Thanks to finewinendine for starting the Christmas cookie topic. I was going to add the candies I make for gifts, but thought it should be another topic.
So. . .I make Peanut Butter Balls (I think they're also called "Buckeyes" and "Globbies"). I think it's my #1 most-requested recipe. (A stick of butter, two cups peanut butter, 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar all mixed together with two cups of Rice Krispies. Roll into balls and dip in melted chocolate coating (sold as Almond Bark for about $2.50). Makes 50-75, depending on size, for about $6. For Christmas, make a double batch, one chocolate and one pastel pink and green by melting white chocolate and coloring it with Wilton pastes.
If there's any melted chocolate left, I dip pretzel rods and sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles.
Homemade Mounds--a stick of melted butter, a can of sweetened condensed milk, a bag of coconut and four cups of powdered sugar mixed together and rolled into 2" logs, then dipped into melted chocolate coating. About $8.50 for 100 candies.
Truffles, using any recipe, and dipping them into tempered Scharffen Berger. No one gets these or the chocolate cherries unless they're related.
Chocolate Covered Cherries--they're not hard to make, but it takes a lot of time. http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/11/chocolate-fondant-covered-cherries.html
Male Fudge (with nuts)--the recipe for No-Fail Fudge from the jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Female Fudge (without nuts)--the Better Homes and Gardens recipe from the red-plaid book. Peanut Butter Fudge, also from the fine folks at Marshmallow Fluff.
Divinity. I have six recipes. Sometimes I get it right. I keep trying. Almond Bark and peanut, almond, cashew or sunflower seed brittle.
I start the candy-making two weeks before Christmas because they stay fresh-tasting a lot longer than cookies do. I don't start the cookies until the week of Christmas, when I'll make two or three batches a night or as needed.
Any other sweet gift ideas?