School is almost out and that means, it’s time for the kids and I to start our yearly tradition of making Christmas goodies together. Now, if you’re a chocolate or candy connoisseur and you love the fancy stuff, then this may not be for you. But, if you love making yummy treats with your kids. Ones where they can really delve in and do the majority of the baking, then these recipes are perfect!
They are my three favorite and make for great gifts. Put them in a tin and give as gifts to neighbors, friends, your kids’ teachers and bus drivers. Everyone would be happy to receive a homemade gift like this one. Oh, and don’t forget to make extra. You’ll want plenty for you and the kids too!
Easy Chocolate Fudge
2 cups (12 oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
For stove top: Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium, heavy duty saucepan. Warm over lowest possible heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla extract.
For microwave: Somehow I always do better with the microwave. The chocolate seems to melt smoother. Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Continue microwaving for 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla extract.
Spread evenly into lightly greased baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Life from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces and serve.
How to involve kids: Let them do the stirring, pouring and cutting. Every step is easy as fudge 🙂
3 cups chocolate (any kind is great…mix and match for great flavors)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
toppings (sprinkles, chopped pecans, crushed candy canes, powdered sugar, powdered sugar mixed with hot cocoa…the ideas are endless)
Melt chocolate chips over medium low heat. Just before they are totally melted, add sweetened condensed milk and continue melting. The mixture will begin to get thick. When completely melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Place in a bowl and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll into 1 inch balls (a melon baller can be helpful here if you have one…if not, use a spoon and your hands to roll the balls).
Roll balls in prepared toppings. You can serve right away or store them in the refrigerator. Don’t need them for awhile? They freeze great and can be pulled out for a special treat anytime during the holidays.
How to involve the kids: Just like the fudge, they can do all the stirring, etc. But, their favorite task is to hammer the candy canes. Just place candy canes a ziploc bag. Put that bag in another ziploc as they are bound to put holes in the bag). Squeeze out all the air and then arm your child with a hammer and a cutting board. Let them smash up those candy canes until they are small pieces. Have fun coming up with toppings. A favorite one year was raspberry flavored hot chocolate. YUM! This year, I think I’ll use Nestle’s dark chocolate and Mint chocolate chips for some especially tasty truffles.
And, for my personal favorite kid-made treat:
White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
White chocolate chips
Candy Canes or Peppermint Candies
Put chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until melted. Crush peppermints into tiny bits (see description above). Add to white chocolate. Stir. Spread over large cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. When set, break into pieces and serve. For more variety, you can add red or green food coloring to the white chocolate for festive color.
How to involve the kids: My kids make this by themselves, start to finish. Let them do the melting, the smashing of candy canes and the stirring. Then, let them spread it out on the sheet. Their favorite part (besides the smashing) is breaking it up into pieces. The pieces can be mismatched and of all sizes and shapes, making it the perfect kid-made Christmas treat.
Happy Chocolate Making and Eating! Have fun with the kids!