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.
Peanut Butter Crunchies
These candies are our family’s ultimate favorite – and have been for decades. Originally, Mom dipped all of them in chocolate, but somewhere along the way, she branched out and began dipping some in peanut butter chips and some in butterscotch chips, as well. This recipe always gets doubled.
• 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened but not melted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2-1/2 cups peanut butter
• 3 cups crispy rice cereal
• 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch baking chips
• 2 tablespoons shortening
1. In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla and peanut butter, and mix well. Add cereal, and mix until thoroughly combined.
2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls, and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
3. In the top of a double boiler set over gently boiling water, heat baking chips and shortening until melted and smooth, stirring often.
4. Remove peanut butter balls from refrigerator, and dip them in the melted mixture. Place on cookie sheets lined with waxed paper, and allow coating to set.
5. Once coating is set, store candy in tightly covered containers or zipper-seal plastic bags at room temperature.
Make sure to stock up on holiday goodies this year! See Easy Christmas Candy Recipes and Holiday Cookie Recipes for more ideas.