37 Gift-Worthy Christmas Candy Recipes For Everyone On Your List

Spread some cheer with these homemade holiday treats.

Mississippi Mud Medallions
Photo: Alison Miksch

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.

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Peppermint Divinity

Peppermint Divinity
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

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Homemade Pralines

Pralines
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

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.

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Mint Oreo Truffles

mint oreo truffles
Jessica Furniss

These are perfect no-bake treats to make in advance of your gathering. After freezing the cream cheese and cookie mixture, dip the cookie balls in melted chocolate. Top with melted green candy melts.

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Christmas Fudge

Christmas Fudge
Micah A Leal

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.

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Caramel Popcorn Balls

caramel popcorn balls
Photographer: Isaac Nunn, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

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.

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Salty-Sweet Nut Brittle

sweet salty nut brittle
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

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Butterscotch Fudge

butterscotch fudge
Photographer: Isaac Nunn, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

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.

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Toffee Candy

Toffee Candy
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

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.

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Salted Caramel Fudge

salted caramel fudge
Photographer: Frederick Hardy II, Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

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.

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Jessica B. Harris' Peanut Brittle

Mom's Peanut Brittle
Melissa Goff

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.

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Homemade Turtles

Homemade Turtles
Micah A. Leal

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.

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Potato Candy

potato candy
Alison Miksch

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.

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Pecan Logs

Pecan Logs
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

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.

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Pecan Bourbon Balls

ginger bourbon balls
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

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Pecan Pralines

Pecan Pralines
Southern Living

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.

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Cracker Toffee

Cracker Toffee
Abbi Wilt

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.

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Christmas Buttermints

Christmas Buttermints
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

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Easy Fudge

Easy Fudge
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

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.

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Pecan Tassies

Pecan Tassies
Micah A. Leal

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.

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Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines

buttermilk pecan pralines
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

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.

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Cathedral Window Cookies

Cathedral Window Cookies
Zoe Denenberg, Styling: Rachel Mulcahy

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.

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Coconut Balls

Coconut Balls
Micah A. Leal

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.

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Muddy Buddy Mix

Muddy Buddy Mix
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis

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.

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Red Velvet Fudge

red velvet fudge
Alison Miksch

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.

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Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls

Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley

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.

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Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
Jennifer Davick

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.

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Mamie Eisenhower's Chocolate Fudge

Mamie Eisenhower’s Chocolate Fudge
Southern Living

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.

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Mrs. Floyd's Divinity

Mrs. Floyd's Divinity
Southern Living

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.

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Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Reindeer Pops

Reindeer Marshmallow Pops
Southern Living

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. 

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Stained Glass Candy

stained glass candy
Photographer: Frederick Hardy II, Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

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.

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Pulled Candy

Pulled Candy
Southern Living

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.

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No-Bake Chocolate Mint Snowballs

Mint Chocolate Snowballs
Southern Living

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.

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Oreo Cookie Balls

Oreo Cookie Balls
Southern Living

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.

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Almond Snowballs

Almond Snowballs
Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett

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.

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No-Bake Fudgy Toffee Bars

No-Bake Fudgy Toffee Bars
Iain Bagwell

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.

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Mint Meringue Christmas Trees

Mint Meringue Christmas Trees
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

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.

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Homemade Peppermint Patties

Homemade Peppermint Patties
Southern Living

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.

Now that you have all your baked goods ready to present to family and friends, check out these stylish Christmas gift wrapping ideas.

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