Martha Washington Candy ~ My Childhood Christmas Memories

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Martha Washington Candy is a classic candy made with chocolate, coconut and pecans.
I simplify the recipe without losing any of that classic taste!


When I reflect on my favorite childhood Christmas memories, what I remember mostly are not the toys or gifts that I received. Although, I was quite fond of the toys…By the way, boys have way cooler toys; the remote controlled cars, the race track, the BB guns, the train set. Funny thing, I always wanted and asked for a doll and I did play with them… about 3 minutes before I threw them to the side and started playing with the cool boy toys that my brother received.

While the gifts and toys were nice, looking back, however, my fondest memories are of the family being together; cooking, laughing, reminiscing, eating. We were always in the kitchen. I should have realized then my passion for cooking. I love the sound of being in the kitchen. The clinking and clanking of utensil, pots, pans and the talking and laughing.

It’s no surprise either that one of my favorite holiday treats is a candy that my mother made every Christmas, but only at Christmas. For that reason, the making of Martha Washington Candy signifies Christmas is near. It is a tradition. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it. This candy has been around for years, probably because it’s simple yet elegant, quick yet gourmet, and outrageously rich!

Martha Washington candy

This is the original recipe that my Mother passed along to me.

Martha Washington Candy
2 boxes powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 lb chopped pecans
1 pkg coconut
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 lb paraffin
Combine sugar, butter, milk, pecans and coconut.
Roll into small balls and chill.
Melt chocolate and paraffin in double boiler.
Dip ball in chocolate and lay on parchment paper to dry.
This is the recipe that I altered and use (because, frankly, I don’t know why you would want to eat paraffin!). It also makes half of the original recipe.
Martha Washington Candy
Martha Washington Candy ~ My Childhood Christmas Memories
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 c powdered sugar*
  • 1 stick butter, room temp (not melted)
  • 6 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c finely chopped pecans
  • 1 c coconut**, chopped in food processor
  • 2 c chocolate candy melts (You can find tips on melting chocolate here.)
  1. Cream sugar and butter together. (This mixture will be thick.)
  2. Add milk, pecans, and coconut.
  3. Roll into small balls and chill at least 1 hour.
  4. Melt chocolate. Dip candy in chocolate and allow to dry on parchment paper.
  5. Share and Enjoy!
  6. *If your mixture isn't thick add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until thick (think cookie dough consistency)
  7. **I use coconut that is found on the baking isle, usually close to chocolate chips and nuts (not frozen).
© All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

For my favorite chocolate recipes visit here!

Please visit the link below for other bloggers who have shared their favorite Childhood Christmas Memories in the carnival.
My Favorite Childhood Christmas Memories

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  1. says

    Love your story! That's also what I loved about Christmas coming, the food, family, laughter! I love this recipe, wow they look so good!

  2. says

    I can totally relate to your Christmas memories! I had 2 brothers, a few female cousins and tons of boy cousins! Boy stuff was much more fun! lol. Pinning your candy recipe and I would definitely use candy melts and not paraffin! 😉

  3. says

    Sounds delecious! You're lucky your brother let you play with his toys. My brother always told me his toys were better than mine and I usually wasn't allowed to play with his. Even when we got almost the same remote control car, his was blue and mine was red, he would still say that his was better and cooler than mine. Anyway, that's all behind me and now I get to enjoy Christmas with my kids and they are kinder to one another. There's lots more love going around. 🙂

    Tina – American mom raising 4 kids in South Africa

  4. says

    I have two sisters and two daughters so “boy” toys are unfamiliar territory for me. I definitely see how remote control cars could be a lot of fun! I love cooking for the holidays. I have never made Martha Washington candy but they look delicious!

  5. says

    I'm definitely trying this recipe for the family this year! Thanks for sharing it with us! It's funny how moms are always in the kitchen cooking it up! That's how it was at our house! Great post!

  6. says

    Yum those chocolates look delicious! When I was younger I always used to make Christmas candy with my grandmother. I remember one year we messed up something and the centers turned out far too liquid and didn't set up enough to dip in chocolate. We at the whole bowl of sugary peppermint goo with a spoon.

  7. says

    It seems that the kitchen is the focal point for all of my Christmas memories and it continues to be so. Great recipe and thanks for taking out the parafin! I don't even know where one could buy paraffin

    Stopping by from SITS

  8. says

    These look so yummy! Thanks for sharing at my party! I'm going to have to raid your Christmas recipes for the holidays!
    Have a great week!
    House on the Way

  9. says

    I remember when my mother and grandmother made these. I've never had the recipe for them, so I'm glad to have found you on Whimsy Wednesday. Can't wait to make these for my family this Christmas!

