Homemade Candy

Slow Cooker Candy

Today we are taking a break from the cookie countdown, but we are still focusing on Christmas treats!  This year for my co-workers’ holiday gifts, I am giving mason jars filled with two kinds of homemade candy inside.   I have given my co-workers Christmas cookies in the past, but I decided to change it up this year.  I have been bringing the cookies into work right after I make them to give us a little break from being surrounded by Christmas cookies 24/7.  I love the idea of mason jars and how they can be used for some many things.  Leftovers, soups, vases, glasses, and gift packaging!  I purchased my jars at Target for around $8 for 12, but they also sell them on Amazon for $9.99 with Prime shipping if you can’t find them around where you live.

Slow Cooker Candies

The first candy I made was one that I have been seeing all over Pinterest called “Crockpot Candy.”  This candy is made with a slow cooker.  It is really easy to make and is super addictive!  They are like a chocolate-covered nut cluster with a softer more tastier chocolate mixture.  I used mini cupcake liners to put the chocolate candies in instead of the regular sized liners called for in the original recipe.  I found Christmas cupcake liners at both Target and my grocery store.  The original recipe also asks for white almond bark, which they do not sell anywhere around here.   After googling some resolutions, I found out that you can use Candiquik vanilla melting chocolate in replacement of white almond bark.  I had seen this product at Target when I was looking for the bark.  If you can’t find either, just use white chocolate.

For a quicker hardening stage- stick your trays outside (if it’s cold out).  It has been record breaking cold over hear in the Bay Area, which would be regular cold everywhere else, but its considered cold here.  I know what M is thinking now- we grew up with Syracuse winters… toughen up K!  Right M?

Slow Cooker Candies
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 50-60 candies
  • 1 pound dry-roasted salted peanuts
  • 2 oz. German Chocolate, broken into squares
  • 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1¼ pounds Candiquik vanilla melting chocolate, broken into squares
  1. In your slow cooker add peanuts followed by German sweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips and then topped with the candiquik vanilla melting chocolate.
  2. Cover slow cooker and turn on low. Cook untouched for 2½ hours.
  3. While the chocolate is heating, line a baking sheet with mini cupcake liners. You will need about 50-60 liners.
  4. After 2½ hour cooking time, stir the chocolate until all combined. Keep the heat on low while dividing.
  5. Using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop, scoop candy mixture into each liner. Half way through filling. Tap tray against counter to force the chocolate to settle into the liners. Repeat when finished filling the remainder of liners.
  6. Let candies cool complete before eating. Keep in an air tight container.

Source- Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood via foodnetwork.com

Peanut Brittle

The second type of candy I am packaging this year is my all time favorite holiday candy, Peanut Brittle.  My mom made this recipe growing up and I am such a huge fan.  I had posted this recipe when we first started this blog, but I didn’t have any photos of it and it is pretty buried in our history.  The key to this recipe is finding raw, blanched peanuts.  This, my friends, is not an easy task.  I have been searching for raw blanched peanuts for the last four years!  Wegmans used to carry then and Whole Foods has them occasionally,  but I haven’t seen them in either for awhile.  You can buy these on-line for sure, I just never got to ordering them ahead of time.  This year while  getting my produce at a store called Sprouts, I found the peanuts in the bulk nut section!   I couldn’t believe it!  I quickly filled a bag with the peanuts and knew I had to make my favorite peanut brittle again.

Peanut Brittle
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups raw blanched peanuts
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying with cooking spray and set aside. Also spray a heat resistant rubber spatula or regular spatula with spray; it will come in handy when spreading the sticky mixture.
  2. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and light corn syrup.
  3. Once melted together, add in raw peanuts. Stir constantly for 12-15 minutes, until peanuts start to turn brown (often the signal that it’s ready is a puff of smoke, but I am yet to see this puff.)
  4. Stir in vanilla extract and baking soda quickly before the candy starts to harden.
  5. Once all the ingredients are completely stirred together, pour mixture onto greased baking sheet, using greased spatula to spread it out. Spread candy out as far as you can without making holes so that there is a single layer of peanuts.
  6. After this is spread, leave for about 1 or 2 hours until completely hardened then break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Source- A 2s2c original
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P.S. Looking for more holiday edible gift ideas besides homemade candy?  Try our homemade hot chocolate mix!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Taza Chocolate Holiday Events and Giveaway

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Still looking for the perfect gift for the sweet-tooth in your life?  One of my favorite stocking stuffers ever is Taza Chocolate!  Back when we used to get Boston Organics delivered in the city, you could do a Taza chocolate add-on service- so great!  They are definitely one of my husband’s favorite things so I am planning on stocking up on a bunch to give to him (hope you are not reading this dear- haha!)

I received an e-mail from one of the Taza Chocolate employees letting me know about three upcoming holiday events they are hosting at their factory store in Somerville, MA.  If you live in the Boston area, you have to check out this factory.  I went a couple years ago to pick up T’s birth announcements from Albertine Press, which is in the same building as Taza.  Let me tell you, the entire building smells heavenly!  If you don’t live in Boston, I have something for you as well.  I am hosting a Taza Chocolate Mexicana Sampler giveaway- go to the bottom of this post to enter!

