Christmas in Kansas

I recently came upon a treasure of clips I’d recorded of my Grandma, Leora Day, making her Christmas candy from about 14 years ago. I finally sat down and edited the videos to give to my family members for Christmas along with some homemade candy following her video instructions.

Christmas in Kansas brings memories of dawn tag-a-longs with my grandparents and younger brother to feed the cows—getting excited when we were considered old enough to get out of the truck and open the gates between pastures—tumbling back into a toasty house, all snotty, frozen and muddy, to clean up and sit down to a piping hot breakfast.

Getting in the way and all sticky as we “helped” grandma and my mom make the Christmas candy—which included Turtles, Peanut Brittle, Fudge, as well as the favorite, Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies—was an anticipated event during the holiday. Then winding down as we listened to the Rest of the Story from Paul Harvey or Christmas music as we strung the lights and decorated an old Christmas tree on its last leg.

If you’d like enjoy the little video of my Grandma, Leora Day, showing how to make Turtles, check out: 



Caramel Filling (or skip this part and buy the caramel squares):

3C Sugar

1 1/8C Light Corn Syrup

3C Whipping Cream (divided in half)

3/4C Butter

The Rest

Pecans (halves)

1-2 bags Chocolate chips (dark, milk, semi-sweet…your choice)


Bring Ingredients to boil over medium heat with lid (with first half of whipping cream), once it boils, start adding the second half of the whipping cream little by little so as not to stop the boiling. Keep stirring until temperature reaches 245°F (you will see the color darken and the boiling becomes larger bubbles). Remove from the heat and let cool until stiff.

Group some pecans on parchment paper in groups of 3-5 and spoon out some caramel over each. Let cool until hard enough to pick up in a fork and dip into melted chocolate.

Melt half a bag of chocolate chips in a double boiler, add second half once they are melted. Pick up caramel pecan cluster with tongs or fork and  place in chocolate, turn it over, then remove and place on parchment paper to cool and firm up.


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