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.
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?
- 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
- In your slow cooker add peanuts followed by German sweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips and then topped with the candiquik vanilla melting chocolate.
- Cover slow cooker and turn on low. Cook untouched for 2½ hours.
- While the chocolate is heating, line a baking sheet with mini cupcake liners. You will need about 50-60 liners.
- After 2½ hour cooking time, stir the chocolate until all combined. Keep the heat on low while dividing.
- 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.
- Let candies cool complete before eating. Keep in an air tight container.
Source- Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood via foodnetwork.com
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.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups raw blanched peanuts
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 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.
- In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and light corn syrup.
- 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.)
- Stir in vanilla extract and baking soda quickly before the candy starts to harden.
- 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.
- 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
P.S. Looking for more holiday edible gift ideas besides homemade candy? Try our homemade hot chocolate mix!