During the holiday season, nothing brings joy to your home and the faces of your family and friends like a batch of homemade Christmas candy. Whether you choose chocolate toffee, caramel turtles, bourbon balls, or old-school peppermint divinity, these recipes are so magical you’ll want to double up and keep a whole batch of treats for yourself—and we don’t blame you.
All our Southern-favorite ingredients for the holidays are on full display, especially pecans, which make for the most delicious pralines, tassies, and pecan logs. If a busy schedule throughout the season leaves you with no time to stand over an oven, there are also a few no-bake options. Some of these no-bake solutions require a package of your favorite cookies, a little frosting or cream cheese, and some chocolate. Grab your cookie tins or goodie bags and fill them with these gift-worthy Christmas candy recipes for instant holiday cheer.
We restored this delightful turn-of-the-century heirloom, adding a delicious peppermint-flavored twist. Swap the nuts for crushed peppermint candies for a holiday-themed treat. Divinity candy stays fresh for up to a week after baking.
There is no denying pralines are a Southern Christmas tradition. Pralines were once made with molasses and mixed with peanuts, pecans, and benne seeds. In Toni Tipton-Martin’s version, her pralines are thick and chewy thanks to a swap of heavy cream for milk.
Rich, crunchy, and creamy, these cookie balls are a mix of your favorite chocolate cookies and holiday candies. After freezing the cream cheese and cookie mixture for about 10 minutes, dip the cookie balls in chocolate. Top with crushed peppermint candies.
4 – Christmas Fudge
Look no further than this recipe for a perfect version of classic Christmas fudge. This fudge makes the most of both bittersweet and unsweetened baking chocolate. While the flaky salt is optional, it helps to enhance the chocolate flavoring.
Sticky popcorn balls are the perfect fall treat and are just as at home hanging from your Christmas tree. Add a little nostalgia to your holiday baking routine with these classic caramel treats. Work quickly to roll your popcorn balls once the caramel is cool enough to handle. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
This candy isn’t your basic peanut brittle. This recipe, studded with peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and almonds, might be our best-ever nut brittle. Even for a novice candymaker, this brittle is as easy as it comes.
This easy fudge recipe requires no candy thermometer. Butterscotch and white chocolate chips help to set everything up, and a healthy handful of nuts add texture and crunch. Be sure to wait at least two hours for the fudge to cool before slicing.
8 – Toffee Candy
Developed by the super talented and much-loved Test Kitchen Professional Pam Lolley, this recipe is the best basic toffee recipe you’ll find anywhere. The secret lies in details like the addition of instant espresso granules and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. It’s the perfect blend of buttery, crunchy toffee and smooth, rich dark chocolate and almonds.
If any candy were gift-worthy, this fudge would be it. Rich chocolate and caramel swirls intertwine dramatically, and the dash of espresso gives it just the right depth of flavor. A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this the perfect decadent dessert.
Forget peppermint bark—we’re all in with this classic peanut brittle. This super quick recipe comes together with only four ingredients. Toast the nuts before adding them to the baking sheet for even more flavoring.
11 – Homemade Turtles
Chewy caramel, crunchy pecans, and smooth chocolate come together in these easy turtles for some of the most indulgent bites you’ll have this season. It’s a decadent combination, complete with the savory crunch of toasted pecans. Make a foolproof caramel using ingredients like sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup.
12 – Potato Candy
This old-school candy reminds us of divinity and other traditional homemade Southern sweets. The recipe is a testament to the genius of thrifty cooks who based the confection on leftover mashed potatoes. With seven ingredients, you can have a unique candy to share this season.
13 – Pecan Logs
This Southern-favorite convenience store snack, made with a sweet nougat base, is rolled in chewy caramel and coated in pecan pieces. And trust us—they’re way better homemade. Aside from the prep, these candies are easier to assemble than they look.
14 – Pecan Bourbon Balls
This fresh take on the classic boozy confection features gingersnaps, crystallized ginger, and melted chocolate. Roll these bourbon balls in powdered sugar, dip them in chocolate, or coat them in chopped pecans. These no-bake treats are the perfect hostess gift.
15 – Pecan Pralines
No matter how you make pecan pralines, they are paramount Southern treats. (But we’re partial to this recipe.) Before mixing your ingredients, make sure to toast the pecans—this helps enhance the flavoring. If you plan to do a lot of baking this season, toast some sure pecans to have on hand.
16 – Cracker Toffee
Sometimes a rich, bite-sized nibble does the trick, whether enjoyed as a pampering pick-me-up or given as a unique holiday gift. This recipe starts with a sleeve of saltine crackers. Customize the chocolate and nuts in this recipe to your preferences.
Traditionally colored in a rainbow of pastel hues, these homemade candies have a crisp, buttery richness and a refreshing minty flavor. Roll them into logs, slice them with a knife, or use cookie cutters or molds to form the shapes. Prepare these treats a day in advance because the mints need 24 hours to rest and dry (uncovered) before they are ready to serve.
