Sweets are everywhere during the holiday season. At bake sales, bazaars, cookie walks, fundraisers, family events and in nearly every store are holiday themed treats with melt-in-your-mouth flavors. For some families, cookies and candies aren't just treats, they are tradition.
Kari Rhode has been making candies with her mother since before she can remember, and has taken that tradition to heart.
"I remember watching my mom make Christmas candy when I was younger and it's just kind of stuck with me," Rhode said. "In fact, the molds I use came from her."
News Photo by Nicole Grulke
Green colored Christmas wreaths made with crispy flakes and Red Hots are popular treats during Christmas for their festive colors and no-bake recipe. These aesthetically pleasing cookie-like treats make for colorful and fun snacking.
Rhode makes a wide variety of candies every year for the whole family.
"I usually make the classic peanut brittle, especially for my grandma Rhode. I got a recipe from a coworker for a softer version made with peanut butter," Rhode said. "I use my mom's peanut butter ball recipe and make them into peanut butter cups using candy molds. Next comes the pecans and homemade caramel which are used to mold realistic looking turtles that everybody looks forward to.
"A few dozen pretzel rods are dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles, and last but not least I'll make a couple batches of Chex mix, which my mom and I have finally perfected the reciepe."
Rhode spreads her baking, melting and dipping out over a few days, and said she loves making
everything for the family.
"I'll spend four of five nights and usually a few hours each time making all the treats," she said. "I usually spend quite a few hours going through the whole process of melting chocolate and painting molds, but it's definitely worth it to see my family enjoy the Christmas goodies! Most of them each have their own favorite."
As far as her recipes go, they ar all either from family members or friends.
"I use a lot of the recipes my mom always made because they're delicious," Rhode said. "It's kind of like tradition now."
Rhode said she gives some of her candies away to a few lucky individuals, but the rest is for the whole family to enjoy at Christmas.
Whether Christmas involves decorating sugar cookies with family members or painting chocolate molds, it seems tradition is somewhere in the recipe for the perfect Christmas treat.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.