Whew, the holiday flew by! It happened just as I suspected. I had these nice, long, aimless days at the beginning. Then our company came into town, my mother-in-law, and time just flew! We spent a lot of time just here at home, admiring our beautiful Christmas tree, eating lots of cookies, and just chatting away the hours. It was wonderful.

I wanted to share a few of the candy recipes I made for the holidays. I know the last thing we feel like thinking about is making more sweets, but maybe you would want to bookmark these recipes for next year. I am not an experienced candy maker, but I am convinced I can do it after this year.

The first candy experiment was with peanut brittle. I found a great, easy recipe online here. I really hate, hate, hate using corn syrup, but I’ve been too afraid to experiment with a substitute. It would pain me to have to throw out a batch of something that took an hour of stirring to make, but maybe I need to belly up to the bar and get over that.

Corn syrup issue aside, the peanut brittle turned out fantastically! It seemed like a soften brittle, but still held together really well. I might use hazelnuts or something next time to mix it up. I used raw spanish peanuts, which were roasted perfectly just by cooking them with everything else.

The other candy I made this year were Fleur de Sel Toffees using this recipe by Martha Stewart. I think all this chocolate business, although tasty, is over-rated, so I focused my efforts on nutty and chewy things. I am pretty sure it took me more than twelve minutes to get the mixture hot enough, but it was worth it.

I wrapped the toffees in strips of parchment paper. I know… kind of overboard. But the end product looked like old-fashioned sweets that were fun to share with people.

Kind of ironic, but I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth. It was a great excuse to spend some time in the kitchen meditatively stirring a pot. My school mates will probably inherit lots of excess candy now that the holiday is over. I’m convinced that homemade candy is far superior to store-bought. It tastes better and you know exactly what is going into it. I’m sure when I have kids though I will have no time for such things :)

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Written by Renee Wilkinson