Friday, December 18, 2009

Naturally Gluten Free Candy

I love making candy for Christmas and these three are my regulars. It makes the entire family happy so why fix something that isn't broken? The cookies are my molasses cookies and they turned out fantastic.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

I remember when I saw my first homemade chocolate covered cherry. I was amazed it was something that could be made at home and I knew that I had to give it a try. This was way back before my cooking and baking days, mom was still doing all of that for me. It wasn’t until I was married that I finally tried my hand and the reason I did is because my mom is a huge chocolate covered cherry fan, so I make this for her every year. These are a little bit time consuming because you have to wait for things to sit but they’re fast to dip in the chocolate and so worth the time.

Chocolate Covered Cherries
From Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

60 maraschino cherries w/ stems
3 T butter, softened
3 T brown rice syrup or corn syrup
2 C powdered sugar
1 lb chocolate bark

Drain the cherries on paper towels for several hours. Moisture from the cherries will cause the butter mixture to liquefy.

Mix together the butter and syrup until smooth. Stir in the sugar and knead until evenly mixed and smooth. Shape a ball of the mixture around each cherry and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chill until firm, not too long of the sugar mixture will begin to liquefy.

Melt the chocolate bark in a microwave safe bowl. I zap it for 1.5 minutes then do 1 minute intervals stirring between each minute until it’s smooth. Holding the cherries by the stem dip into the coating making sure to get a complete seal. Let the excess chocolate drip off the cherry and place on waxed paper. Once the chocolate has hardened store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Let them ripen (liquefy) 1-2 weeks.


Fudge is a classic Christmas candy and this fudge recipe is not only easy but it’s also pretty tasty. I love pairing it with coffee but be warned this can be addicting. I don’t put nuts in my fudge, I believe it ruins it but if you are a “nuts in your fudge” kind of person then feel free to add them.

Remarkable Fudge
From Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book

4 C granulated sugar
2 5 oz cans evaporated milk (low fat works)
1 C butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
7 oz candy bar cut up, milk or dark chocolate
7 oz jar marshmallow crème
1 t vanilla

Line a 13”x9”x2” pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Butter the sides of a 3 qt saucepan and then combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until it boils. Reduce heat to medium and cook and stir another 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips, candy bar, marshmallow crème, and vanilla. Stir until it’s combined with a wooden spoon and then beat by hand for 1 minute. Spread in the pan and score into 1” squares while it’s still warm. Once it has completely cooled lift the fudge out of the pan using the foil and cut into square.

Peanut Butter Balls

I started making these for my dad years ago for Christmas. They were something that was naturally gluten free and I knew he loved them. I was impressed with how easy they were and since the rest of us love them too it’s become a tradition. The only problem with them is that they disappear way too fast. I always double this recipe, a single batch just isn’t enough.

Peanut Butter Balls
From Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book

½ C peanut butter
3 T butter, softened
1 C powdered sugar
8 oz chocolate bark

Mix together the peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar stirring until it’s all combined, sometime I use my hands toward the end to knead it together. Shape into 1” balls and place on waxed paper allowing it to dry, about 20 minutes.

Melt the chocolate bark in a microwave safe bowl. I zap it for 1.5 minutes then do 1 minute intervals stirring between each minute until it’s smooth. Dip the peanut butter balls into the candy coating one at a time. Use a fork to let the excess chocolate drip off the ball and then place on waxed paper until the coating is firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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