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Christmas candy

Christmas is fast approaching and we need to start making our goodies. Here are a few new and old recipes for giving this season. The crunch ball recipe brings back memories from my childhood. – Pat

 Crunch balls 2 cups peanut butter

3 cups Rice Krispies

1 pound box (4 cups) of powdered sugar

1 stick of butter (½ cup)

½ pound paraffin wax

1 8-oz plain chocolate Hershey bar

1 6-oz package of chocolate chips

Mix first 4 ingredients thoroughly by hand. Roll into small balls. Melt paraffin, chocolate bar and chocolate chips over low heat or in double boiler. Mix thoroughly. Dip each small ball in chocolate mixture. Cool on wax paper. Then dip again. Makes 5 to 6 dozen balls. Recipe of Mrs. Herman Finders.

 

Chocolate coconut candies

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1 3/4 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped almonds

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons shortening

optional ingredients: flaked coconut, chopped almonds, sliced almonds and sprinkles

In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, coconut, almonds and milk. Shape into 1-in balls. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. In a microwave, melt semisweet chips and shortening on high for about 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 20 seconds intervals, stirring until smooth. Dip balls in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Coat or garnish with ingredients of your choice. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2-½ dozen.

 

Christmas hard candy

3 3/4 cups sugar

1 ½ cups light corn syrup

1 cup water

2 to 3 drops red food coloring or color of your choice

¼ teaspoon watermelon flavoring or flavoring of your choice

½ cup powdered sugar

Butter two 15 x 10 x 1-in pans; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and food coloring. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees (hard-crack stage). Remove from the heat; stir in flavoring. Immediately pour into prepared pans; cool. Dust with powdered sugar; break into pieces. Store in airtight containers. Yield: 2 pounds.

 

Peanut butter pretzel bites

1 package (14 oz) caramels

¼ cup butter, cubed

2 tablespoons water

5 cups miniature pretzels

1 jar (18 oz) chunky peanut butter

26 ounces milk chocolate candy coating

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels with butter and water; stir until smooth, spread one side of each pretzel with 1 teaspoon peanut butter; top with ½ teaspoon caramel mixture. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until set. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating. Using a small fork, dip each pretzel into coating until completely covered; shake off excess. Place on waxed paper. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Yield: 8-½ dozen.

 

FOOD FACTS

• Honey can be used in place of refined sugar, using only half as much as the recipe calls for.

• If a candy recipe calls for water, always use hot water and your candy will be clearer.

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