  10. The Mandatory Mooch says

    These are so fun, Paula. I have great memories of cooking with my grandma. So fun!! Thanks for linking up to Tasty Thursdays at The Mandatory Mooch. Can't wait to see what you link up this week. Thanks, Nichi

  11. says

    This looks delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this! I love anything chocolate! This recipe looks easy and fun…..the perfect combination for me!

    Have a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

  12. says

    Wow! Sharing this on facebook and twitter and just pinned it to my high follow board and the board I actually keep things I want to make. Wow!

    • says

      this is one of my favorite childhood favorits and still is so good and brings back such good memories. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing

  13. Donna says

    I’m so glad you posted this! My mom used to make this at Christmas every year too. Then she was diagnosed with diabetes and she destroyed all written copies of her candy recipes and refused to pass on Granma’s recipes. She said she wasn’t going to contribute to any more of us getting diabetes. She was like Granma, she didn’t like to share her personal recipes. Unfortunately when she finally had a change of heart, she couldn’t remember the recipes. Though I still hve got her peanut brittle recipe or Granma’s Never-Fail Divinity recipe at least I have Mom’s bon-bon recipe. That’s what she called them, bon-bons. Your mom didn’t happen to make Vinegar Rolls too did she? I’ve been trying to find a recipe like Mom and Granma .used to make.

    • says

      I’m so happy I was able to help you with this recipe. Recipes and food is so important in my family memories. The first recipe is the exact recipe my mom and her mom used for years and years. She did not do breads, but I do have my grandmother’s recipes that I’l look through for you. I will let you know if I find it. Thanks for stopping by, Donna.

  14. says

    I’ve made these for years and they are everyone’s favorite in the gift baskets I give every year. I keep trying to get family members to make them with me so “when I’m gone” the tradition will have been passed down, but to no avail. Maybe by posting your recipe, they will “catch on”, The only thing I do differently is I refrigerate the mixture for less time, maybe about 30 min., make the balls, place them on a cookie sheet, insert toothpicks, put them in the freezer for about 5 or 10 min. then dip them. When they dry (on wax paper) which with the paraffin doesn’t take long I take the toothpick out with a turn and just redip it enough to cover the little whole left from where I took out the toothpick. They freeze extremely well too. I’ve made them well in advance and frozen them and once my husband hid some and forgot and found them a year later and they were still good! No freezer burn and tasted great!!

  15. Zakira says

    My mom has made these for years, too! Somehow I don’t think they’d be as reminiscent of her making them if they didn’t have the paraffin.

    On a tangent, just adding the copyright symbol and some words to a website doesn’t actually copyright it. It must be registered and the pages must have the year of publication on them.

  16. Nan Eves says

    Would like to try your M.W. candy recipe, but, being Canadian, I don’t know how much icing sugar is contained in a “box”.

    • says

      It’s just powdered or confectioner’s sugar. 2 boxes would be the equivalent to about 8 cups. The mixture should be thick enough to form a ball and hold it’s shape. Add extra sugar if needed to get it to this consistancy. Hope this helps.

  17. linda says

    point of interest re the paraffin: the paraffin was added to the chocolate to make it less easy to melt. A few years ago, Hershey candy company came out with a very special Desert Storm candy bar. It had Lots more paraffin than usual to decreasr its meltability in Iraq. I didnt like the taste, but as the wife of a guy in the U.S.Navy, i appreciated the thought.

    • says

      Interesting, Linda, thanks for sharing. I actually love food trivia like that. I love the show on Food Network, that shows how candy is made. I can’t think of the name at the moment.

      • vicky says

        Parafin is must with martha washington candy all it does it make the chocolate will not harm you in any form or fashion..shoot i am 40 fixin to be 41 an ate them every christmas from time i could rember grandmother made them every year now my mom an me make it .. an it would not be martha washington candy with out chocolate chips.. an i notice you forgot the 1 lg jar of crunchy peanut butter .. that is must also..


  1. […] No Bake Martha Washington Candy is delicious and easy to make. You merely need semi-sweet chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, pecans, paraffin, powdered sugar and coconut. Mix the sugar, milk, coconut and pecans together, roll into balls and chill. Melt the chocolate and paraffin in a double boiler, then dip the balls you made into the chocolate and let them dry. […]

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