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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

Ingredients

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

Variations:
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.

Instructions

  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