Best Holiday Candy That Everyone Will Love

By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for candy. So sweeten the holiday season and spread some cheer with these irresistible  candy recipes. Holiday candy not only  makes a great hostess gift,  it adds a sweet touch to dessert platters and gift bags or baskets this holiday season. Pack candies in clear cellophane bags with festive ribbon or in small boxes with tissue paper for gift giving. From easy peanut butter fudge to old-fashioned sea foam candy, you’ll find something for all of your friends with a sweet tooth. And if you’re smart you’ll make some for your yourself and your family to enjoy. Happy holidays!


This is the best recipe for creamy and delicious peanut butter fudge. It is great for sharing at work.

• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 (16 ounce) package brown sugar
• 1/2 cup milk
• 3/4 cup peanut butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth; pour into an 8×8 inch dish. Chill until firm and cut into squares.



• 20 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
• 30 peppermint candies, crushed, divided
• 10 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 6 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Line a 9×12 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Melt half of the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. Spread the white chocolate into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the crushed peppermints evenly over white chocolate. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate, heavy cream, and peppermint extract together in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently, until just melted. Quickly pour the chocolate layer over the chilled white chocolate layer; spread evenly. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

Melt the remaining white chocolate in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently, until just melted. Spread quickly over the chilled bark. Sprinkle with the remaining peppermint pieces; chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Cut or break into small pieces to serve.



• 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Place chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter or margarine in large microwaveable bowl. Zap in microwave on medium until chips are melted, about 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking. Stir in nuts, if desired. Pour into well-greased 8×8 inch glass baking dish. Refrigerate until set. Cut into squares.



• 1/4 cup unsalted butter
• 3 tablespoons heavy cream
• 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
• 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
• 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter and cream. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Stir in 4 ounces chopped chocolate, orange liqueur, and orange zest; continue stirring until smooth. Pour truffle mixture into a shallow bowl or a 9X5 in loaf pan. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Shape chilled truffle mixture by rounded teaspoons into small balls (a melon baller also works well for this part). Place on prepared baking sheet. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

In the top of a double boiler over lightly simmering water, melt remaining 4 ounces chocolate with the oil, stirring until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Drop truffles, one at a time, into melted chocolate mixture. Using 2 forks, lift truffles out of the chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the pan before transferring back onto baking sheet. Chill until set.



• 1 pound white sugar
• 1/2 pint water
• 4 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
• 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  tablespoons shortening
• 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate

Butter a 8×8 inch square baking pan; set aside. Put sugar, vinegar, syrup, and water in a heavy 4 quart saucepan (cast iron if you have it). Gently heat the mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar has dissolved and syrup has melted. Bring to a boil, cover and boil for 3 minutes, then remove lid and boil until temperature reaches 285 degrees F (140 degrees C) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda, mixing well to allow bubbles to subside a little.

Pour hot mixture into prepared pan and leave until just beginning to set. Mark into squares with a lightly oiled knife. Leave to set completely. Cut or break into pieces.

Combine chocolate chips, shortening, and baking chocolate in a 2-quart glass bowl. Microwave on High for 2 minutes to melt. Stir with a wooden spoon. Dip candy pieces into chocolate, covering completely. Let cool on waxed paper.Wrap individually in waxed paper, twisting the ends together, and store in an airtight container.



• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup sour cream
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups chopped pecans
• 24 pecan halves

Lightly grease the inside of a 4-quart saucepan. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Stir the brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, sour cream, and corn syrup together in the oiled pan; place over low heat. Cook and stir continually until the sugars are dissolved. Wipe any sugar crystals above the liquid line with a pastry brush moistened with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Do not stir once the sugar syrup begins to boil. Heat to 240 degrees F (115 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Remove from heat; stir in the butter, vanilla, and chopped pecans.

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Press a pecan half into the top of each praline. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.



• 24 circular pretzels
• 24 milk chocolate candy kisses
• 1 (1.69 ounce) package mini candy-coated chocolates

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pretzels on baking sheets. Unwrap candy kisses and place one in the center of each pretzel. Place in preheated oven 1 to 2 minutes, until kisses melt. Remove from oven and place one candy-coated chocolate in the center of each pretzel. Chill in refrigerator until set.