Homemade gifts for Christmas

By Lou Ann Thompson - Country Cooking


Homemade candy is just the best, and if you are giving cookies as a gift, it just makes it better.

My brother, Jim, and I would always make homemade gifts for each other. He worked in wood, and has made me several wonderful things that I treasure. I was always excited to see what he came up with at Christmas time. I made him some quilts and afghans, and of course shared homemade cookies and candy as an extra added bonus.

This week’s recipe is another one of my favorites, it takes a bit of effort to wrap each individual candy, but it’s so worth it. Once you wrap them, I have put some in Ziploc bags and froze them. You do need to refrigerate them, because they will become soft.


1 cup margarine

1 lb (2 ¼ cups) brown sugar, packed

Dash of salt

1 cup light corn syrup

1 15 oz can of eagle brand milk

1 teaspoon vanilla


Melt butter in heavy saucepan add sugar & salt and stir thoroughly. Stir in corn syrup and mix well. Slowly add milk stirring constantly. Cook and sir over medium heat until firm ball stage at 245 degrees. Usually, 12 to 15 minutes. (Firm ball stage can be checked by dropping a small amount of the mixture into very cold water and if you can push it into a ball in the water, it’s ready) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered 9 X 9 X 2 buttered pan. Cool completely and cut. Wrap individual pieces in waxed paper.

Chocolate caramels can be made by adding 2 one-inch squares of unsweetened chocolate. Add this when you add the milk.



By Lou Ann Thompson

Country Cooking