Kid's Kitchen: Visions of Sugar Plums
kitchen tested by Marc and Matthew Marshall
You don't have to wait until the night before Christmas to dream about these sugar plums. You could keep the candy tray filled with these very special, simple-to-make sweets all season long if you could just get everyone else to stop eating them (not much chance of that). Luckily, they are almost as much fun to make as they are to eat.
Island Fruit Candies
You'll have to resist licking your fingers while you're making these yummy and wholesome treats from Hawaii, but it's worth the wait.
1 cup raisins
1. Chop the fruit, nuts, and ginger as fine as possible (if you have a blender or food processor, have an adult help you use it).
Palm Tree Sugar Plums
From California's Coachella Valley come plump dates like the ones that grew in the Holy Land at the first Christmas. Stuffed with little balls of marzipan (a sweetened mixture of finely ground almonds) or Brazil nuts, they are sugar plums fit for the fanciest party.
California dates, pitted
1. Stuff each date with a whole Brazil nut or a small nut-size ball of almond paste.
Note: Packaged dates are fresh dates--they pick them when they are very ripe and naturally "candied." As fresh fruit, they should be stored in the refrigerator if possible.
You may know the no-cook peanut butter candy part of this recipe as the year-round favorite Peanut Butter Clay. For a fancy Christmas candy, dress little balls of the peanut butter clay in a chocolate coat.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1. Mix butter, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Makes about 50 buckeyes (which disappear very fast). Keep chilled.
Sugar 'n' Spice Pecans
Pick the nicest whole pecan halves from the bag for these delicious crunchy candied nuts. They look like something an elf might use for a doorstop, but they smell and taste like Christmas.
1 egg white
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Variation: Substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of apple-pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
You can make these Snowballs even if you live where it never snows. This recipe is a great tasting way to use the broken pecans left after you have picked out the whole halves for Sugar 'n' Spice Pecans.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
These recipes are copyright ©1999 William and Loretta Marshall.
Questions and comments can be sent here.
Page last updated 12/13/99.