Homemade Candy is a Treat

When I was a child, my Mother loved to make candy for special occasions and sometimes just for us to enjoy.  My Aunt , as well, always made candy for every holiday.  I was lucky enough to help her “pull” the taffy and “powder” the ribbon candy.  I’m sure because of this model, I never felt intimidated to try candy recipes.  My candy does not always appear as perfect as store bought, but they always taste great.

I am going to share two recipes for candy that always are a big hit with my family.  I made them for Easter this year in just a couple of hours.

homemade Almond Joy & Peanut Butter Cup

Peanut Butter Eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened

2 1/3 cups confectioners sugar

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional

1/2 cup coconut

1 cup ground nuts (walnut, almond, pecan)

Coating

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark, milk chocolate, semi-sweet)

2 Tblsp shortening

pastel sprinkles

In large bowl, cream butter; gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, cracker crumbs, peanut butter, vanilla, and optional additions.  Shape into desired size eggs; place on wax or parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

In microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth.  Dip eggs in chocolate;  allow excess to drip off. (I use 2 forks to dip the eggs).  Decorate with sprinkles; return eggs to waxed paper.  Chill until set.  Store in air tight container.

Almond Joy

7 oz sweetened condensed milk

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

30 almonds

20 oz of good quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, spread raw almonds onto a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.  Remove to cool.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, xxx sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Stir un coconut.  Mixture will be thick.  Freeze for 30 minutes to make it easier to work with to form candy’s.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove coconut mixture from freezer and with clean hands shape one tablespoon of coconut into little logs about 2 inches long and 3/4 inch thick.  Press  together so they don’t fall apart when dipped in chocolate.  Press an almond or two (as desired) into each log.  Refrigerate candies to chill.

Follow same directions to dip candies in chocolate and store.

Optional

Chocolate may be drizzled over the top of the candies as decoration.  Select your type, melt and place in plastic zip-lock bag.  Cut a small tip from corner of bag and drizzle over candies.

Enjoy these simple pleasures and share them with family and friends!

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