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Homemade Candy Recipes: 11 All-Time Favorites

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.


Delightfully Delicious Christmas Candy Recipes

It starts to look like Christmas around our house when it's time for making our homemade candies.

My son and I always made enough for eating and extra for holiday gift-giving. I really miss him; he had an auto accident at age 31 in 2003.

I wanted to share some of my favorite candy recipes that I have made for many years and hope you enjoy them too.

Candies are a great gift from the heart and kitchen for friends and family during the Christmas holidays.

You Will Need a Candy Thermometer

To make candy, you need a candy thermometer like this one. They are not expensive, but without one you will not be able to know how hot the candy mixture is when you make it!

1. Rocky Road Candy Recipe

Ingredients for Rocky Road Candy

  • 1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 16-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
  • 1 14-sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions for Making Rocky Road Candy

  1. Melt chocolate chips over medium heat in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
  2. Stir in the marshmallows, milk, pecans, and vanilla extract.
  3. Drop a heaping tablespoon of candy on wax paper.
  4. Cool until hard.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

2. Caramel Fudge Candy Recipe

Ingredients for Caramel Fudge Candy

  • 4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions for Making Caramel Fudge Candy

  1. Butter the sides of a large pan depending on the thickness you like.
  2. Combine the sugar, evaporated milk, corn syrup, butter or margarine, and honey in the pan.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat; stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Use a pastry brush dipped in hot water to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pot.
  5. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, make sure thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pan.
  6. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Do not stir while the syrup is boiling.
  7. Cook until the syrup reaches a soft ball stage, about 234 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Place the pan into two inches of cold water in the sink. Add vanilla; do not stir until syrup cools about 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Use an electric mixer to beat the fudge until it is no longer glossy and thickened.
  10. Pour into a buttered 8-inch x 11-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the pecans evenly on top.
  11. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into one-inch squares.
  12. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about seven dozen pieces of fudge.
  13. For gift giving, a small gift bag makes the perfect container for your caramel fudge.

3. Peanut Brittle Candy Recipe

Ingredients for Peanut Brittle Candy

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 cups peanuts, raw

Instructions for Making Peanut Brittle Candy

  1. Butter a large cookie sheet; set aside.
  2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine sugar, water, and corn syrup.
  3. Cook on medium heat bringing to a boil.
  4. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  5. Stir in the peanuts.
  6. Set the candy thermometer in a pan, and continue cooking.
  7. Stir frequently until the thermometer reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) until a small amount of the mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
  8. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and baking soda; pour quickly on cookie sheet.
  9. Using two forks lift and pull peanut brittle mixture into a rectangle.
  10. Cool. Break the brittle into pieces.
  11. Store in an airtight container.

4. Divinity Candy Recipe

In divinity candy, you can really put whatever you like in it from crushed peppermint, candied cherries to any kind of nuts you like. A bag of this delightful candy would make a great gift.

Ingredients for Divinity Candy

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 egg whites, 1/2 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups pecans, chopped

Instructions for Making Divinity Candy

  1. In a large pan combine sugar, syrup, and water.
  2. Cook to a firm ball stage, 252 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff with an electric mixer.
  4. Add to egg whites 1/2 of syrup mixture.
  5. Continue cooking remaining syrup to 262 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Add the remaining syrup to egg white syrup mixture.
  7. Beat with electric mixer until thick and candy have lost its gloss.
  8. Add vanilla and pecans.
  9. Drop heaping tablespoons of candy on the wax paper.

5. Date Roll Candy Recipe

Ingredients for Date Roll Candy

  • 4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound dates, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions for Making Date Roll Candy

  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and milk.
  2. Stir over low heat, not letting it boil until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil.
  4. Add chopped dates and continue to boil until it reaches the soft ball stage, 238 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and pecans.
  6. Cool to lukewarm.
  7. Get a sheet of wax paper ready to pour candy.
  8. Beat the candy with a large spoon until it becomes creamy and starts to thicken like fudge.
  9. Place the candy on the waxed paper and roll up into a long roll about 1½-inches in diameter.
  10. Let date roll harden.
  11. Unroll the date roll and cut into slices.

6. Bon Bon Candy Recipe

Ingredients for Bon Bon Candy

  • 2 1-pound boxes confectioners sugar
  • 4 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries cut into fourths, optional
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup butter, melted, 1 stick
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions for Making Bon Bon Candy

  1. In a large bowl combine; powdered sugar, pecans, vanilla, maraschino cherries, coconut, butter and sweetened condensed milk; mix well.
  2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  3. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Chill.
  4. Melt semi-sweet chocolate and vegetable shortening in a double boiler.
  5. Use a wooden toothpick, to dip candy balls into chocolate mixture and place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Chill until chocolate sets.

