On the ninth day of Homemade Christmas, I made Gingerbread Marshmallows.
On the ninth day of Homemade Christmas, I made Gingerbread Marshmallows.
On my last day of Homemade Christmas, I have an easy fudge recipe for you, Creamy Chocolate Fudge.
What would the holidays be without a couple of fudge recipes? On the 5th day of Homemade Christmas, I bring you, Candy Cane Fudge.
It wouldn’t be the holiday’s without homemade candy so I have one last candy to share with you for my 12 days of Homemade Christmas, Caramels. Yes, Homemade caramels! These gems take a bit more patience to make but are well worth the time and effort. Do you still need some last minute gifts? These caramels are a perfect gift! Your family and friends will fall in love with the smooth caramel.
All of the recipes I have in my 12 days of Homemade Christmas all have some sort of special memory behind them. Day 9 is no different but it is also something I haven’t made since the summer of 2013. My day 9 of my 12 days of Homemade Christmas is Peppermint Bark. Why was I making this classic treat in the summer? For my grandma. Christmas time 2012 she found she had cancer and during her treatment I would send her care packages and she really like the chocolate and mint combo. Unfortunately she passed away in June of 2013. My grandma was an awesome person and is dearly missed. I am also sure she wouldn’t want me to stop making this delicious treat so it is back in my regular Christmas candy list right next to Buckeyes and Cocoa Can Fudge.
Peppermint bark is among some of the simplest Christmas candies to make. You crush peppermint candies or candy canes, either in the food processor or using a ziploc bag and your favorite crushing tool (mine is a frying pan) and smashing the candy into bits. You then set your crushed candy canes aside and melt your chocolate. You can use the microwave or a double boiler. Just note during this part when you add peppermint oil to not add water-based or alcohol-based flavorings to the melted chocolate. If you do this your chocolate could seize up and become clumpy and hard. After melting your chocolate you pour into a lined baking pan, layering your chocolates and then top with the crushed peppermint and let it cool. After it is cool you break it up and the best part, eat or give away as gifts.
School is almost out for the year here, just a few more days left. This also means it is Christmas teacher gift time. Yes, I procrastinate on this one. I don’t get all crazy with teacher gifts. I keep it simple and try to make it cost effective. My son with Autism at one point had 8 or 9 teachers and aides. So we have almost always always done homemade gifts. Even now my younger 2 in elementary school do not stick with one teacher all day. Mr Awesome has 5 teachers for 5th grade and Lil Miss has 2 in 2nd grade. As for middle and high school teachers, we do not do gifts for them unless they have left their mark and are truly awesome. That is just us though. If we gave gifts to all 4 of my kid’s teachers and assistants it would be about 22 gifts. Christmas isn’t about going broke or who can spend the most on a gift. Well, that is what we think. So on the 6th day of my Homemade Christmas I made Melt in your Mouth Toffee for teachers in our life.
Truth is, I don’t know when it happened but I have fallen in love with toffee. I think everyone should love it. What is there not to love. Toffee is simple. The recipe I use has 5 ingredients, Butter, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Chocolate and Almonds. Yes, you need a candy thermometer but just because you have to use one doesn’t mean the recipe is hard. You bring your butter and sugar to a certain temperature and the pour into a pan, add chocolate, then the almonds and let it cool and you are done. It is easy! I invite you to try it and let me know what you think!
Many years ago when I was my kid’s age I lived in the coastal area of North Carolina and not that far away from our house lived my great grandparents. We would go to visit my great grandparent every so often. I remember their trailer nested between huge homes, The chain link fence and the towering pecan trees in the front yard. When we would visit we would sometimes walk down the boardwalk with my great grandpa or even go to the North Carolina Maritime Museum. There is one thing though that stick out with me more than anything about those visits, the pecans. My great grandma Freda corrected and taught us the proper way to say pecan. It was pronounced like puh-cahn not pee-can because a pee-can was something you kept next to your bed to pee in. There was something that stuck with me more than that gem, picking up pecans. Whenever we would go visit my great grandparents it was my sister, brother and my job to pick up all the pecans that we could. I have no clue how many buckets would end up other than it was a lot. We would always be sent home with pecans too. I remember a pecan pie a time or two also. The thing about pecans though is as a kid I absolutely hated them. I didn’t like pecan pie or cookies with pecans in them… if it had pecans it was not for me.
I don’t know what happened when I grew up but now I love pecans now. Pumpkin pecan ice cream, yes please! Pecans mixed in with the crumb of my sweet potato casserole,yum. Then there are pralines. Oh, sweet pralines! I have always wanted to make my own pralines but they were always a candy I was nervous about trying to make. One day though, I would and I did. They were absolutely perfect and like the pralines I had bought at the store all so many times in the past. I then got this crazy idea. Pralines and bacon, bacon and pralines. After all bacon makes everything better. There is candied bacon and bacon cupcakes and even bacon sundaes. So I made them and they were wonderful, glorious things. My oldest son immediately decided they were a new favorite and my husband wanted more. Needless to say Bacon Pralines have been added to my holiday candy list and I happily share them you for my 3rd day of Homemade Christmas.
On my second day of Homemade Christmas I have for you chocolate and peppermint treat. Classic flavors of the Christmas season! I have loved peppermint patties for as long as I can remember. When I discovered a recipe to make my own I knew I had to try them. Added bonus is they are less than 5 ingredients and the recipe is super simple. Simply combine the peppermint filling, form into patties and dip into melted chocolate. There is no need for a candy thermometer or any special equipment. The hardest part is melting the chocolate.
These candies are sure to impress and your friends and family will fall in love with them! They will think you spent much more time on them than what you actually did. They are perfect to give as gifts as well at the perfect addition to any holiday cookie and candy platter. Well, that is if they make it out of the kitchen.
It’s that time of year again Christmas time! Seriously, the year has just flown by how can it be time for Christmas again! I have been working hard to bring you my 12 Days of Homemade Christmas again this year. I have made a list, and have checked it more than twice. Heck, i’m still going back and forth with a few of the recipes. I only have a few more days until I start my list but it is coming and you will be able to find links to all 12 days here after they are posted. Just like last year the recipes range from super easy to others that take a little bit of patience and time. There will be cookies and candy and more!
The list is now complete! Check out my 12 days of Homemade Christmas! What treats will you be making for your family? I’d love to see your pics of my treats! Just use the tag #countrygirlgourmet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
Country Girl Gourmet’s 12 Days of Homemade Christmas
Day 1: Hot Cocoa Mix
Day 2: Homemade Peppermint Patties
Day 3: Bacon Pralines
Day 4: Gluten Free Red Velvet Cookies
Day 5: Gluten Free Snow Flakes Spritz
Day 6: Melt in your Mouth Toffee
Day 7: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Day 8: Gluten Free Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream
Day 9: Peppermint Bark
Day 10: Caramels
Day 11: Peppermint Meringues
Day 12: Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free)
From my Family to yours, Merry Christmas!
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