Christmas Candy


I made these peanut butter balls (sometimes called Buckeyes) last night, for the first time in at least 20 years, and now I think I know why I stopped making them — they are irresistable!!  (Good bye diet.  Hello waddle.)

Peanut Butter Balls

Combine, and mix well (will be very stiff):

1 lb. Butter, left on counter until verrrry soft

2 lb. Creamy Peanut Butter

2 1/2 to 3 lb. Powdered Sugar (work in as much as you can and still have the dough stick together)

Make into walnut-size balls.  Put them on wax paper-covered jelly roll pans (edged cookie sheets).  They will fill two pans.  Refrigerate for a half hour.

In double boiler, melt two large bags of chocolate chips and 1/4 of a bar of paraffin.  (Paraffin didn’t melt nearly as fast as chips.  Next time, I’ll shave it, to speed melting.)

Remove pans one at a time from frig (colder they are when dipping the better).  Use toothpick to pick them up and dip in chocolate.  Return to pan.

When all are dipped, leave on counter to set up.  When firm, put in covered containers with wax paper between layers.  I didn’t refrigerate them because I was afraid it would make the chocolate turn “chalky” so I just put the containers on a shelf in the garage — cooler than house — not as cold as frig. 

They are wonderful!

The following easy fudge is the one I made regularly at Christmas-time when our children were growing up (after we got our first microwave).

Easy Microwave Fudge

Microwave for 2 minutes  in medium sized microwave-safe bowl:  12 oz. chocolate chips — 5 oz. milk chocolate bar

Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.

Add:  1 can Eagle Brand milk — 1/2 C. chopped nuts (optional) —  1 t. vanilla — 1/4 t. salt.  Mix well.

Spread in well-buttered or wax paper-lined 8″ square dish/pan.  Chill until firm.  Invert fudge onto cutting board and cut into squares.  To store, wrap in foil or plastic wrap.

 The recipe for the only fudge I knew when I was growing up follows.   When Mama contributed her “famous” fudge recipe to a family cookbook in 1992, she said, “When I was a teenager there were two brands of cocoa — Hershey’s and Ruckels.  This recipe caught my eye in a small cookbook put out by Ruckels to encourage using their cocoa.  The winter Daddy and I were dating (1928), I gave a double batch of this fudge to Daddy’s mother for Christmas.”  Smart Mama — sometimes the best way to a man’s heart is through his MAMA’S stomach!  It worked!  They were married the next Spring.  And Daddy’s Mama always ADORED my Mama — maybe it started with the gift of this fudge!

What I remember about this fudge, is that it was the bribe that Mama used to get neighborhood boys to WANT to shovel our sidewalks when it snowed.  Some people might have had trouble finding someone to shovel for them, but all the neighborhood boys knew that if you shoveled Mrs. R’s walks, she not only paid you, but she made you fudge — so they WANTED to shovel our walks! 

Several years ago, our next door neighbor from the old neighborhood died, and I went to the wake.  When her son, who shoveled our walks ALOT, was introducing me to people, he didn’t say much about me.  He just introduced me as the daughter of Mrs. R — the wonderful neighbor who always made him fudge.  I guess there could have been worse ways to be introduced.  And Mama would have LOVED that that was what he remembered!

This fudge isn’t “fluffy” like most fudge is now.  If you beat it “like it stole somethin’,” as they say, it will turn satiny smooth.  And when you eat it, it melts in your mouth.

Ruckels’ Cocoa Fudge

In a heavy, medium-sized sauce pan, melt a stick of butter and add 1/2 C. cocoa.  Stir until smooth. 

Add 2 C. sugar and 2/3 C. milk alternately (very important to begin and end with the dry ingredient any time you “add alternately” — a lesson I learned from Mama) until all is added. 

Boil for 5-8 minutes and test in cold water.  When the fudge will form a soft ball in the cold water, remove it immediately from the heat and whip vigorously by hand until thick and creamy  (Cooking it too long will make the fudge grainy.)

Mix in 1 t. vanilla.  Pour into a well buttered 8″ square pan.  Refrigerate.  Cut when set.

And finally, I can’t do a post about candy without reminding you of the Pretzel Candy recipe I gave on the “Christmas Brunch” post.  It is really “Christmasy” looking, as well as absolutely delicious.

Happy Candy Making!

4 Responses to Christmas Candy

  1. Maddy says:

    Paraffin? Really? Where on earth do you even buy it?

  2. Mama Zen says:

    I am definitely trying that easy fudge!

  3. I will try your mother’s recipe. My older sisters made fudge when we were growing up but I’ve only tried it myself once, and it’s been ages. I will be very popular if I make this. Thanks!

  4. Sandra says:

    Maddy — I hadn’t needed paraffin in a long time, so went to the grocery area of our nearest super store and wandered around looking for “canning supplies” — found the canning kettles, but that’s all. Sooo, walking by is a young Amish mother and her children. The Amish, of course, are all about “homemade” so I stopped her and asked her if she canned (knowing full well it would be VERY surprising if she DIDN’T!). So, after she said yes, I asked her about parrafin — she took me to where the canning JARS were — that’s where the parrafin is. It’s a little rectangular box that has 4 “sheets” in it. Since this recipe only needs a 4th of one of those sheets — I figure the box I bought is easily a “lifetime supply.” Good luck!

    Mama Zen — I made this to make sure of the instructions before I published it, and it really is great. Hope you think so too!

    SBW — I talked to my oldest sister last night and we talked about Mama’s fudge. Sis says what made it grainy was cooking it too long — not “under-whipping” it. Let me know how it turns out. I love my memory of watching many times when Mama would be standing there with the big pan she made it in (always doubled) under her arm, with the big spoon in her other hand beating it so hard it made me tired just watching! Good exercise!

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