Joyous in the holiday season, gifts happily remembered: golden taffy nuggets sweetly flavored with molasses, pulled till tawny gold; white velvet creams piled high with flaky coconut; chocolate cream fudge crunchy with Brazil nuts. Sugarplum strawberries are crimson, plump, delicate with almondy flavor. Christmas sugar mints are gay with red poinsettias — and easy, easy to make.

Wonderful, wonderful Christmas sweets

Golden taffy nuggets recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups light molasses
1-1/2 cups water

Directions

Select a large heavy kettle. In this, melt the butter and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and heat slowly until the sugar is dissolved. Cook rapidly at first, lowering the heat as the mixture thickens, to prevent burning. When the syrup makes a hard hall in cold water, or the candy thermometer registers 258° F.

Pour the mixture into three greased pie plates. As the edges cool, turn the tally toward the center with a spatula, or the edges will be hard before the center is cool enough to pull.

When cool enough to handle, butter the hands slightly, and with the tips of the fingers pull the candy until light in color and too hard to pull farther. Stretch out and twist into a rope about 3/4″ thick. Cut with scissors into desired lengths and wrap in cellophane twists. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds candy.


 

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White velvet coconut creams

Ingredients

3 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups light cream
6 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 (3-1/2 ounce) cans flaked coconut

Directions

In a large heavy saucepan, mix together sugar, cream. butter and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and continue cooking. without stirring. until candy reaches 231° F (soft-ball stage) on candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and let stand about 5 minutes. Then pour onto a large buttered platter. Let cool completely.

Add vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, heat candy until thick and creamy. Add 1-1/2 cans of the coconut; mix well and continue beating until candy loses its shine and is very thick. Pour into a buttered 8x8x2″ pan. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Let candy stand, covered, for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Cut into squares. Makes about 2 pounds candy.


 

Chocolate cream fudge recipe

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1 cup light cream
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely-chopped Brazil nuts

Directions

Mix the sugar, cream, chocolate and confectioners’ sugar together in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and cook without stirring until mixture forms a soft ball in cold water, or candy thermometer reaches 234° F. Add butter and vanilla. Cool until fudge is lukewarm, 110° F on candy thermometer.

Beat by hand until mixture is thick and still glossy. Add 2/3 cup Brazil nuts and continue beating until mixture begins to low its shine. Pour into an 8x8x2″ buttered pan. Top with remaining Brazil nuts. Chill. Cut into squares. Makes about l-1/2 pounds candy.


 

Sugarplum strawberries recipe

Ingredients



1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
Red food coloring
1 cup sugar
1 egg white
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon soft butter
Green food coloring

Directions

Add a few drops red food coloring to almond paste and knead until color is evenly distributed. Repeat this procedure until desired shade of red is obtained. Form into a long thin roll and cut into about 20 evenly-sized pieces. Shape into balls and then into a strawberry shape.

Add a few drops red food coloring to 1/2 cup sugar. Work the color evenly into the sugar. Repeat until same shade of red as almond paste is obtained. Roll strawberries in red sugar. Now roll very lightly in remaining uncolored sugar.

For the leaves: Beat the egg white until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until mixture holds very firm peaks. Add butter and mix well. Add a few drops of green food coloring. Use a leaf tube to decorate each strawberry with the frosting. Makes about 20 strawberries.


 

Christmas sugar mints recipe

Ingredients

5 cups sugar
2 cups water
Pinch cream of tartar
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint flavoring

Directions

Combine sugar, water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil and continue cooking to 230° F on a candy thermometer, or just below soft-ball stage. While boiling, brush the sides of the kettle with a pastry brush dipped in water to wipe away any sugar crystals. Remove immediately from the heat. Add confectioners’ sugar and flavoring. Stir with a hand whip until creamy — about 2-3 minutes.

Drop from the tip of a teaspoon onto waxed paper, or use a 2-cup plastic funnel and the handle of a wooden spoon. Insert the spoon handle into the opening in the funnel. Pour in the hot candy syrup, and then by raising and lowering the wooden spoon, drop the candy onto the waxed paper to any desired size. Keep the unused syrup quite hot but do not boil.

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The total time for making this candy is 10 minutes. One caution: Be sure that all tools are ready where you want them before you start. Store candy in an airtight container for two days. Decorate as desired with Royal icing. Makes 100 patties.


 

Royal icing recipe

Ingredients

1 egg white
About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon soft butter
Food coloring

Directions

Beat the egg white until frothy with an electric mixer. Add the sugar gradually, heating constantly until icing will hold its shape. Stir in butter until well blended. Then divide into separate containers and color as desired. Cover these bowls with a damp cloth until needed.

Using a pastry hag and the desired decorating tips, make any patterns you like — poinsettias, Christmas trees — on the mints.


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