Twelve Days of Christmas Traditions: Three Candied Walnuts

Seriously, who doesn't like making Christmas goodies? Making them is almost as much fun as eating them. Almost.

Every year, on a Saturday before Christmas, we'd all gather in the kitchen area to take part in the creationary process. Some would be in charge of rolling the balls of coconut or peanut butter out; others would keep stirring the dipping chocolate to keep it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Some would frost the sugar cookies, others would dip their fingers into the frosting/chocolate/whatever else they could while no one else is looking.

You can count on several staples among the Christmas treats my family made each year. I present, for your visual and imaginatory enjoyment, those staples (that taste a LOT better than actual staples)*:

Cherry Nut Cookies - These might be what we Lambsons associate with most when it comes to Christmas goodies. Like'em or not, they're (to me, anyway) the ersatz mascot of our Yuletide treat parade.

Sugar Cookies - Emily and I were talking the other day about how everyone seems to have their own way of doing sugar cookies. Ours were not overly sweet, a little flour-y from being rolled out on the counter and slathered with Mom's homemade frosting. Half the fun here was decorating them with all kinds of frosting tubes/tips and sprinkles.

Cream Cheese Mints - Apparently the only way people do cream cheese mints are in the shape of roses.* We had snowmen, trees, stars and Santas among others. If we were feeling really creative, we'd try to combine colors of dough, but they usually fell apart as they came out of the mold. If they came out of the mold. That was nearly always a battle, even if the mints were rolled in sugar. Also, the dough looks like Play-doh but tastes delicious.

Fudge - I won't lie, this one isn't my favorite. Oh, don't misunderstand - our homemade fudge is top notch. Homemade fudge in general just doesn't do much for me. But ours always had that little tinge of orange flavor to enhance the rich chocolate (and optional walnuts).

Chocolate-covered ____________________ - We've tried all kinds of chocolate-covered what-have-yous and bon bons, but the ones I remember doing more often than not were peanut clusters, peanut butter balls and coconut balls. One in ten of the balls that were to be dipped likely never made it past our mouths into the chocolate, but we either never got caught or Mom and Dad didn't care (probably because they were doing the same thing).

Candied Walnuts - These are probably my favorite in the whole world. Mom didn't make these every year, because they require a candy thermometer and are thus a lot of work. But holy Kringle, they are delicious. Nutty, crunchy/chewy, sugary goodness that you can't stop eating. Unless you're Emily, who never starts.

Honorable Mention: Friendship Cake - I wish this was on the menu more often. It's not actually a Lambson specialty; if this was in the house, it was courtesy of the mother of Dad's co-worker Needra. Grandma Jackson made this so moist and so fruity/nutty delicious. It helped that I was one of the only ones who really loved it - more for me to enjoy.

What will NEVER make my list of Christmas goodies: divinity. Seriously, people, it's NOT THAT GOOD. It's like the Twinkie of Christmas treats - everyone raves about it, but when the rubber meets the road, it's horrendously underwhelming.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go buy some dipping chocolate.

*None of these images represent actual Lambson-made goodies. They're brought to you courtesy of Google Images.


where did you get the great photos???
Emily S. said…
Yeah-- cherry nut cookies: gross.
Divinity: gross.
Candied walnuts: gross.

Everything else: I wantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwant RIGHT NOW. In binge-proportions.

Fudge without nuts, please.

Thank you.

(Fun wrap-up!)
Beckie said…
Well now, all I want is some candied walnuts thanks to this post!!! Someone, anyone, (that is, someone who maybe made them?) send me some!

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