Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cheap, delicious homemade candy

Surely you've heard of the pretzel/Hershey's kiss/M&M's candy combination by now. If not, here's a summary:

You lay out mini pretzels on a baking sheet, add one unwrapped Hershey's Kiss on top of each, then place the sheet in a 200-degree oven for about 5 minutes. Pull them out and use one M&M on top of each candy to squish the chocolate down and into the pretzel. (Don't press too hard!) Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for another 5-10 minutes (until the chocolate is set) and then taste some of the most delicious, easy homemade candy there is!

There are several variations of this recipe. Some call for using Rolos in place of the Hershey's Kisses. Some use Rolos and then use pecan halves in place of the M&Ms to make a homemade "turtle" candy. I'm going to try that this year!

Well, I came up with an extremely frugal variation today. You see, I picked up some cheap chocolate after Halloween at the dollar store. It was on clearance for $0.25 a bag, which made it $1 a pound. It was the crispy kind, which is my favorite. For some reason, I get hungry for cheap chocolate now and then, so I stocked up and bought 8 bags or so.

I was staring at those 7 remaining bags the other day and a thought hit me - could I use them in this candy in place of the Hershey's Kisses? So I set out to test it today. (Please pardon the eyeball wrappers. We get rid of those as quickly as we can, but I wanted to show you what they were "before".)
I had my husband pick up a $3 bag of holiday M&Ms while he was out, as well as a $1 bag of mini pretzels. When he came home, I made just one candy to make sure they weren't going to be totally gross before I wasted a ton of ingredients.

Would you believe we couldn't tell any difference? They were awesome! And what you see in the picture is what is left of the M&Ms and pretzels after making two full cookie sheets of candy. [I was baking for a slew of parties this week.] A little bit goes a very long way!!

Just a warning: Don't make more of this candy than you're willing to eat in one sitting. It's addictive and much like the famous potato chips, "You can't each just one!" You've been warned. :)

So guess who's going to stock up on clearanced dollar-store candy after every major holiday? Yep, I am! That way I can make this candy year-round.

And remember that I said I was going to try homemade turtle candy this year? One of those bags just happens to be caramel-filled, and I got a humongous bag of pecan halves for Harvest Home this year. I'll try to remember to keep you posted on how they turn out!


Faith said...

So cool that you pasted this!! Chocolate-covered pretzels are on someone's Christmas list this year and I was thinking about making them but not feeling like the mess involved... Eureka!! :) Thx!

Mrs Marcos said...

I love this idea! I read it a few days ago and forgot to print out your instructions and had to spend the next several days trying to figure out which frugal blog I read it on!! YAY for finding it! Thanks for the lovely (and FRUGAL) idea! Merry Christmas!