Welcome to our 12 DAYS OF HOMESCHOOL CHRISTMAS POSTS! If you are just joining us, here’s what you’ve missed so far:
- 1ST DAY: Printable ~CHRISTMAS COUPONS~
- 2ND DAY: 12 “Living Literature” Christmas Picture Books
- 3RD DAY: Give your child the WORLD this Christmas!
- 4TH DAY: 12 Unforgettable CHRISTMAS CHAPTER BOOKS
- 5TH DAY: The SKILL-FILLED STOCKING
- 6TH DAY: 12 HOLIDAY HOMESCHOOL HACKS
- 7TH DAY: Our Favorite Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions
- 8TH DAY: Two printable STOCKING STUFFER FREEBIES for kids!
For our 9th day of Homeschool Christmas . . .
The SWEETEST Skill School ever!
We’ve been looking forward to our Christmas Candy Workshop ever since we polished off all the Trick-or-Treat Spooky Sweets we made at Halloween! Today’s recipes are short, sweet, and super simple . . . very unlike the early days of our confectioners’ journey.
If you’ve been following this blog since it began this past spring, you may recall from our Easter Candy Tutorial how our whole journey started out a little on the sour side. Suffice it to say that there have been a lot of bumps (and lumps!) along the rocky road of our candy-making quest. But here we are a year and two months later and victory tastes pretty sweet.
We are so glad we stuck with this (often literally) because candy-making has become a favorite holiday tradition in our family, and we would love to pass it on to your family!
First up . . .
Two-Ingredient “CANDY CANE KISSED CHOCOLATES”:
These chocolates are made from any chocolate chips of your choice (we use Lily’s which are vegan and made with stevia instead of sugar) and candy canes (we use YumEarth which are made from cane sugar . . . hence the whole candy uhhh cane thing . . . but this brand is at least corn syrup free.) And that’s it! Just two ingredients, and seriously easy to make! Even with the cane sugar, this is still one of the healthiest Christmas candies you and your family can enjoy! Just make sure you save a few for the KIDS!
Active Time: 30 min per batch
- chocolate chips (8 oz package per batch)
- Candy Canes (2 per batch)
- silicone molds (must be small and shallow since will not have a filling . . . large molds will yield too hard of chocolates)
- Kitchen Basics: food processor, cooking pot, stainless steel or glass bowl, rubber spatula
1.) Crush your Canes: pulse Candy Canes in a food processor until the consistency of rough cornmeal . . . not as fine and dusty as flour. Set aside. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can place your Candy Canes in a ziplock bag and hammer them . . . which is fun but very dusty.)
2.) Get your water goin’: fill a saucepan about 1/3 full of water and put on low to medium heat.
3.) Add a bowl and fill with chocolate chips: place one 8oz package of chocolate chips per batch in a stainless steel or glass bowl and place over saucepan … be careful to not let ANY water get in your chocolate! (It’s ok if the bowl touches or floats in the water but it should not directly touch the bottom of the pan).
4.) Slowly melt chocolate: do NOT bring water to a boil! Take a tip from Mary Berry: “chocolate melts in a child’s pocket.”
5.) Watch that heat: turn down heat as soon as chocolate begins to melt, you want to melt it, not cook it!
6.) Turn heat low or off when chocolate is fully melted. You may need to reheat chocolate or keep on low while you are working with it if it starts to cool too quickly.
7.) Half-fill your molds: using a small spoon, fill the molds about 1/2 to 2/3 full leaving some clean space at the top for a candy cane dusting to finish the bottoms of your chocolates. Try to not get chocolate on the edges of the mold at the top . . . but it won’t affect the taste at all if you do. If doing this with your kids, breathe. These candies will taste just as good with chocolate drips in the candy cane layer . . . I promise.
8.) Thunk your molds! Yes, you read that right; I said thunk them! You will need to kind of tap/ kind of drop your molds onto a flat surface with a little bit of gumption in order to get air bubbles out and get that melted chocolate to submit to you and lay flat. You can see from the before and after pictures below the difference a few good thunks will make!
9.) Dust with Candy Cane bits: use your fingers to sprinkle an even layer of candy cane bits on the bottom (currently the top) of each mold. Sprinkle enough so that no chocolate seeps through or even shows through. Some candy cane will dust off at the end, but too much is better than not enough in this case. This is like that craft you did when you were a kid where you made a design on your paper with Elmer’s glue and then proceeded to mound your paper in glitter and let it all sit there in a big sparkly heap for hours before dumping off the glitter . . . you know what I’m talking about? Maybe it was just a Homeschool kid thing.
