While candy isn’t necessarily difficult to make, many recipes are time consuming, so allow plenty of time.
For the candies that are dipped in a flavored coating, such as melted chocolate or peanut butter chips, do not omit the shortening. The shortening is what makes the coating set and harden on the candy. Also, don’t use butter in place of shortening, or it will be oily. When my mom first started making candy, all the recipes called for paraffin wax, which is no longer recommended, so now she uses vegetable shortening, with great results, even though it’s not the healthiest choice.
If you’d rather not use shortening, an online search suggests substituting melted almond bark or candy melts for the baking chips and shortening. Feel free to research it further for additional options and suggestions, as well as comments and results from those who have used these substitutions.
Fudge is a holiday must, and not just chocolate fudge. This is a simple recipe that can easily be altered to make a variety of flavors by simply replacing the milk chocolate chips. For example, use peanut butter chips to make Peanut Butter Fudge, pumpkin spice morsels for Pumpkin Fudge, or dark chocolate and mint morsels for Minty Chocolate Fudge.
• 3 cups milk chocolate chips
• 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• Dash of salt, optional
• 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, and spray foil with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter. Microwave in 1-minute increments, stirring after each minute, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes total.
3. Stir in vanilla, and mix well. Add salt and walnuts, if desired, and mix thoroughly to evenly distribute salt.
4. Turn mixture into prepared pan, pressing into corners. Smooth top with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours, before cutting into squares.
5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Make sure to stock up on holiday goodies this year! See Easy Christmas Candy Recipes and Holiday Cookie Recipes for more ideas.