Get a Holiday Sugar High!

Make & share a few of these sweets of the season

Homemade Christmas candy is a must at the holidays. Unwrapping homemade sugary treats is a great way to share holiday joy with family and friends. And what could be a greater holiday tradition than to set aside a full day of candy-making with children, siblings or friends.

Are you looking for a candy recipe worthy of becoming a family tradition? Or are you just a little intimidated by candy making? A great resource for fantastic candy recipes and helpful hints to overcome candy making trepidation is local church holiday bazaar. There are some much esteemed ladies who have been making sweet crowd worthy treats and selling them for years.

One such sweet lady is Marguerite Dahl, who has been stocking the candy shop for years at United Methodist Women’s annual bazaar at First United Methodist Church. She has shared her bazaar “regulars” of Peanut Brittle, Divinity Puffs and Caramels, including some helpful hints. With Marguerite’s recipes in hand, now is a perfect time for some candy making traditions.


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               Recipe by Marguerite Dahl

2 c. sugar
¼ c. white Karo syrup
1¼ c water
1¼ lbs. raw peanuts
3 T. butter
1t. vanilla
2 t. baking soda

Combine the sugar, Karo syrup and water in a large, heavy saucepan and stir. Cook to hard ball stage (to 250-266 degrees using a candy thermometer). Stir in the butter. Add the raw peanuts and cook until the peanuts turn brown. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stir well. Quickly stir in the baking soda. Working quickly pour the mixture into a thin layer in several well-buttered large cookie sheets and using a spatula, spread as thin as possible, then stretch out some more to make it even thinner. The mixture is very hot and sets up very quickly so you have to work fast. Note: The secret of this candy is being certain it is really crunchy when you test it (hard ball stage), being careful not to burn it and to stretch the mixture as thin as possible.


               Recipe from Marguerite Dahl

1 can Sweetened Condensed milk
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. white Karo syrup
½ lb butter (1 cup)
Chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients together in saucepan, stirring constantly. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook to firm ball stage, about 15 to 20 minutes. Butter a 9" x 13" pan and cover bottom with chopped nuts. Cover with the candy. After the candy has set up for a while, score them in squares and cut apart. They need to be individually wrapped in waxed paper, which is the most difficult and time consuming.


               Recipe from Marguerite Dahl

2 ½ c. sugar
½ c. light corn syrup
½ c. water
2 stiff beaten egg whites
1 t. vanilla extract
Chopped nuts

Cook sugar, corn syrup and water to thin syrup stage in a large heavy saucepan. Slowly pour a third of this over the egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer, beating constantly, with an electric mixer. Cook remaining syrup to 234 degrees, or thread stage. Pour half of this mixture in a steady stream while beating with mixer. Cook the remaining mixture to firm ball stage (248 degrees). Add in a steady stream to egg white mixture, beating with mixer. Add vanilla and beat until it holds its shape and loses its gloss. Drop or swirl from teaspoon onto waxed paper. Note: I use my Kitchen Aid mixer and have found that it works better if I don’t turn the speed up to the highest speed.

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