Grandma’s Christmas Goodies Tins

xmas tins The exchange of Christmas Goodies Tins is a family tradition. As my great-grandmother and grandmother had done before them, my mother and her sisters made baked goodies, peanut brittle and fudge every winter.  The goodies they made were stored in Christmas Goodies Tins and gifted to others during the holiday season. 

The tins were recycled and as the families grew  many kinds of tins were collected throughout the year to use as Christmas Goodies Tins.  We kids used to decorate the Christmas Goodies Tins decoupage style for the season. We used white glue to stick pictures from used Christmas wrapping paper and glossy magazines on the tins, and as we decorated our Christmas Goodie Tins we sang Christmas carols.

My father’s side of the family followed the same tradition and the Christmas Goodies Tins were exchanged during many holiday seasons, circulating throughout both sides of the families from year to year.  When I was twelve I greeted my younger cousins at the door, happily noticing they were both carrying Christmas Goodies Tins I had decorated years before.

If you are making this holiday season more personal by baking your own gourmet gifts from friends and family, here are two more recipes for your Christmas Goodies Tins.

Grandma’s Peanut Brittle


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups raw peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda


  1. Mix sugar, water, corn syrup in a saucepan, until the mix reaches soft ball stage (where a drip dropped in cold water forms a soft ball that can be flattened with the fingers… if you’re using a candy thermometer, boil it until it reaches 235 degrees).
  2. Add nuts, butter, and salt and continue to heat to 300 degrees.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda,  while stirring quickly.
  4. Pour immediately onto a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Cool and break it up into pieces.
  6. Store in an airtight container like a Christmas Goodie Tin. 

Grandma’s Fudge


  • 397g can Carnation Condensed Milk
  • 150ml (5fl oz) milk
  • 450g (1lb) Demerara sugar
  • 115g (4oz) butter

Add the following at the beating stage.

  • Rum and Raisin –  Stir in 2 tablespoons of dark rum along with 115g (4oz) of chopped raisins.
  • Fruit and Nut – Stir in 85g (3oz) of mixed dried fruit and chopped nuts.
  • Chocolate -Stir in 175g (6oz) of melted semi-sweet chocolate.


  1. Grease and base line an 18cm (7in) square tin with baking parchment.
  2. Gently heat all the ingredients in a large, non-stick saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until soft ball stage (where a drip dropped in cold water forms a soft ball that can be flattened with the fingers… if you’re using a candy thermometer, boil it until it reaches 235 degrees).
  4. Remove from the heat and beat until thick and grainy (8-10 minutes).
  5. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to cool.
  6. When cold, cut into squares.
  7. Store in an airtight container like a Christmas Goodie Tin.

Related holiday recipes:
Blackberry Bars and Chewy Bars
Mocha Shortbread Cookies
Holiday Eggnog and Eggnog Truffles
Three Cranberry Coffee Cake Recipes
Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies
Fleur de sel carameles recipe

18 thoughts on “Grandma’s Christmas Goodies Tins

  1. Pingback: Homemade Greeting Cards | this time - this space

  2. Hi Jean,
    There is an amazing variety of tins in all shapes and sizes out there. We find them in charity shops and second hand stores. The one you describe is definitely a keeper. My partner has some unusual ones he has collected and I’ve been told not to gift them away. ;) Best wishes for a superb holiday season.

  3. Exchange of tins sounds like a great idea with home baked goodies.

    Some favourite tins that were originally used to package other things from store:
    a long tin that held an expensive bottle of whiskey
    a cookie tin from China where the tin top has a misspelled word of phoenix..instead it was: pheonix. It’s a real keeper!

    • Hi Cindy,
      I’m so glad you think homemade gifts are the best gifts to receive like I do. I enjoy your crafting ideas — you are so creative with recycled materials. Have a lovely holiday. :)

  4. What a lovely tradition, TT! Homemade gifts are always the most endearing and precious. A supervisor at my wife’s workplace does this every Christmas season, giving members of her staff little cakes and candies she herself made. I always manage to swipe a few goodies for myself.

    • Hi Marty,
      I also find anything anyone else makes for me to be special. You wouldn’t have to sneak any goodies if you were near to me. I’d definitely have you on my Christmas Goodie Tin list. Happy Holidays!

    • Hi there,
      It’s good to connect with you. Fudge is so easy too make and it keeps for a month in a sealed container. If you prefer you can freeze it and keep it even longer. Though I must say it sure disappears quickly once the lid is off the container. Merry Christmas!

    • The fudge is rich and creamy. You can make it creamer still by using half cream and half milk. If you were my beighbour you would get a Christmas Goodies Tin, a handmade card, and maybe a wreath or swag too.

  5. YUM! I recently heard of fudge with sweetened condensed milk! I love tins – and have a tub full of them. They are THE perfect container for Christmas Goodies!

    • Hi Ann,
      Aha! another person who is into Christmas Goodie Tins. I thought there would have to be others out there. Condensed milk makes the fudge very rich so I cut the pieces small.

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