Recipe Review

Joanna Gaines Shares Her Favorite Candy Recipes Just in Time for Christmas

published Dec 22, 2021
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Credit: Loloi Rugs

The holidays are upon us, but if you’re anything like me, you have trouble deciding which treats to make. Every year I struggle to choose between my classic standbys (gingerbread, sugar cut-outs, and homemade marshmallows) and fun new recipes. It’s hard to resist all of the bright, cheery photos of cookies, candy, and cakes in my social media feed.

If you’re still in search of some easy but fun treats to enjoy this weekend and share with friends and family, Joanna Gaines released a new episode of her show, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, right in the nick of time. The episode, titled “Holiday Candy,” is packed with festive sweets that are ideal for gifting.

“There’s something so nostalgic and joyful about baking during the holiday season,” says Gaines. Every year, she spends a day making homemade candy with her kids, blasting Christmas music and generally having a festively good time. They give boxes of sweets to family and friends, spreading holiday cheer. Luckily, her candy recipes are also easy, so you can make them at home and spread a little cheer, too.

I was delighted to see what Gaines cooked up since her recipes include fun twists on classic recipes I made growing up. No need to choose between the standbys and new recipes — I can have it all! First up is salted caramel peanut brittle, an upgraded version of my father’s favorite treat. Salt is the secret ingredient here, adding a counterpoint to the sweetness and highlighting all of the nutty, rich flavors.

Next is everyone’s favorite holiday candy, peppermint bark. It’s a pretty candy and a total crowd-pleaser and happens to be very easy to make. Plus, you only need four ingredients. Gaines also made cherry mashers, a candy that I’m not familiar with, but would happily eat. This recipe has a little bit of everything: peanuts, cherries, chocolate, almonds. And it’s made using store-bought, canned frosting!

Gaines declares that no Christmas would be complete without her peanut butter balls, and after taking one look at them, I have to agree. She has a fun twist on the classic treat, adding marshmallows and Cocoa Krispies to the mix for some crunch and chew, similar to a peanut butter and chocolate Rice Krispie treat in ball form. Yum. Gaines also makes homemade caramels in cute little wrappers as well as homemade vanilla extract, a recipe so easy you’ll do a double take. And honestly, what home baker wouldn’t love a bottle of homemade vanilla?

Chances are that if you’ve made it this far, you’ve got a major sweet tooth by now. Hop on in the kitchen and whip up one (or two or three) of these candy recipes. If there’s any left, share with family and friends. Or don’t — I won’t tell. Get the recipes here.