Holly Candy: Christmas Baking Made Easy

It’s tradition in my family to bake for Christmas and all the recipes are handed down. My usual is to make Almond Roca, fudge, Russian Tea Cakes, several kinds of cookies and Holly Candy.

The Holly Candy is the easiest and thank the Lord, because it’s one of the items that you keep making all through the baking season. It’s a makes a lovely (and yummy) garnish on plates, don’t you think?

Finished Holly Candy

Finished Holly Candy

Holly Candy is basically a Rice Krispy Treat made with corn flakes, red hots and green food coloring.

Holly Candy - IngredientsThe actual recipe is simple:

1 stick butter or margarine
30 marshmallows
6 cups Corn Flakes

My recipe doesn’t say this, but you also need green food coloring and Red Hots candy (also called Cinnamon Decors in the baking aisle).

Note: You can use any Corn Flakes as long as they’re crispy.

What the recipe doesn’t tell you:

  1. It works better with a few extra marshmallows. (I use 32-33 when I make it.)
  2. The color is a personal preference. (I like mine very green to look more like holly.)
  3. Keep the heat on simmer the entire time you’re dropping your bits of Holly Candy onto waxed paper so it doesn’t all freeze up. Your Red Hots won’t adhere if the mix isn’t warm.
  4. All that green food coloring can turn your hands and the pan green, though a thorough washing will remove it.

To make the recipe, you:

1. Melt the marshmallows and butter. (They’ll look like the photos below.) Then add your green food coloring.

Holly Candy - pre-meltHolly Candy - melted marshmallows

2. Have a lasagna or pyrex type dish ready that will hold several layers. When I was a kid, my mom used the cardboard that cases of soda came in. Be sure to use wax paper!

3. Add the 6 cups of cornflakes and be prepared to stir for a while to coat ALL the Corn Flakes in the green mixture. You can cover small missed spots with Red Hots, but you want to really coat all of the cereal.

Holly Candy - Green Corn Flakes

This is blurry but you get the idea…

4. The last step is to drop bits of the above mixture onto waxed paper. Add 2-3 Red Hots to each piece of Holly Candy.

5. Cover entire container with foil when you’re done to keep Holly Candy fresh.

Like I said, I usually make several batches of Holly Candy throughout the baking season. It tends to get eaten pretty quickly. 🙂


Have you been following the Holiday Yum Series? These recipes ROCK!!

On Monday, Natalie Hartford wowed us with a funny story about her scrumptious cheesecake. [Note: she’ll also be here tomorrow for Thoughty Thursday. Squeeee!]

The entire list of YUM is below, in case you missed a few:

Last week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen’s beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  Natalie is back withsome fab New Year’s Mocktails

Be sure to check out Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog love!

Do you do any Christmas baking? What is your easiest recipe? How do you feel about receiving the baked treats? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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32 Responses to Holly Candy: Christmas Baking Made Easy

  1. Pingback: Witty Wednesday - Ellen M. Gregg, Writer, Reiki master, Weight Watcher

  2. Love it….it’s quite beautiful and actually looks fairly doable. I love how you provide us with tried, tested and true tips and tricks cause ya know I wouldn’t figure this out on my own!! LOL!!

    Christmas baking…me? Have you read my last two baking posts. I am genetically predisposed to baking disasters so I typically stay OUT of the kitchen over Christmas and hit the bake sales…LOL!! And…I receive baked goods quite well…LOL!!

    Can’t wait for our blog swap tomorrow…I accidentally saved OVER my post yesterday (grrrr) but what I have started re-writing this morning is even BETTER! LOL!! Stay tuned for something in your email later today….hehehehe


  3. K.B. Owen says:

    These look yummy! I can believe the green gets everywhere. I like to use food prep gloves when I’m coloring the cookie dough for Christmas trees.

    Do you make your candy GF these days, Jenny? Is there a GF version of corn flakes? Just wondering. Thanks for another great contribution to our Holiday Yum blog hop!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      The nice part is that most candy is already gluten free. There’s just not a whole lot of flour involved in the process.