Make about 4 dozen candies.

7. Millionaire Candy Recipe

I made Texas Millionaires every year at Christmas time to give for gifts and other times of the year for the family. The pecan crop has not been very good here, so there aren't many pecans to cook with. I just do not like the store-bought ones—they always taste stale to me! Millionaires are so eye-appealing and look store-made after their dip in the milk chocolate!

Ingredients for Millionaire Candy

  • 1 14-ounce bag of Kraft caramel
  • 2 teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoon margarine
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1 7-ounce Hershey Milk Chocolate bar
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Instructions for Making Millionaire Candy

  1. Unwrap paper from the caramels.
  2. Melt caramels, margarine and water in a pan over low heat; stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from the heat; add pecans and mix.
  4. Drop by teaspoon out on wax paper; work quickly
  5. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Melt Hershey bar and vegetable shortening in a double boiler.
  7. Dip the pecan clusters in melted chocolate and put back on paper to cool.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

8. Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Candy Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Candy

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Candy

Here is one for all you peanut butter lovers. Peanut butter balls are easy to make and yummy.

The peanut butter balls have creamy peanut butter and Rice Krispies. How good is that! The would be great for the holidays for parties or a food gift. This recipe makes 36 to 42 candy balls.

Ingredients for Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Candy

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Instructions for Making Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Candy

  1. In a large bowl combine together by hand or with an electric mixer powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter or oleo.
  2. Roll into 1-inch balls, place on baking sheet.
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Chill.
  4. Melt the chocolate morsels and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Dip each ball in the morning melted chocolate.
  6. Refrigerate candy until firm.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

9. Toffee Candy Recipe

This toffee recipe uses roasted pecans, but you could us almonds, pistachios or whatever you like. I use a candy thermometer, but you can do it the old fashion way if you like, drizzling in cold water, the candy separates into hard, brittle threads.

Cool the toffee completely before breaking, store in air tight container. A beautiful tin of toffee for a gift would be well received!

Ingredients for Toffee Candy

  • ½ pound butter, real butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1-6 ounce bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, roasted and chopped

Instructions for Making Toffee Candy

  1. Cook the butter, sugar and water in a heavy skillet or pan over medium-high heat; stir constantly until bubbly. This takes around 10 minutes, at this point, you will not need to stir constantly, just if you think you need to.
  2. I attach my candy thermometer to the pan and wait for it to reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit or the brittle stage.
  3. Color will change from a creamy butter color to a dark amber color.
  4. Pour the toffee into ungreased sided cookie sheet; spread with back of the spoon to the sides of the pan.
  5. Cover with chocolate chips, let soften and spread the chocolate around covering the toffee.
  6. Pat in the chopped nuts.
  7. Put toffee in the refrigerator until solid and chocolate is not soft.
  8. Then break the toffee into pieces.

Tip From Margie Lynn

Toasting Nuts

  • Place the nuts on a cookie sheet, bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

10. Chocolate Fudge Candy Recipe

Ingredients for Chocolate Fudge Candy

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions for Making Chocolate Fudge Candy

  1. Place the wax paper on a 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, salt, and evaporated milk in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring to a full rolling boil, stir constantly.
  3. Boil until the candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees Fahrenheit stirring constantly.
  4. Remove the candy from the heat.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips until melted.
  6. Add marshmallow cream, pecans, and vanilla extract, mix well.
  7. Spread the fudge into the prepared pan.
  8. Let the fudge cool at room temperature.
  9. Cut into 1-inch squares.
  10. Makes about 4 dozen pieces.

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • Place the fudge in an airtight container and freeze.
  • Makes great gifts for any occasion
  • Warning: When making the hot candy syrup, use caution so you do not have serious burns. Sometimes the syrup can pop up, use a long-handled spoon to stir.

Video Recipe: How to Make No-Bake Rock Candy

11. Peanut Patty Candy Recipe

It wasn't the holidays in our home until we made a batch of peanut patty candy. You may also use pecans, or any nuts you like.

We ate a lot ourselves and gave some for gifts. This was something I enjoyed doing with my son when he was young. He did most of the eating!

Ingredients for Peanut Patty Candy

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 3 cups raw peanuts
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • Few drops red food coloring

Instructions for Making Peanut Patty Candy

  1. Combine sugar, water, peanuts and syrup In a pan.
  2. Boil mixture five minutes; remove from heat.
  3. Add butter, vanilla extract, salt and food coloring.
  4. With a large spoon, beat until creamy. (This will take a while, it will be thick and shiny.)
  5. Drop large tablespoons of candy on the waxed paper.
  6. Store the candy in an airtight container.

Tip From Margie Lynn

This candy freezes well. I make ahead of time for the holidays. When ready to use take out and thaw.

© 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen