12/11/09

Sweeeet tradition

Maybe I just wasn't mixing in the right circles back in Blighty i.e. the WI, but the women of the USA would easily win any Anglo-American Candy cook-off.

My very first Christmas here I was deluged with trays and bags of delicious homemade candy from many new friends. It was a pleasant if unexpected benefit to crossing the pond permanently!

I was also surprised at the scale and scope of the candy making; Oreo Truffles, Peppermint Bark, Peanut Brittle, Divinity, Pecan Crowns, Fudge were all forthcoming in abundance. Back home I can remember the occasional gift of fudge and truffles over the years, but I don't remember it as an annual event every December.

Until this year I have just been a willing recipient. But last weekend I purchased a candy thermometer, and with that took a huge step towards unofficial American citizenship I think! I made my first ever batch of fudge and peanut brittle, and I have even had a few requests for my peanut brittle recipe after scoring a hit it seems. I also made Candied Pecans, but they were so good the Hubster and I have not felt inclined to share yet.

Now I am on the lookout for a double boiler as I plan to continue joining in with this 'sweet' tradition. There really is something special about receiving a gift of homemade candy.

Do you make candy at Christmas for family and friends?

18 comments:

Daryl said...

Nope, I dont cook at all .. but when I did I made cookies, cakes, breads but no candy; for the last many years I make our holiday card and I get a lot of pleasure out of that ...my only advice about home made candy with nutz is chew carefully!

Sherri said...

Sarah, I'm glad you have tried and succeeded to make candy!! I usually make truffles and give them away to my friends. Good job!

gigihawaii said...

not candy, but I used to give away homemade cookies at xmas time.

Gaelyn said...

It's official. You Are an American. Sarah homemaker.
I don't cook much but do enjoy the skills of others. I made truffles once and that was enough for me to know why they're so costly. ;-)
Enjoy your holiday baking.

Snippety Gibbet said...

Peanut brittle?????????? I am so impressed!!!!!!!!!! I'm scared of molten sugar. I do love pb though, so I ought to give it a try. My only specialty is sugared pecans. I use Paula Deen's recipe, so you know it is FATTENING! jan

Suzy Jane said...

Peppermint Bark! Oh, how you've made me yearn for the US. I (somehow)just discovered this wonderful product last year. My parents have already mailed the holiday box... shoot. Oh well, more to look forward to next year.

Congrats on your foray into candy making.

Jenny said...

Oh crud, I posted that last comment about Peppermint Bark under my alter-ego's account. That's what I get for not paying attention :(

Expat mum said...

I make a lovely apple and berry crumble but it gets a bit messy when you try to wrap it. (Ju-u-st kidding.) Actually, I'm doing the crafter's version - making square tissue box covers and covering them with lovely poinsetta fabric to take to friends' houses.

Lynn said...

I make fudge once in a while but nothing fancy. I once tried to make brittle but it was a disaster and I haven't tried again. (Not saying I won't ever.)

Jo, a retired teacher said...

I'm not much of a candy eater, so therefore I don't get excited about making it. I am, however, known in my family for my cookies. I don't think they are as difficult to make as good candy, so you go girl.

Almost American said...

I remember making peppermint creams at Christmas when I was a child in the UK. I made some last year for the first time in ages, dipped them in chocolate and gave them to colleagues. I was surprised at how well they went over!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I usually make fudge, and peanut or pecan brittle (Southern recipe).
I make mine in the microwave, it's so much faster.
Pumpkin or Cranberry Bread is also a nice gift.
You have become a "local" methinks ;)

Kay said...

Alas... I can't because I am pre-diabetic. However, I remember one Christmas that one of my students' parents gave me a whole box full of peppermint bark that they made. It was fabulous. No, I didn't eat the whole thing. I kept it in my fridge and my son's girlfriend ate most of it to save me. I remember trying to make fudge decades ago and it didn't solidify. I'm not that great in the kitchen, I'm afraid. I do envy you, Sarah.

Martha said...

The Christmas tradition of the sweets. Tastes only for just this month. Glad you've joined the candy makers! It is fun and it is fun to make things for people!

karen said...

Last time I made sweets was in primary school - what fun it was, too! Congrats on your ongoing assimilation into the American way of life!!

I loved your last pic of the cats - I often wish I was one of our cats, or as you say, any cat in a good home!

Winifred said...

I remember making toffee apples when my sister and I were little. However the last time we did it was when my sister ended up with an awful burn on her hand while she was pouring the toffee. We were banned after that.

I have to say I never make sweets, I don't eat that many. If I'm going to eat anything, I prefer to indulge in chocolate. Thornton's or Cadbury's. I think I would have enjoyed a job as a chocolatier, well I'd known such a job existed!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Now, you'll need to make Aunt Bill's brown candy too. You'll need that double boiler. Every year, we make fudge, divinity, ABBC, peanut brittle and noodle candy. Can't get enough of the candy fun.

I also wanted to thank you because I finally bought a cordless electric tea kettle. Boy, I've been missing the fun.~~Dee

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh I haven't done candy, in particular peanut brittle in years and it's my favorite. I barely have enough time to do my favorite white fruitcake, which I will do tonight.