Martha Washington Candy

1 week ago 10



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Martha Washington Candy is an easy no-bake treat filled with cherries, coconut and pecans, and then coated in chocolate. Perfect for Christmas and Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate-covered anything makes for such an irresistible sweet treat! We love classic Chocolate Covered Strawberries, creamy Chocolate Covered Banana Bites and amazing Chocolate Covered Oreos. They’re all so easy and great for any occasion!

What is Martha Washington Candy?

Martha Washington Candy is one of the those old-fashioned recipes that gets passed down from generation to generation! They are nostalgic and heart-warming, and my favorite kind of recipe to make for my family and friends. It’s unclear how these little bites of heaven originated, but most conclude that they were invented by a chain of candy stores. These stores were popular from the 1890s until the depression in the 1920s.

They are always filled with a creamy coconut center with some type of nuts, and then covered in chocolate. Often recipes include maraschino cherries, which, in my opinion, gives them an extra special taste. Plus, the pop of red color in the center makes them perfect for homemade gift-giving during the holiday season, and for Valentine’s Day treats!

Ingredients Needed

Making this Martha Washington Candy recipe with my kids is a cherished family tradition. Luckily, the ingredients are simple pantry staples that you may already have on-hand. Here’s everything you’ll need, and you’ll find the exact measurements in the recipe card.

  • Maraschino Cherries: These are preserved, sweetened cherries that are the signature ingredient for this Martha Washington Candy recipe. 
  • Unsalted Butter: Holds the filling together while adding rich, buttery flavor.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Makes every bite of these confections super creamy, rich and sweet!
  • Shredded Sweetened Coconut: Shredded coconut pairs wonderfully with the fruity cherries, crunchy nuts and chocolate.
  • Powdered Sugar: To sweeten these bites of delight!
  • Pecans: Toasted pecans add the perfect nutty crunch that is a great contrast to the creamy center.
  • Vanilla Extract: For a subtle sweet warmth.
  • Dark Chocolate: You can use dark coating chocolate or candy melts for the outside chocolate coating of the candies.

How to Make Martha Washington Candy

These candies are so easy to make! No need to turn on the oven, and you don’t even need a mixer! Here’s how simply they come together:

  • Prep: Prepare the maraschino cherries by roughly chopping them into small pieces and then pressing as much juice out of them by squeezing them in cheesecloth or paper towels. Set aside.
  • Make the Filling: In a large bowl, melt the butter. Add the sweetened condensed milk, coconut, powdered sugar, pecans, vanilla, and the prepared maraschino cherries. Mix together until combined.
  • Chill & Roll Into Balls: Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Once chilled, use a medium cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop 3-tablespoon-sized portions into your hand. Roll with your hands to make a uniform ball. Don’t worry if the coconut sticks out here and there.
  • Chill: Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge while you prepare the coating chocolate.
  • Make the Chocolate Coating: Add the coating chocolate to a small bowl and heat in the microwave for about 1 minute, heating in 20-second intervals. Stir well between each intervals until all the chocolate is melted.
  • Dip Into Chocolate & Chill: Use a fork to dip the balls in the chocolate until the are fully coated, tapping off the excess on the side of the bowl. Place the coated balls back on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill until the chocolate has fully hardened.

Tips and Variations

Here are a few tips to give you success in making Martha Washington Candies! Even though they look super fancy, they’re actually so simple to make! You can also change them up and make them your own!

  • Make Them Plain: If you do not care for maraschino cherries or pecans, they may be omitted from the recipe. 
  • Cherry Prep Tip: Try to get as much liquid out of the cherries as possible. Too much moisture from them will make the filling too soft and it won’t set up the way it’s supposed to. Measure the 10 ounces of cherries after they have been removed from the jar and chopped, but not before all the liquid has been squeezed out of them. 
  • Chocolate Chips: You may use regular chocolate chips to coat the candy instead of candy melts or coating chocolate. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to each cup of chocolate chips that you use to give it a softer bite. 
  • Best Chocolate: For the best coating chocolate to use in this recipe, look for Ghirardelli dark chocolate coating wafers. They taste phenomenal with the coconut filling!
  • Toasting Nuts: To toast your pecans, roast them in a single layer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 7 minutes, or until they darken slightly in color and become very fragrant. Let them cool completely before chopping them and adding them to the filling. 

Storing Leftovers

Once your Martha Washington Candy has cooled and is set, you’re ready to enjoy it or save it for later. This is a great dessert recipe to make ahead of time because it keeps well for a long time. I like to wrap it up and share it with friends and neighbors during the holidays!

  • At Room Temperature: This candy may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • In the Refrigerator: For longer storage, place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
  • Freezer: It’s even freezer-friendly! Store it in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. If frozen, allow them to thaw for 2 hours at room temperature. 

More Candy Recipes

Once you have made these delectable candies, you are going to want even more candy recipes! Whether it’s for a holiday celebration, a party or just for snacking on at home, these are some of our favorites that we love to make and enjoy!

Desserts

Reese’s Fudge

20 mins

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  • Prepare the maraschino cherries by roughly chopping them into small pieces and then pressing as much juice out of them by squeezing them in cheesecloth or paper towels. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, melt the butter. Add the sweetened condensed milk, coconut, powdered sugar, pecans, vanilla, and the prepared maraschino cherries. Mix together until combined.

  • Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Once chilled, use a medium cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop 3-tablespoon-sized portions into your hand. Roll with your hands to make a uniform ball. Don’t worry if the coconut sticks out here and there.

  • Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge while you prepare the coating chocolate.

  • Add the coating chocolate to a small bowl and heat in the microwave for about 1 minute, heating in 20-second intervals. Stir well between each intervals until all the chocolate is melted.

  • Use a fork to dip the balls in the chocolate until the are fully coated, tapping off the excess on the side of the bowl. Place the coated balls back on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill until the chocolate has fully hardened.

Calories: 173kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 12mgPotassium: 82mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 117IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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