One of everyone's favorite homemade gifts to receive is homemade candy. Let's face it. Homemade candy beats the pants off a knitted sweater or some do-dad you don't even know what to do with. Unfortunately, many types of homemade candy can be expensive. If you're trying to stick to a Christmas budget, you may think homemade candy isn't possible this year, but you'd be wrong. There are a number of homemade Christmas candies that are cheap to make.
Now, you may be thinking that chocolate bark is far from affordable. After all, many chocolate barks are loaded down with nuts and other expensive ingredients. Chocolate bark doesn't have to be made that way though. Think of chocolate bark as the casserole of the candy world. Chocolate bark can be made with whatever chocolate you have on hand or is on sale at the grocery store. You can then add a variety of different ingredients. For example, white chocolate bark can be quickly made into a peppermint bark by adding crushed peppermints, which can be purchased for $1 per bag. Chocolate bark is also a great way to use up leftover ingredients from other candy recipes.
What are dipped delights? Dipped delights are anything you have on hand that can be dipped into melted chocolate. When making some candy recipes, you often have leftover melted chocolate. Instead of letting it go to waste, dip in whatever you have handy. It may be chocolate sandwich cookies, pretzels or even dried fruits. This is a great way to use up chocolate that would normally go to waste. Even if you're starting from scratch, bags of chocolate chips are usually on sale for less than $2 during the holiday season and pretzel rods can be purchase for $1 per bag. Now that's some cheap homemade Christmas candy.
Pinwheels are not only a favorite among peanut butter lovers, but are also extremely cheap to make. You only need four ingredients to make this delicious candy and most of those ingredients can be found on sale during the holiday season. To make pinwheels, you place a two pound bag of powdered sugar in a large bowl and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and start mixing and kneading the powdered sugar with your hands, adding milk until a dough ball forms. Once the dough ball is formed, the ball is separated into two pieces and rolled out on a surface that has additional powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Once the dough is about 1/8 to ¼ inch thick, peanut butter is spread on the dough and the dough is rolled into a cylinder and cut into slices. It's that simple. You could use a variety of spreads in place of peanut butter, such as hazelnut or a chocolate spread. Because you process this dough in two batches, you could do two different flavors using one batch of dough.
Fudge cooked on the stove top can be quite expensive. Fudge cooked in the microwave though, is extremely cheap to make. All you need is a 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips (any flavor), a 14 ounce canned of sweetened condensed milk and an extract of your choice. You then stir the chocolate chips and condensed milk together and microwave for 90 seconds. Stir the mixture until the chocolate chips melt and stir in the extract. Pour the fudge into a greased pan and refrigerate until firm before cutting. This recipe can be prepared in hundreds of different ways simply by changing the type of chocolate chips and the flavor of extract.