Elle Burton’s Favorite Christmas Recipes

Share Some of Your Favorite Christmas Recipes in the Comments

I love the holidays and the vast array of Christmas goodies wherever I go. Elle Burton’s mother in my series is based on my mother, Virginia Burton Grimes. Mother passed down her favorite Christmas recipes through the years. The one recipe she nearly took to the grave was her famous peanut butter fudge. She was 82-years-young before she finally gave up her secret recipe.

In the spirit of Christmas giving, I now share Ginny Burton’s favorite recipes and some of mine.

One of my favorite Christmas recipes is Ginny Burton's peanut butter fudge.
Although mother’s peanut butter fudge is loaded with sugar and I make it only once a year, it’s still one of my favorite Christmas recipes.

Fudgie Chocolate Truffles

 ¾ cup butter                            ¾ cup cocoa                            1 can condensed milk

2-3 Tbsp rum                           ¾ c finely chopped nuts

Additional nuts or cocoa

Melt butter in heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat.  Add cocoa; stir until smooth. Blend in sweetened condensed milk; stir constantly until mixture is thick, smooth and glossy, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in rum and finely chopped nuts. Pour mixture into a flat pan.  Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.  Shape into 1 ¼ inch balls; roll in nuts or cocoa.  Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 dozen. This is one of our family’s favorite Christmas Recipes.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 cup raw peanuts                   1 cup sugar                  ½ cup light Karo                ½ tsp salt

Stir all together.  Cook on high 5 minutes.  Stir.  Cook on high another 5 minutes.

Add:  1 tsp margarine and 1 tsp vanilla.  Stir well

Cook 1 minute on high

Add 1 tsp soda, stir, and pour on a buttered cookie sheet.

Peg’s Famous Fudge

 In  a heavy deep saucepan, mix together

4 ½ cups sugar                                                            1 can evaporated milk

Over medium-high heat, Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Pour over:

Place the following in a very large bowl (I use a glass bowl):

20-24 oz Hershey Bars (3 Large)                    12 oz chocolate chips

2 small jars marshmallow crème                      1 stick margarine, less 2 Tbsp

2 cups chopped walnuts

Stir well and pour into 2 buttered cake pans.  You can keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Every year during the holidays, I made 20-30 batches of this fudge to deliver to my largest customers. During the month of December, I never needed an appointment to get into any of the Twin Cities businesses on my list. This was definitely one of their favorite Christmas recipes!


Truffle Tips:

Create a contrasting design (white on chocolate or chocolate on white) on the finished truffles by putting a teaspoon or so of the confectionery coating in a small plastic bag and cutting a very small tip off the corner, pushing the coating through the bag to drizzle a design on the truffle

  • Finished Truffles freeze well

Note:  One teaspoon of mint, orange, or almond extract may be added instead of the coffee and water in the following recipe

Peg’s Ultimate Milk Chocolate Mocha Truffles

 2 (12 oz) pkg milk choc chips                         3 Tbsp instant coffee granules

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened                2 tsp water

1 lb or more chocolate or white candy coating

Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup.  Heat in 15-second intervals until melted.  Stir occasionally.

Add the cream cheese, stir.  Dissolve the coffee granules in two tsp of water and stir into the chocolate mixture, mixing well.  Chill in the refrigerator 1 ½ – 2 hours until firm enough to form 1-inch balls and chill again, on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper until firm.

Melt about 6 squares of the candy coating.  Using toothpicks, dip and coat truffle centers.  Let excess coating drip back and set truffle on wax paper to harden.  After they harden, several stripes of the contrasting color of candy coating can be added.

I use a glass measuring cup to melt the candy coating in a 200-degree oven. When you dip the centers in the melted chocolate, tap the toothpick multiple times against the top of the measuring cup or bowl, allowing the excess chocolate coating to drip back into the container.

English Toffee

 In a skillet on medium-high heat, cook the following:

2 Sticks of butter                    3 Tbsp water                           1 cup sugar

Cook until caramel-colored, stirring constantly.  Add 1 tsp vanilla.  Stir.  Pour onto a buttered cookie sheet.  Sprinkle chocolate chips or Hershey Bar pieces onto hot candy.  When melted, spread with a knife.  Sprinkle finely chopped nuts on the top.  When the candy is cool break into irregular pieces.  Store covered.

Note:  finely chopped nuts can also be added to candy before pouring on sheet.


1 cup butter                             2 ¼ cup brown sugar               1 cup light Karo

1 can condensed milk             Dash salt                                 1 tsp vanilla

Place margarine in a large glass mixing bowl.  Microwave 1 minute on roast to melt.  Blend in rest of ingredients, (except vanilla) Cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes.  CAREFULLY remove plastic wrap and stir.  Microwave uncovered for an additional 8 minutes on medium-high heat (until soft ball forms in cold water or candy thermometer indicates the soft-ball stage has been reached.  Add vanilla and pour into a buttered cake pan.  Cool.  Cut and wrap pieces in plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Grandma Ginny’s Peanut Butter Fudge

 In a heavy pan, cook together to softball stage (use a candy thermometer)and stir constantly

2 cups sugar                            2/3 cup milk


1 cup marshmallow cream       1 cup peanut butter                 1 tsp vanilla

This will get hard quickly.  Pour on a buttered plate, and cut into pieces when completely cooled. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

No-Fail Divinity

 4 cups sugar                                                    3 egg whites

1 cup light corn syrup                                     1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup water                                                    nutmeats, optional

Dash of salt

Mix the first four ingredients in a 2-qt casserole.  Cook in microwave for 19 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Cook until candy thermometer reads 260 degrees.  While syrup cooks, beat egg whites very stiff in a large bowl.  Gradually pour hot syrup over egg whites and continue beating at a high speed until thick and candy starts to lose its gloss.  Beating may require about 12 minutes.  Add vanilla and nuts to beaten mixture.  Drop by teaspoons onto waxed paper.  Yield:  6-7 dozen pieces.  Can be tinted with food coloring.

White Cherry Fudge

2 cups sugar                            ¼ pound butter                       ½ c milk

¼ c white Karo syrup              ¼ tsp salt                                 1 c Candied Cherries

½ c Chopped walnuts             1 tsp vanilla

Combine all in a saucepan except the cherries and nuts.  Stir constantly.  Bring to a boil.  When at a full rolling boil, time for an additional two minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer until cool, dull (not glossy), and thick.  Add 1 cup of chopped candied cherries and ½ cup of chopped nuts.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto foil or waxed paper.


1 ½ cups sugar                      1/8 tsp salt                   ½ cup light Karo

¼ cup water                            2 Tbsp butter               ½ tsp vanilla

Butter a large platter.  In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except vanilla.  Cook, stirring constantly until mixture reaches hard-ball stage (255 degrees).  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour onto a prepared platter.  As candy cools, lift edges toward the center.  When cool enough to handle, pull candy with buttered fingertips until it becomes white and stiff.  Pull into a long rope, about ½ inch wide.  Cut with scissors into about 1-inch pieces while soft and twist, if desired or crack into pieces after it hardens.


 28 Kraft Caramels                   2 Tbsp Cream              ½ cup semi-sweet choc chips

¾ c small pecan halves

Melt caramels in the top of a double boiler and add the cream.  Stir until smooth and then add the pecans.  Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased baking sheet.  Let stand until firm and not sticky to touch.  You can freeze or put in the refrigerator.  Melt the choc chips over hot water.  Remove from heat and spread 1 tsp over each caramel.  Makes 24

In case you missed it, I shared Mother’s holiday recipes for Homemade Liqueurs earlier today.


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