Christmas Candies

Let’s be real…the holidays are crazy.

With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, squeezing in allll the holiday traditions, hosting get togethers and traveling to visit family, I know I can’t be the only one that starts to feel STRESSED midway through December.

Salty Blondes | Christmas Candies

One of the things I don’t stress about, though, is what to give for neighbor/friend/coworker gifts every year! I used to think I had to come up with something creative, or spend time in the store looking for something cute and perfect for each person individually, but the last couple of years I have been giving away the three treats I’m about to share. It’s so easy, and they are always a huge hit!

English Toffee

Salty Blondes | Christmas Candies

This is a recipe our cousins have been making for years around the holidays and, when I was younger, I always used to think it must be really difficult to make because of how yummy and delicious it tastes and looks! Our cousin, Maddie, shared the recipe on her blog, A Whisk of Thyme, last year, and I was blown away with how easy it was to make!! This toffee MELTS. IN. YOUR. MOUTH. I’m drooling just thinking about it 😂

I will say this recipe takes a little bit of trial and error to perfect, as easy as it is. The first time I made it, I cut the recipe in half and it actually turned out pretty perfect. The next TWO times, I made a full pan of it and under cooked it, so it turned out chewy (you’d think I would have learned after doing this once). Now I know just how long to cook it, and included some of my tips and tricks at the end of the recipe below!

English Toffee

ingredients:

Ingredients
  • 3 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 lb. chocolate rounds/wafers 
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

instructions

Directions
  1. Grease a 9x13 glass pan with butter.  Sprinkle walnuts on top of the greased pan and press firmly. Place chocolate wafers on top of the walnuts in a single layer until the bottom the pan is covered.
  2. In a medium sized pot, combine brown sugar and butter together.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Toffee will be done once a candy thermometer reads 290°F (if you don't have a candy thermometer, see tips below for knowing when toffee is done).  Toffee will burn quickly if overcooked, and will be chewy if undercooked. 
  3. Once candy is done, immediately pour evenly over the prepared pan with the nuts and chocolate.
  4. Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave (put in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir.  Microwave for another 15 seconds, stir, and repeat until fully melted).  Pour melted chocolate over top the candy and spread evenly.  Set aside for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  5. When ready, use a large knife to cut in to the toffee. It should break apart easily, and enjoy!

NOTES:

If you don't have a candy thermometer, here are a few tips to know when the candy is done! It may take a couple of times making this before you perfect it.
1. It should take at least 5-7 minutes after everything has melted. You will think it looks done, but keep stirring!
2. The toffee should be the color of the skin of an almond when it's done.
3. Keep a glass of cold water by your pan. When you think the toffee is close to being done, drop a small piece in the cold water.  If it hardens immediately, you know the toffee is done! If it's chewy, keep cooking!

Almond Brittle

Salty Blondes | Christmas Candies

This one came from my (Regan) mother-in-law and is my husband’s favorite! He asks me to make it all throughout the year, not just during Christmas time 😂 It’s another one that I was kind of surprised about when I found out how easy it was to make. It has the perfect amount of crunch and the flavor is almond, buttery amazingness. Once you start eating it, it’s hard to stop! Last year I grabbed some cute, large $5 mugs from Target that had different Christmas sayings on them, filled them with almond brittle, wrapped them up in celophane and tied a ribbon around the top to deliver to neighbors!

Almond Brittle

ingredients

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 2 cups slivered almonds

instructions

Directions
  1. Boil all ingredients in frying pan until caramel color, stirring constantly.
  2. Pour onto foil and evenly with spatula.
  3. Break apart after cooled.

Rolo Pretzel Turles

Salty Blondes | Christmas Candies

The easiest of them all! It’s a little silly to even call this a recipe, because it’s literally three things you buy and put together with almost zero effort, but look how cute they are!! And they are addicting. Anyone else a huge fan of sweet + salty together?

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

ingredients:

Ingredients
  • 1 Package of unwrapped Rolos
  • Bag of mini pretzels
  • Pecans

instructions:

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Lay pecans out on a cookie sheet and toast for about 7-8 minutes, until they start to brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Lay pretzels out on a cookie sheet and top each one with a Rolo. 
  4. Put in oven until Rolo starts to soften, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from oven.
  5. Press a pecan into the top of each Rolo.

We hope these ideas take a bit of stress off your plate this holiday season, and allow you to spend a little extra time focusing on the reason for the season. Happy Holidays!!