Un-Gift Guide 2007: Homemade Candy

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From our survey the other day it looks like many of you would like to branch out in your candy-making repertoire. Here are a few favorite candy recipes from our archives, with some notes on how newbie-friendly they are. Each stores very well, and most can be made within a few hours.

One of the nice things about candy as an Un-Gift is that it scales well. Yes, you may be rolling Buckeyes or orange truffles for hours, but at the end you've made enough for your office, extended family, and any number of friends.

When giving candy, a little goes a long way. A sweet gift of half a dozen truffles will be appreciated and will last just long enough in this sweets-saturated season.

  • Divinity
  • Divinity is a whipped confection of egg whites and sugar. It's cheap to make and so good. You will definitely need a stand mixer, though, and a candy thermometer. If you have those two things these are easy. They were one of our first forays into candy-making and a perennial favorite.
  • Buckeyes
  • Easiest one on the list, and people go crazy for these. Peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter. Roll, dip in chocolate, watch them disappear.
  • Mailing Toffee
  • Also super-easy. Just cook, pour into a pan, and break into pieces. It's sweet and buttery - a Christmas tradition.
  • Chocolate Orange Truffles
  • These are made of crushed cookies, butter, and cornstarch and powdered sugar - also dipped in chocolate. They're very economical and they last perfectly in the freezer. Gather up a few people to help you roll and dip.
  • Fruity Gumdrops
  • These are softer and more delicate than drugstore-variety gumdrops. They are a bit of a pain to cut and roll, but if you make them with real juice they are such a treat.
  • Peanut Butter Popcorn
  • Not exactly candy, but wonderful rolled into big balls and offered in an old-fashioned wax paper bag, tied with a ribbon.