Gifts from the Kitchen: Cookies, Candies & other Sweet Treats

Posted by the Mom (aka Kelly Biedny)

 

Do you have some people on your list that have a sweet tooth? If so, why not bake them up some sweet treats customized to their own tastes.

If you’re feeling like venturing beyond the Christmas cookie, there are other options. Two of our favorites are chocolates and suckers.  Soph in particular likes making the chocolates, she actually came up with the idea for the ones we make on her own (you can see them in the picture). We buy Dolci Frutta chocolate to dip fruit in, like strawberries and bananas. Soph thought since it tastes so good, and since she can melt it so easily, why not make pour it into molds and make fancy chocolates. Then she decided we should get some of the white chocolate Dolci Frutta and decorate the chocolates–so we did!

Another fun candy we like to make is suckers. We adapted our larger suckers from a recipe we got from the Barbara Beery, Pink Ponies Cookbook.  (which we recently reviewed.)

For ours, we made different shaped molds out of aluminum foil. The Christmas tree was made freehand and the star was made by forming the foil around a star-shaped cookie cutter.  The important thing is to keep bottom of the foil mold as contiguous as possible; any cracks or holes will mean leakage. For the stick, you could buy official sucker sticks, but we used skewers that we cut in half and removed the sharp tip. Then we stuck them through the side of the foil and about half way up the middle of the mold to make sure they’d be sufficiently covered by the sucker.

Once the molds were complete, we took some jolly ranchers, put them in a plastic bag and smashed ’em with a hammer. This is fun, but make sure to let the kiddies know that a jolly rancher does not require over-the-head, slamming force to break, a few taps are sufficient to break them into pieces, and that’s all that’s necessary.  We took the broken pieces and placed them in the molds.  Our molds were a bit over 1/2 inch high and we filled them to the top.

To melt them into suckers, we placed them in a 350 degree oven for about 6 minutes. Watch them carefully! Once they are melted, promptly remove them and set them some place to cool. If you leave them in too long, they will burn–burnt jolly rancher does not taste good, trust me.

Once they cooled, we removed them from their molds and wrapped them up all cute with treat bags as covers and sparkly ribbon.

If you want to get fancier with your suckers or candies, you can find hard candy molds online, but for those, you pour the hot sucker syrup into the molds which we think is a bit riskier than melting in the oven–especially when the kids are helping.

These are just a couple of sweet treat ideas from the kitchen. If you’re not a candy maker, a gift of cookies, brownies or bars would be appreciated by any lover of sweet things. Plus, a gift from the kitchen is just as much fun to make as it is give (and receive!).

Happy family cooking everyone!

Kelly, Alex and Sophia

P.S. Checked out our 2 Kids Cooking Recipes page for all of our holiday recipes

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