As promised, here are my Christmas candy recipes. When I say “butter,” I mean butter, not margarine, and when I say “chocolate chips,” I mean chocolate, not “chocolate-flavored pieces.”
Labor-intensive, but worth the trouble if you or someone you love is crazy about turtles.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Three 12-oz. bags chocolate chips
About 2 tbsp. canola oil
About 3/4 c. pecan pieces
1/2 stick of butter
Boil the unopened can of milk in a pan of water for two hours to turn it into soft caramel. While it boils, toast the pecan pieces in butter over a low flame until butter starts to brown. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix chocolate chips and oil in a microwave-safe dish and microwave until chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
Line cookie sheets with waxed paper. Use a teaspoon to make puddles of chocolate 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter on the cookie sheets. Arrange six pecan pieces on each puddle to make the legs, head, and tail of the turtle. Chill until the chocolate hardens.
When the caramel has cooled, open the can and place a spoonful of caramel in the center of each turtle. Chill for a few minutes, then spoon melted chocolate over each turtle, completely covering the caramel, and chill until chocolate hardens. Store in sealed containers in the refrigerator. Makes about 50 turtles.
Stained-glass windows: Use this recipe, but sprinkle the waxed paper with about a half-cup of chopped nuts or coconut before wrapping up each log. Not my favorite candy, but quick, easy, and great for adding color to gift baskets and whatnot.
Ribbon fudge: Make two batches of Fantasy Fudge — one peanut butter, one chocolate — and layer them in a greased 9×13 pan. To make peanut butter fudge, substitute a cup of cheap peanut butter (NOT all-natural — it’s too oily!) for the chocolate chips. Also, I recommend using a large jar of marshmallow cream instead of a small one for each batch. My all-time favorite fudge recipe.
Black walnut fudge: Stir a cup of black walnuts into a batch of Foolproof Chocolate Fudge. Not the world’s best fudge, but worth the five minutes it takes to make it. I suspect a small jar of marshmallow creme would improve it.
This recipe is basically an easier-to-measure version of the one in the Complete Wilton Book of Candy, which I highly recommend. Time-consuming but very easy, and great for impressing people. Best with Ghirardelli chips, but Nestle will do in a pinch.
About 3/4 c. heavy cream
18 oz. chocolate chips (about a bag and a half)
Sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut, powdered sugar, cocoa, whatever
Bring cream to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips, and set pan in the fridge for half an hour to set up.
Drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate onto waxed paper and return chocolate to fridge until it’s the consistency of stiff playdough. Form chocolate into balls and roll in something nice (nonpareils, chopped nuts, coconut, cocoa, powdered sugar, etc.) Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 50 truffles.