These five-ingredient truffles come together in a snap. Blending jam into the chocolate makes for a subtle fruit flavor perfectly balancing the rich, smooth chocolate. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.
Homemade marshmallows are infinitely superior to store-bought—creamy and almost melt-in-your mouth soft. And peppermint is just one variation. In the baking aisle, find extracts like lemon, raspberry and cinnamon to customize your own marshmallows. The power of a stand mixer eases prep of this recipe, though a hand mixer works well.
People in Pukwana, South Dakota, come to bake sales just to buy Gwen Swanson's signature chocolate-cherry treat. Cherry-flavor chips create a red center between the chocolate layers. You can substitute peanut butter-flavor pieces if you prefer a peanut butter-chocolate combo.
These playful candies are sort of a mock turtle—all the texture and flavor minus the homemade caramel or fussy dipping. Sprinkle with Wilton’s gold star sprinkles (sold online) or coarse sparkling sugar. For a flavor twist, substitute roasted, salted almonds or even smoked almonds.
Dipping toffee pieces halfway in chocolate is way tidier and easier than fully coating them—and the result is more striking, visually. (We recommend melting chopped good-quality chocolate bars for dipping—chips have additives that affect their consistency.) For undeniable holiday wow, brush on some edible gold luster dust. It’s a splurge, but applying it thinly with a paintbrush helps avoid waste.
This five-ingredient fudge is simplicity, squared: Just melt, stir, spread, cool and cut. We love seeing festive flecks of orange zest in the fudge, but substituting orange-flavored dried cranberries will have a similar taste.
These bar cookies combine four winning flavors: peanut butter, maple, butterscotch and chocolate. The easy recipe, from a Wabash, Indiana, reader, makes about 6 pounds of candy. We suggest freezing the bars and thawing them out as needed.
If you’ve ever made butter mints, you’ll recognize this no-cook powdered sugar mixture. The coffee flavor comes from instant espresso powder, which is widely available online and at specialty stores. It’s richer and better-tasting than ordinary instant coffee.
Graham crackers form the base for this bar cookie with layers of marshmallows, brown sugar, almonds and coconut. "I've made these cookies each Christmas since 1984," says Georgine Simmonds of Genesee, Michigan. "They're one of my family's favorites."
Make classic buttery toffee even tastier by combining two kinds of chocolate, toasted almonds and malted milk powder. Look for the malted milk powder near hot chocolate mixes or chocolate syrup in your grocery store.