Every year I make up treats for neighbors and friends. What I make changes a little every year, but the fun is in the planning and delivery of the plates. My kids get involved, arguing over who gets to take which plate to which family. We take an evening early in the month of December and instead of sitting in front of the television, we give. It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I like to think that that evening of sharing sweets with friends sets the tone for the month.
This year, I did my ingredient shopping at Dollar General, which has lower prices than most of my local stores. They have a full line up of ingredients for all of my holiday baking needs. I find that their Clover Valley brand is just as good as most name brands. They had a great big section all set up specifially for making treats.
I was able to get plates, candies, sugars, chocolate chips, nuts, crackers, and many other ingredients for less than $25. I came home and fired up my stove and microwave. I made homemade caramels, peanut brittle, fudge, chocolate covered Ritz sandwiches and English toffee and then filled 16 plates.
English Toffee has been a family favorite since I was a little girl when my mom started making it. It is really simple to make. I am not very good at making dipped candies, but because this recipe is broken into randomly sized pieces on purpose, there isn't a lot of stress over whether it looks right or not.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp corn syrup
12 oz chocolate chips
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan. Add sugar, water adn corn syrup to the pan. Cook over low heat to 290 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Pour hot mixture over foil. Sprinkle with chocoalte chips. Wait a few minutes and then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. When cool, break into bite sized pieces.
The Dollar General Holiday holiday section can serve all of your needs. Not only are there foods and supplies for favorite holiday recipes, but there are decorations, lights, present wrapping supplies, stocking stuffers, and great ideas for presents from toys to electronics.