What would Christmas be to the children — or even the grownups — without some of the special candies and good things appropriate to the holiday season?
Candies for Christmas
The variety of candies that can be made at home is infinite as to color shape and flavor. Here are a few good recipes:
French vanilla cream
This cream is the foundation of all the French creams.
Break into a bowl the white of one or more eggs as is required by the quantity you wish to make and add to it an equal quantity of cold water, then stir in the finest powdered or confectioners sugar until it is stiff enough to mold into shape with the fingers. Flavor with vanilla to taste. After it is formed into balls, cubes or lozenges, place upon plates to dry.
Candies made without cooking are not as good the first day.
Chop almonds, hickory nuts, butternuts or English walnuts quite fine. Make the French cream, and before adding all the sugar, while the cream is still quite soft, stir into it the nuts and then form into balls, bars or squares. Three or four kinds of nuts may be mixed together.
Maple sugar creams
Grate maple sugar, mix it in quantities to suit the taste, with French cream, adding enough confectioner’s sugar to mold into any shape desired. Walnut creams are sometimes made with maple sugar and are delicious.
Grate the rind of one orange and squeeze the juice, taking care to reject the seeds. Add to this a pinch of tartaric acid; stir in confectioner’s sugar until it is stiff enough to form into small balls the size of a small marble. These are delicious.
Stirred cream walnuts
Take two cupfuls of sugar, two thirds of a cupful of boiling water, and one half salt teaspoonful of cream of tartar. Boil until it begins to thicken. Stir in chopped walnuts and drop on tins.
Boil together four teaspoonfuls of vinegar and two cupfuls of brown sugar. Cook until the mixture becomes brittle when dropped into cold water. Grease gem pans with butter and cover the bottoms thickly with broken nut meats. Add to syrup one teaspoonful of soda, beat well and pour over the nuts. When cold and hard, remove from the molds and wrap in paraffin paper.
Soak two tablespoonsful of gelatin in one cupful of cold water for half an hour. Cook together two cupfuls of sugar with one-half cupful of water until brittle when dropped into cold water. Pour the boiling syrup over the soaked gelatin, boiling constantly. Add the mixture to stiffly-beaten white of an egg, flavor with rose or mint and beat until very stiff. Pour the marshmallow mixture into a pan well-dusted with a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Cool, then cut in squares.
Honey molasses kisses
To one cupful of molasses, add three tablespoonfuls of honey, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, one tablespoonful of corn syrup, and two tablespoonfuls of butter with one-third of a cupful of water. Stir until well-mixed, then boil to a hard ball, turn out on a greased platter, and when cool enough, pull. Cut in inch lengths with the shears and wrap the pieces in waxed paper.
Pulled molasses candy
Ingredients: Two cups molasses, 2 to 3 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Put butter in the kettle, and when melted, add molasses and sugar. Boil until when poured in cold water, mixture becomes brittle. Add vinegar just before taking from fire.
Pour on well-buttered plate, and when cool enough to handle, pull until porous and light-colored, allowing candy to come in contact with tips of fingers and thumbs, not with palm of the hand. Cut in small pieces, using shears or a sharp knife, and arrange on buttered plate to cool.
Molasses walnut candy
Boil a quart of molasses for a half hour, then add a saltspoon of baking soda and boil until a little dropped in cold water will become brittle. Stir in shelled and halved walnuts and pour into greased pan.
Molasses stick candy
Boil together a pint of molasses, 2 tablespoons butter, a pound of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar. When it hardens in cold water, remove from fire. As it cools, pull into long light strips with tips of fingers. Lay on waxed paper to harden.
Classic chocolate candy recipes for Christmas from more than a century ago
It would not seem to be Christmas to the little people without candy any more than it would without dolls, and even older ones would have the same feeling in something sweet were missing. There are many pretty ways of serving bon bons with the Christmas dinner.
Pretty dishes filled with them can be placed upon the table. Dainty bags of various colored silks with sprays of flowers painted upon them and filled with bon bons, either with dinner card attached or name painted upon them, are pleasing souvenirs.
Boil together a cupful of sugar, 1 cup of grated chocolate, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of molasses. Stir often and let boil until it hardens in cold water. Beat in a teaspoon of vanilla and stir well for a minute. Pour in greased pan to cool, and cut in squares while cooling.
Beat the white of an egg light with a teaspoon of sugar, add a teaspoon of vanilla and enough confectioners’ sugar to make a mixture stiff enough to be formed. Beat very smooth, form into little balls, and spread in pan to cool. Cover with chocolate coating — this is simply melted sweetened chocolate. Each ball is dipped in this chocolate until covered, using any sharp instrument to hold creams while dipping.
Chocolate pecan pralines
Place in a graniteware saucepan two cupfuls of granulated sugar, one cupful of shaved maple sugar, and one cupful of cream. Boil to the soft ball stage (240 degrees) and add two squares of unsweetened chocolate, finely shaved.
Caramelize a cupful of sugar and add just enough boiling, strained coffee to make the caramel a thick liquid. Combine the two mixtures, let boil up once, remove from the fire and stir in three cupfuls of broken pecan meats. When cold enough to hold its shape, drop by the spoonful onto a marble slab and press a nut meat in the center of each.
Chocolate Turkish paste
Let three tablespoonfuls of granulated gelatin stand in half a cupful of cold water until it has absorbed the water.
Cook two cupfuls of sugar and two-thirds of a cupful of water until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup boiling, then add the gelatine and cook for twenty minutes. Add one teaspoonful of ground cinnamon, two squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted over hot water, and beat all together, cooking for a couple of minutes longer.
Remove from the fire, add one teaspoonful of vanilla extract and a cupful of chopped candied fruits. Let stand until well-thickened and turn into a shallow ungreased pan. Let stand until the next day, cut in squares, and roll in confectioner’s sugar. (This is sometimes called plum pudding candy.)