Sat. Dec. 8th, 1-4pmLiddabit Sweets Candy Sampling & Cookbook Signing

Come meet Liz Gutman and Jen King, the brilliant candy-crafters of Liddabit Sweets! Pick up an autographed copy of their brand new book, The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook, and sample & buy their Taza Chocolate sea salt caramels and other delectable creations. Facebook invitation here.

Wed. Dec. 12th, 5-7pmBully Boy Distillers & Cocktail Sampling
Come sample libations from Boston’s first craft distillery! Try these locally distilled spirits both straight up, and mixed into cocktails. We’ll have plenty of chocolate samples on hand to explore pairing choices.  
Facebook invitation here.

Sat. & Sun., Dec. 15th & 16th, 11am-5pmHoliday Fiesta

Join Taza Chocolate at our annual Holiday Fiesta at the Factory Store on Saturday and Sunday, December 15 and 16 from 11am – 5pm.  Facebook invitation here.

Saturday December 15:
-FREE cocktail samples featuring Diabolique Infused Bourbon and Taza Mexicano Extract
-FREE samples of Counter Culture Coffee
-FREE cheesecake samples from 7ate9 Bakery, plus mini cheesecakes for sale

Sunday December 16:
-FREE samples of Oak Aged Mocha Stout from Peak Organic Brewing
-FREE samples of MEM Teas
-FREE sample of Night Shift Taza Stout Gingerbread from Sofra Bakery
Both days:
-The Taco Truck, selling authentic Mexican-style tacos plus a special Taza treat
-FREE Orange Cinnamon hot chocolate served up from the Taza Choco-cycle
-SPECIAL Taza treats for sale, including our new limited edition Spiked Eggnog Chocolate Mexicano
-FREE Chocolate Mexicano disc with any purchase of $50 or more

If you have never tried Taza Chocolate before, here’s your big chance.  Taza has generously given 2S2C a Chocolate Mexicano Sampler to giveaway!  The sampler contains a disc of each one of these flavors: Cacao Puro, Chipotle Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Guajillo Chili, Orange, Salt & Pepper, and Vanilla Bean.  Good luck!
taza chocolate mexicano sampler

The Rules:  Contestants must have a USA shipping address to be eligible for entry.  No entries will be accepted after December 13th, 2012 at 12:00 am, EST.  Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered.  One winner will be chosen at random and will be announced during the December 14th, 2012.  The chosen winners will then have 30 days to respond by e-mail to claim their prize.  Please note that Taza Chocolate is sponsoring this giveaway.  Void where prohibited.

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Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Today is just one of those days…I’ve been feeling seriously back-logged and have been in a bad mood all day.  My to-do list is miles long and the piles of laundry to be folded are mountain high.  I have no groceries for dinner and every room needs to be cleaned.  And the cold, rainy weather outside is not helping either.  However, this homemade hot chocolate mix was able to seriously change my mood around!

When I was a freshman in college, I remember there was a cafe in Harvard Square that had the most amazing hot chocolate.  It was so rich and creamy- the perfect cup of chocolate on a cold winter day.  I don’t even know if it exists anymore, but I often think back to that cup of hot chocolate.  I’m happy to report that this hot chocolate mix is up to par with my nostalgic memory.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Since it’s in powder form, this homemade hot chocolate mix would be a great gift to make for the upcoming holiday season.  I would say this mix would make 5-15 bags, depending on how small or large you bag the mix.  Or you could just keep it all to yourself to enjoy!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 45
  • 16 oz. high-quality semisweet chocolate (I used 3 large Ghiradelli bars)
  • 5 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 and ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and ¼ cups Dutch process cocoa (I used a blend of natural and Dutch process cocoa)
  1. Using a food processor, pulse the semisweet and dark chocolate until finely ground (I first processed the chocolate using the mandoline attachment, and then finished off using the metal blade.) Add the ground semisweet and dark chocolate in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar and cocoa. Whisk hot chocolate mix together to blend.
  2. To serve, mix 2 tablespoons of mix with 8 oz. of milk over medium heat. Alternatively, you can heat up the milk for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.
  3. The homemade hot chocolate mix can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to six months.

Source: Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

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Three Easy Edible Stocking Stuffers

Still looking for some stocking stuffers or gift ideas for Christmas?  Check out these 3 holiday gifts you can whip up in your own kitchen:

1. Caramel corn- Check out this recipe for caramel corn from Annie’s Eats.  It will change your world.  I’ve already made it several time and this stuff goes fast!  I packaged some up in holiday Chinese take-out containers for an easy holiday gift:

2. Spice rub- There are some great spice rub mixtures to make in bulk and split out into small glass spice jars.  Personalize it by using a printable label that lists out the ingredients and recommended uses for the spice rub.  Top it off with a festive ribbon!  For recipe ideas, try Martha’s All Purpose Spice Rub or one of the many at Simple Mom.

3. Spiced nut mix- For this stocking stuffer, you just need a slightly larger glass jar (perhaps a Mason jar?)   Feel free to be creative and name your concoction with a fun name!  I’ve made this recipe from Cooking Light for a few parties and it has been a hit- Peanuts with Indian Spices.

What edible gifts do you like to give (or receive!) during the holiday season?  Check out The Naptime Chef for more homemade gift recipes!


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