A homemade treat is always a welcome holiday gift. Even folks who don’t like accepting store-bought presents, are pleased to be gifted with something as special as handcrafted candy. Fudge and divinity are especially longed-for at Christmas, particularly among candy aficionados who can discern the difference between candy that is made from scratch and that which is produced en masse. Homemade fudge is prized for its creamy texture, rich natural chocolate flavor and buttery taste. With divinity being appreciated for its airy good looks, sweet vanilla taste and, if you’re lucky enough to get them, pecan embellishments. Should you be inspired to make your own candy (you still have plenty of time before Christmas), be sure to use a reliable candy thermometer. I find digital candy thermometers easier to read than paddle-type candy/deep fry thermometers or glass bulb thermometers, but whatever kind of candy thermometer you choose, be sure to calibrate it before use. (See instructions on how to do this, following the recipe for Walnut Fudge). Candy making is an exact science, so be patient. If this is your first time making candy, don’t be discouraged if you encounter a failed batch, or two – trust me, I’ve been there. Walnut Fudge and Pecan Divinity are now two of my favorite Christmas candies, and although I’ve offered these recipes before, I know for some of you, this will be your initial candy-making experience; I hope it will be a good one. Just one more thing. Before you start, keep an eye on the weather. Candy doesn’t like humid, or rainy days, but if it’s clear and dry, you’re good to go.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.