      For Holly Candy, I couldn’t figure out a way to do it. Most of the corn cereals contain ingredients — usually barley malt sweetener — that contain gluten. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal, which is what I use, includes “malt flavoring” as its third ingredient. And….malt flavoring contains gluten.

      I am experimenting with making my cookies gluten free. I’ll let you know how it goes.

      This post gives a few GF corn flake brands but I haven’t tried them yet:


  4. I remember these! Much easier than the almond roca. I’m trying to not bake very much this year, but the kids want cookies! I would love to come out of December not bigger than I went in. Maybe that’s too much to ask with all these delicious yum treat recipes floating around. Oh, well. What are the holiday’s for anyway?


  5. Pingback: Urban Word Wednesday: Bubblytude – Natalie Hartford

  6. I’m totally trying this next year. Fun!


  7. I am going to buy cornflakes IMMEDIATELY. 🙂 Even I can do this, right?


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Brinda, I already told Natalie, this is a recipe that even my baking-challenged pals don’t have trouble with. Especially if you add the few extra marshmallows, which makes the coating part easier. Literally, getting all the cornflakes green is the hardest part – you’ll crunch around though and it will all work.

      The last few you drop on the wax paper will look kinda gummy and pitiful, but those are YOUR reward so you don’t care. Just eat the last few ugly ones and give the 30 pretties that are left to everyone else.

      You might recommend that people pull them apart with their fingers and put them into their mouths because biting into many pieces of Holly Candy will make your teeth turn green till you brush them. 🙂


  8. MonaKarel says:

    If you’re into easy yummy, get a jar of marshmallow cream,read the recipe on the side of the jar and pick up the other ingredients for “miracle fudge.” In years past I made up three batches: chocolate, peanut butter, white, and made layered fudge. No more for me but it’s great for those high energy people who seem to burn every calorie they take in


  9. I thought I was all done with my pre-Christmas grocery shopping. I was wrong. I’ll be making this yumminess over the weekend to have ready for Christmas eve and Christmas day festivities. 🙂


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Great idea, Ellen. Some people have been known to just shape it into a wreath around a plate. I prefer to drop individuals so I can make various sizes and have flexibility about how much green to have on the tray. They’re SUPER easy. 🙂

      The hardest part is getting all the green goo off your fingers as you’re dropping treats. LOL.


      • I’m already thinking of using a pair of clear plastic gloves that work well for food prep. While I’m a huge fan of Elphaba (the Witch of the West as depicted in”Wicked”), I’ve no desire to green-up. 😀


        • K.B. Owen says:

          Ellen and Jenny, I am a HUGE fan of food prep gloves. Kinda sissy that way, LOL. Can anyone say, “meatloaf”? 😉


          • Can anyone say, “shopping cart”? I don’t know why meatloaf led to shopping cart, but I’m thinking those food prep gloves might have other handy ( 😉 ) uses – like, keeping my hands off those germ-inflicted cart handles. Does that make me Howie Mandel? Eek!


        • Jenny Hansen says:

          I first discovered them because I have a cousin who gets nauseated if she handles ANY raw meat. She just can’t bear to touch it or look at it. Hence, the gloves. 🙂


  10. Very festive. I love to decorate with holly and now I can eat holly too!


  11. Patricia says:

    Pretty much can’t go wrong with anything containing marshmallows!


    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  12. John Holton says:

    I wanted you to know that I’ve nominated your blog for the “Blog of the Year 2012” prize. All of the instructions for accepting the award are in this entry:




  13. Those are pretty, Jenny! I’ve only made the corn flake/Rice Krispy/Red Hots thing once. It was in the shape of a wreath, and for my son’s school Christmas party. Idiot that I am, I took the wreath, along with a steak knife (to cut it with). The teacher scared the snot out of me when she said I could get in trouble for bringing a weapon to school. Fortunately she was just joking, but I quickly cut the wreath up, tucked the knife in my purse…and beat it for home. 🙂

    I’m enjoying this series of recipes. I especially like this one, and the pecan one because it’s late enough in the season that simple and quick just works for me. 🙂


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