10.) Place chocolate-coated molds in the refrigerator to set
11.) Refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight
12.) Pop your chocolates out of their molds: get crackin’! They won’t always come out perfect . . . some will sit at a light slant, some may have a few little air bubbles . . . but I’m too much of a chocoholic to be a choco-snob . . . duds are your friends, not your foes!)
13.) Store in refrigerator covered for up to a month or in freezer as long as you like!
Next up . . .
Three-Ingredient “GUMDROP GUMMIES”:
These gummies are made from homemade 100% fruit juice, 100% maple syrup, and gelatin. As far as health goes, you aren’t going to find a healthier candy for your kids! The homemade full-fruit juice gives them an incredible jeweled tone, and we think they are as delicious as they look! In fact, these gummies may never even make it to your fridge; your kids may very well devour them in one go! Thankfully, the only added sweetener they contain is maple syrup, and as Laura Ingalls Wilder so wisely told us almost a century ago in Little House in the Big Woods, you can eat as much maple candy as you want because: “everyone knows maple syrup never hurt anybody.”
Active Time: 30 minutes per batch
- Fresh or frozen fruit: our favorite fruit combos for gummies are raspberries + lemon, blueberries + lemon, and kiwi + lime)
- 100% maple syrup
- silicone candy molds or silicone ice cube trays
- Electric Juicer (Vitamix or food processor and a strainer can work too if you don’t have a juicer)
- Kitchen Basics: kitchen knife, rubber spatula, measuring spoons, cup measure, hand juicer, saucepan, parchment paper or tin foil
1.) Make your juice: process your fresh or dethawed frozen fruit through your electric juicer until you yield close to one cup of juice. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a Vitamix or food processor, just add a few tablespoons of store bought 100% fruit juice (apple or white grape are good choices) to be able to easily blend. Then strain out the pulp and seeds.
2.) Squeeze and strain your citrus: lemon works best with most fruit flavors, but lime is superb with kiwi (it’s our favorite combo). Squeeze enough lemons or limes for at least one tablespoon of juice per batch (we like our gummies on the sour side, so we use closer to 3 tablespoons of citrus per batch).
3.) Mix your perfect cocktail: how sweet or sour you make your gummies is highly individual. What’s important is that you end up with ONE CUP exactly of liquid. It doesn’t really matter how much of that ONE CUP is fruit juice and how much is maple syrup (as long as it’s at least half juice). It depends on what type of fruit you choose, as well as how much of a sweet or sour tooth you have. For us, we like to add about 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and 3 tablespoons of citrus per one cup of fruit juice. (Whatever leftover you have above your ONE CUP, set it aside and boil it on it’s own without added gelatin for the world’s most amazing ice cream syrup! You’ll thank me later.)
Note that we like our gummies pretty tart. And raspberry juice, for example, is already very tart on it’s own, so you may end up only adding one tablespoon of lemon juice as we did and maybe even as much as 1/4 cup of maple syrup. So add a tablespoon at a time of maple syrup and citrus and taste as you go. When the mixture hits your pucker just right, then measure out your ONE CUP of your perfect cocktail.
4.) Pour your perfect cocktail into a COLD saucepan: do not turn on the heat, I repeat, do not turn on the heat!
5.) Add gelatin: again, do not turn on the heat, I repeat, do not turn on the heat! Mix in 2 tablespoons of gelatin and whisk in COLD until dissolved.
6.) If fully dissolved (are all those lumps gone?) turn on medium heat. Mixture will already be quite thick, that is normal!
7.) Whisk calmly and constantly until first heat bubbles appear: do not allow to get to a full boil.
8.) Remove from heat
9.) Spoon or syringe gummy liquid into your silicone molds
10.) Refrigerate for a few hours until fully set
11.) Pop out your gummies: using your thumbs, start on one edge of each mold and pop them out end to end. Take your time. If a gummy doesn’t come out clean, hurray! Pop that dud into your mouth and try again.
12.) Refrigerate gummies covered up to three weeks
YUM and DONE!
Thanks for joining us, you made our day! And we hope these candies will make yours!
May Visions of Sugar Plums dance in your heads this week!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~