As everyone in my neighborhood knows, Christmas is my very favorite time of year. I make many cookies, cakes and candies - including this easy but elegant recipe - to give to relatives and friends. The aroma of the chocolate and raspberry is heavenly when you're making these truffles.
-Helen Vail, Glenside, Pennsylvania
Meet the Cook: Here's an easy way to make two festive and unique candies from one basic recipe! Half of the creamy fondant is flavored with mint for the centers of peppermint patties. Then you mix a little maraschino cherry juice with the rest of the fondant and use it to "wrap" cherries before dipping them in chocolate.
-Debbi Loney, Central City, Kentucky
Meet the Cook: We like to do things BIG here in Texas, so don't expect a dainty little barely-a-bite truffle from the surprising recipe. Folks are delighted to discover a big fluffy marshmallow inside the chocolate and nut coating.
-Pat Ball, Abilene, Texas
Meet the Cook: A pretty plate of this yummy confection makes a great present! Cashews and caramel are such a delicious combination. I especially enjoy making this fudge for a holiday treat. Throughout the year, I do a lot of baking. Our four children are always ready with their appetites and opinions.
-Cathy Grubelnik, Raton, New Mexico
Meet the Cook: "Ooh" and "Mmmm" are common comments when folks taste these delectable bites. Toasted coconut in the coating makes the truffles especially tempting. I always include them in my Christmas packages and gift containers, and my husband thinks they are just fabulous. He is a full-time agronomist, plus we grain farm with my father. Our children are 6, 4 and 2.
-Beth Nagel, West Lafayette, Indiana
Meet the Cook: I haven't missed a year making this candy for the holidays since a friend gave me the recipe in 1964! It is made like a pan of upside-down bars and tastes like my favorite caramel pecan candies. We are natives of the Lone Star State who moved to Ohio when my husband was transferred several years ago.
-June Humphrey, Strongsville, Ohio