I’m feeling extra generous today… I want to share with you some candy ideas for this holiday season. So you get one post + several recipes! They are easy to make, great for gifts and somewhat healthier than their similar counterparts. Believe it or not, I whipped up about 6 different candies in a little over an hour as a quick gift for someone. That’s how easy these are! Make as much or as little as you want! If making candies isn’t your thing – I’ve also included some links to some great candies/snack foods that you can find it health stores or online. Most of these companies are having some great deals this holiday season. Tell me your favorite candies to make for gifts!
Cookie Dough Bites – recipe found here
Butter Mints/Peppermint Patties : blend together 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted. Add in about 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp almond milk and 1/8-1/4 tsp peppermint oil (be careful with oil!) For butter mints, roll out about golf ball size pieces of dough into long thin ropes and cut into little mints. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate about 4 hours prior to eating (the longer they set, the harder they will get. Store in a sealed container in fridge). For peppermint patties, roll dough into a circle about 1/4″ thick. Using a circular cutter (biscuit cutter, cup, etc), cut out patties. Dip patties into melted chocolate chips (I just melt chocolate chips in the microwave!) and let set up on a baking sheet lined with parchment in fridge.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate candies: this is the easiest and our favorite way to make candies. Basically all you need to do is take about 1 cup peanut butter + 1 Tbsp coconut oil and melt them together. Take about 1 cup chocolate chips + 1 Tbsp coconut oil and melt them together (separate from peanut butter). Using your two mixtures, dip, cover or drizzle whatever you want. Here’s what we did: PB & C bark: spread melted chocolate onto wax paper. Top with crushed pretzels, pecans, walnuts, etc. Drizzle with peanut butter and chocolate. Refrigerate for about an hour and break into pieces. PB Haystacks: mix together crushed pretzels and chopped nuts with some peanut butter. Form into little stacks and top with a dollop of chocolate sauce. Refrigerate about an hour. Dipped Pretzels: Dip or drizzle with mixtures your favorite pretzels or even nut mixtures. Refrigerate about an hour to set up.
Nut Clusters: there are so many options for candied nuts and they are always a huge hit. I’ll give you three of our favorite blends. Chocolate Clusters: melt some chocolate chips and stir in almonds or other nuts. Form into clusters and let set up in refrigerator. Cinnamon Orange Clusters: in a large stock pot, add about 2 cups nuts with about 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Roast the nuts over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup honey with 2 tsp cinnamon and the zest and juice of one orange. Pour cinnamon mixture over roasted nuts and spread mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let cool for about an hour or until cinnamon mixture has set. BBQ Clusters: In a large stock pot, add 2 cups of nuts with 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Roast the nuts over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 2 Tbsp honey with 1 Tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos), 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Pour sauce mixture over nuts and spread mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let cool for about an hour or until mixture has set.
Now, all you have to do is put them in cutesy little containers and gift away! We found some little holiday baker’s boxes at the local store and used those. We put the nuts and mints in cupcake liners to keep things separated. Overall, super easy and still a thoughtful gift! Include recipes for your recipients too! That way if they like it, they can try it for themselves!
Here’s a list of my favorite candy and snacks that would also make great gifts for people. Plus they are all natural or fairly healthy!
Taza Chocolate : great, stone ground chocolate bars with a variety of flavors. It has great texture and makes awesome cocoa.
Eating Evolved Chocolate: if you are a health nut looking for a healthy chocolate bar – I don’t think you can get better than this. The bars have little sweeteners so they have STRONG flavor but are great little treats! Get their variety pack!
Bella Nut Butters: These nut butters come from a small company in Louisiana. They create delicious, healthy nut butters in a variety of flavors.
Wholly Bites Clusters: These are paleo friendly, granola type clusters. They are made with natural ingredients, such as dates, coconut, nuts, honey, flaxseed and spices. Great boost of energy and protein and taste awesome!
Epic Bars: While I enjoy these also, these are my hubby’s thing. They make great jerky, protein bars from grass fed, hormone free meats. They also sell a “holiday survival kit” FULL of great products! I got a kit and it is AMAZING!
Hail Merry Foods: These were a life saver for me in my early diet days. They have these little tarts that are fantastic – like a raw, paleo cheesecake. They also sell macaroons and other items that are great too.
Gluten Free Gift Shop: You can purchase little holiday boxes from this company that have tons of different products – sample and full size. I just received on that included several Enjoy Life bars, chocolate chips, baking mixes, hot cocoa mix, etc. Lots of stuff at a great price.
Well friends, there are few options for you. I hope you enjoy all these recipes – let me know if you have other ideas to share with us all!