18 – Easy Fudge
It’s all in the name: This is our easiest recipe for wonderfully nutty, traditional chocolate fudge. Try doubling or tripling this recipe to make enough to give as gifts. Choose one of this recipe’s suggested flavorings (Peanut-Pretzel, Cherry-Almond, Marshmallow-Pecan), or try one of your own.
19 – Pecan Tassies
Like bite-sized pecan pies that travel as well as cookies (thanks to a shortbread-inspired crust), these tassies spotlight a quintessential ingredient in Southern households during the holidays: pecans. Maple syrup gives these tassies a unique flavoring.
Simultaneously crunchy, creamy, fudgy, and sweet, these nutty pralines are a holiday staple. Use paper baking cups to help shape the pralines before they set. Let the pralines cool for an hour before serving.
Part cookie, part marshmallow treat, this recipe gets high marks in both the taste and appearance categories. Not to mention, it feels delightfully nostalgic. This no-bake recipe can feed a crowd.
22 – Coconut Balls
Consider these a homemade upgrade to your favorite coconut-almond candy. The recipe uses a can of condensed milk and almond butter, so its sweet mixture maintains a semi-wet consistency. Plan enough time when making these salty-sweet treats to refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour.
You can substitute mini marshmallows for espresso beans in this take on turtles. A piping or Ziploc bag makes adding the chocolate easier. Keep these treats in an airtight container for up to one week after making them.
24 – Muddy Buddy Mix
With a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes of your time, you can make and start bagging up the most irresistible snack mix ever. It’s the perfect blend of crunch and peanut butter. Plus, it’s all tossed in cocoa-infused powdered sugar.
25 – Red Velvet Fudge
This fudge is the prettiest red-pink treat to give all your family and friends this Christmas. This treat is perfect for you if you find chocolate fudge too rich. Allow the fudge to cool for at least four hours before slicing and serving it.
Ask any Southerner, and they’ll admit that bourbon balls are their favorite Christmas treat. These treats freeze well and stay for up to a week when stored in an airtight, refrigerated container. The best part is this recipe only requires four ingredients.
Crunchy, chewy, and made in the most festive fashion—these Marshmallow-Krispie Christmas Trees are the most fun treat to make during the holidays. Decorate the trees with any additional candy “ornaments” you’d like, and place a little frosting on top to attach the “star.”
Great things come in small packages. These pecan pie bites are small but full of flavor and just the right size for pass-along party desserts. After baking, let these bites cool for at least 30 minutes.
This vintage recipe was the go-to fudge recipe in the 1950s and 1960s. Also known as Million Dollar Fudge, this creamy fudge is relatively easy to make. Store it for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
What better way to show appreciation for friends and family than by giving packages of these old-school holiday confections? This classic candy is crunchy and fluffy. Adding toasted pecans makes this candy extra flavorful.
31 – Pecan Toffee
The tender-crisp texture of this rich toffee will quickly make it your holiday guilty pleasure. With only five ingredients, you have the perfect chocolate and nut candy. Store in an airtight container after baking.
These are the perfect festive crafts, plus they are entirely giftable. After dipping the marshmallows in chocolate and decorating, wrap each individual pop in cellophane and tie it with a ribbon or twist tie. Use your favorite candies to decorate these adorable faces.
As if milk chocolate morsels and peppermint candies weren’t perfect enough a mixture, we added salty, chopped pretzel sticks to this peppermint bark. This dessert will be an instant classic.
34 – Stained Glass Candy
This peppermint-flavored candy will take you straight back to your childhood. Dye them in different Christmas colors and pack them into your cookie tins to spread holiday cheer. When using different colors, make one batch at a time.
35 – Pulled Candy
Good old-fashioned taffy is always a good idea. People will love finding these homemade treats wrapped up in wax paper among all the cookies and divinity. Plus, the ingredient is relatively short for such a unique candy.
36 – Mocha Almond Fudge
Chocolate, instant espresso powder, and toasted almonds combine to create a decadent fudge. Keep this fudge for up to two months in the freezer. This treat is incredibly smooth and rich.
Low on time and oven space? Try these no-bake treats that come together instantly but are just as sure to impress. Using store-bought cookies makes this five-ingredient recipe one you’ll want to make more than once.
38 – Oreo Cookie Balls
The ubiquitous sandwich cookie finds its way into a delightfully easy white chocolate truffle. Sign us up for these simple and sweet treats. Try dyeing the white chocolate in different colors for the holidays.
39 – Almond Snowballs
Powdery white, these Almond Snowballs will transform any cookie tin into a winter wonderland. Let the treats cool for 10 minutes before rolling them in powdered sugar. Add festive sprinkles on top if you want to add a pop of colors.
This dessert is the best of both worlds, packed with lots of chocolate, caramel, and toffee. Even better, these fudgy bars are a no-bake recipe. Allow these bars to chill before serving.
If you want to win the cookie swap, bring these adorable Christmas tree meringues. Use colorful nonpareils as “ornaments” and hold everything together with a few dollops of frosting. These cookies are light, airy, and exceptionally festive.
Peppermint patties taste better when homemade. These wintery-cool treats are the perfect combination of mint and chocolate for the holiday season. The most challenging part of this recipe is setting aside enough time for these patties to cool.