12 Homemade Holiday Candy Recipes for homemade gifts that are even easier than navigating an online checkout (cvc’s, promo codes, passwords, CAPTCHA …wouldn’t you rather be melting chocolate?)
I love making homemade holiday gifts from my kitchen, but they’ve got to be distinctive and they’ve got to be EASY!
Most of us get caught up in the cookie making frenzy this time of year, but don’t forget about all the other yummy holiday treats out there. Homemade candy is probably my favorite thing to make during the holidays, and it’s usually much easier than a batch of cookies. A gift of homemade candy feels extra special ~ here are 12 of my favorites, from fudge and bark to brittle and truffles.
This super easy bark is so much more than the sum of its 2 (TWO!) ingredients! No one can resist that toasty, butterscotch flavor, and I love the rich golden color that adds so much to a holiday candy assortment.
Pro tip: be SURE to toast your nuts first ~ toasting brings out the flavor and crunch in all nuts. The difference is huge, so don’t skip this step.
I love bright colors all year round, but especially at the holidays. These delicious chocolate truffles are so fun to make with different colored sprinkles, nuts, crushed candy, etc!
Pro tip: truffles have the most amazing texture, and when you use good chocolate, the whole experience can be transcendent. Use the best you can afford when making gifts for friends and loved ones.
Turtles are a classic for a reason, you just can’t go wrong with creamy dark chocolate, sweet sticky caramel, and toasted, nutty pecans.
Pro tip: Again, be sure to toast the pecans for flavor and crunch. And melting ready-made caramels makes this a fun and do-able project, even during the busy holidays.
Making marshmallows is just plain fun, and they make great gifts! If you’ve never had homemade marshmallows before you’ll be surprised at how soft and pillowy they are; lightyears better than the bagged variety from the supermarket.
Pro tip: You pretty much need a stand mixer for this. If you don’t have one yet, this might be your excuse.
This (3-ingredient!) classic Italian candy is perfect for the Nutella fiends in your life, it’s pretty much the ultimate candy.
Pro tip: You might try loading this torrone with bits of colorful dried fruit, too.
I love the sophisticated and unusual combination of lemon and chocolate. The tanginess of the lemon and the bitterness of the dark chocolate are paired with a luscious creamy texture.
Pro tip: These truffles become soft at room temperature, so keep them chilled before serving ~ the texture and flavor will be best.
For a little glitz and sparkle, try this festive sugar plum fairy bark. If you’ve got kids in your life, it’s a must, but I once set out a plate for adults with after dinner coffee and it was gone in a flash.
Pro tip: Melting white chocolate can be super tricky, so I use white confectionary here, and think the flavor is actually more pleasing than actual white chocolate, plus it melts without issues.
Need to impress someone special? This is the recipe for you.
Pro tip: You can buy special dipping tools for making chocolate covered truffles, but a fork works just as well.
If you’re looking for something your guests or giftees have probably never had before, this buttermilk fudge studded with pecans is it! The tangy sweet flavor is unlike anything I’d ever tasted, and it’s one of my absolute favorites.
Pro tip: Toast those nuts! (Am I sounding like a broken record?) And I like to leave the nuts whole or in large chunks so you can really see their shape when you slice this pretty fudge.
These sweet and salty chocolate dipped pretzels are as fun to make as they are to eat! You can make enough treats for an army in a couple of hours.
Pro tip: Try melting different kinds of chocolate, and different varieties of morsels from the baking aisle for these pretzels, it’s the variety that makes them so tempting.
It doesn’t get much easier than 2-ingredients, and yet this delicious white chocolate bark is bursting with flavor. Toasting the hazelnuts until they are nice and golden results in a rich nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with creamy, sweet white chocolate.
Pro tip: After toasting raw hazelnuts, wrap them up in a clean kitchen towel and rub them all together vigorously. This removes the bitter skins. It’s fine if some skin remains because I think that adds a nice flavor.
Amidst all the holiday overindulgence, these healthy-ish dark chocolate almond butter cups are a nice change of pace. They are also pretty enough for any dessert table or homemade candy assortment!
Pro tip: You don’t have to load these almond butter cups with as many toppings as I did, they’re equally wonderful if you exercise more control 😉 You might try dried cranberries and pistachios for a festive look.