Peanut Brittle or Hello Dollly variation.