Sunday, December 18, 2011

Martha Washington Candy - A Family Tradition

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers out there...I hope that you are all having an amazing holiday season so far.  

This time of year is so special to me.  Many of my very best memories from childhood were made during the Christmas season.  Christmas was such a magical time around our house.  When I was little, my grandmother would read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to us, as we lay there filled with the excitement that only Christmas Eve can bring.  As we tried and tried unsuccessfully to go to sleep, there would always be some sort of noise on the roof, and she'd exclaim, "WAIT!  DID YOU HEAR THAT?!?  I think that I just heard Santa on the roof!"  She'd look at us with a twinkle in her eye and a huge smile on her face, and it's moments like those that make me still believe in Santa to this day.  ;-)

I can also remember going to visit family on Christmas Eve, and it would usually be dark outside on the drive back home.  My grandmother would look out the car window, see a red light in the sky, and excitedly exclaim, "LOOK, LOOK....I see Rudolph's red nose!!!  We better hurry home because Santa is getting close!"  I'd see that red light and be overcome with giddiness. 

On Christmas morning, me and my sisters would wake up and excitedly rush out of bed and wait at the top of the stairs until everyone was ready with cameras in-hand for us to come down.  It always seemed like we had to wait for 2 hours, while we actually probably only had to wait for 2 minutes.  Once we were given the okay, we'd rush down those stairs, making a b-line for the Christmas tree to see what Santa had brought.

In the days leading up to Christmas, my mom and grandmother would make mountains of candy, and I can remember standing on a chair up next to the counter so that I could help.  My grandmother would always put one of my granddaddy's undershirts on me over my clothes so that I wouldn't ruin them...haha.  Oh, the memories!  It brings such a smile to my face just writing this post.

We got to make some new memories last weekend, when my Aunt Julie, Uncle Hal and cousin William came to visit.  We had SUCH a wonderful time and stayed up late making delicious candies...One of which were these Martha Washington Candies!  This is the same recipe that my family has always used, so it's my favorite.  

Before last weekend, it had been such a long time since I had made this recipe.  I forgot how amazing they are!  The candy mixture comes together really quickly with the help of a food processor (for the pecans) and a stand mixer, and the fun part is dipping them in the chocolate.

Make these with your loved ones'll be guaranteed to make holiday memories that you'll cherish forever.
Bon Appetit!

Martha Washington Candy
Source:  Family Recipe

1 stick butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups pecans, finely chopped
2 lbs confectioner's sugar
1 pkg. chocolate squares

Combine first four ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined.  Gradually add powdered sugar.  Roll into balls and chill.  Melt chocolate squares.  Dip the balls in the chocolate with a toothpick, and place on waxed paper to cool.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yields 80 to 90 balls of candy.

***The traditional versions of this recipe incorporate paraffin wax in the dipping chocolate to yield a hard, shiny chocolate coating on the candies...That is how my grandmother used to make this candy.  To do this, you will need:
  • 1 cake paraffin wax
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Melt wax and milk chocolate chips together in double boiler. Dip candy in mixture then cool.


Christine De Boer said...

How many ounces are in canned coconut. I can only find it in bulk or in packages. Is it just plain flaked coconut? Thanks!

Celeste said...

Christine - I've revised the recipe to reflect 2 cups of sweetened, shredded coconut.

Anonymous said...

Hey I love the look of this recipe. I'm from the uk and not familiar with choc squares How much chocolate in grams are the chocolate squares??


Jennifer said...

These look delish!! What size can of sweetened condensed milk? I would guess the 14 oz, but I want to make sure. Thanks so much.