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Martha Washington Candy Recipe

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One bite of a homemade Martha Washington candy and you will be transported to your grandma’s kitchen or an old timey candy store. These easy candies are a classic for good reason, they are really tasty. But the best part is they are easy to make at home.

Homemade Martha Washington candies with creamy center with coconut, cherries, and pecans coated in chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate.

If you are looking for a fun no bake candy recipe to try, you are in the right place. These chocolate coated candies feature a filling made with condensed milk, coconut, cherries and pecans for a perfect mix of flavors and texture.

They will be a wonderful addition to your Christmas treat menu. Or whip them up for Valentine’s Day or any time you need a little something sweet and special.

Inside of a martha washington candy showing the coconut, bits of pecans and cherries in a creamy filling.

Make some to gift to family and friends during the holidays. Or keep them for yourself, nobody has to know!

Just make sure to give these tasty little coconut bonbons a try. They are a special nostalgic treat that is sure tow in you over.

Making Martha Washingtons

Luckily whipping up these flavorful candies is pretty easy to do. Just mix together softened butter, powdered sugar, condensed milk and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy.

Chop some maraschino cherries and pecans. You want them to be relatively fine, so you get a little bit in every bite.

Ingredients ready to be made into cherry coconut bonbons.

Stir the shredded coconut, cherries and pecans into the butter mixture. Use a small cookie scoop to form portion the mixture into balls and place on a wax paper or parchment lined cookie sheet.

These candies are rich, so feel free to make your candies smaller if you want. Because you aren’t baking them, you can really make them any size you would like.

I just find the ease of the cookie scoop to be way too appealing to do another size. It makes it go so fast and the uniform candies look nice that way.

Chill the centers for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. This will help them firm up and make them much easier to dip in chocolate.

You can also freeze them for a half hour if you are in a hurry. Or leave them in the refrigerator overnight if you want to spread out the work.

Melt your favorite dipping chocolate. A good compound chocolate is nice, so are melting wafers or chocolate almond bark. Use whatever you are most comfortable with.

Place the chocolate dipped candies back on the wax or parchment paper and allow to set. If desired, melt some white chocolate and drizzle over the bon bons.

Once all of the chocolate is set, move the candy to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Easy Alterations

This candy recipe is just about perfect as written, but you can easily make some changes to make it your own. Feel free to try whatever you happen to have on hand.

If you don’t like cherries, feel free to leave them out. The coconut and pecans are delicious together and would be like a richer version of our homemade mounds candies.

Feel free to toast the pecans if you want. Toasted pecans always add such a nice flavor to candies.

Plate of Martha Washington candies next to mug of white hot chocolate.

You could also use chopped walnuts or almonds instead of the pecans. Or if you are making them for my husband, leave the nuts out all together.

Instead of drizzling the bonbons with white chocolate, feel free to sprinkle with additional chopped nuts or festive sprinkles. They look great undecorated as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these candies ahead of time?

Yes. You can make the centers up to 3 months in advance. Just scoop them onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours. Then move them to a freezer safe container and store in the freezer.

When you are ready to enjoy them, dip the centers in chocolate and you are ready to go!

Why is it called Martha Washington?

Martha Washington candies are actually named after an old candy store, not the first lady. The creator of this recipe trademarked the Martha Washington Candy Store in 1906 and opened his first candy store the same year.

There were more than 200 Martha Washington Candy stores with 15 factories when the Great Depression hit in the 1920 and shut them down. Luckily this recipe and the namesake candies survived.

More Great Candy Recipes

If you are looking for more homemade candy recipes, you are in the right place. There are so many tasty chocolaty treats you can make for the holidays or just because.

One of our all time favorite candies to make are homemade buckeye candies. Just a bit of the creamy peanut butter centers peek through the chocolate coating so you know something tasty is waiting for you.

Looking down on plates of martha washington candies with one broken open showing creamy center.

Or make strawberry buttercream truffles. A scoop of firm fruit flavored buttercream sits hidden in a chocolate coating for an super tasty and easy homemade treat.

If fudge is more your style, 3 ingredient peanut butter fudge is always a hit. Or two toned layered fudge is another show stopper.

Check out my full collection of candy and fudge recipes for more inspiration.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Plate of chocolate dipped martha washington candies with white chocolate drizzled on top.

Martha Washington Candies

Servings: 48 Coconut Cherry Bonbons
Author: Carlee
One bite of a homemade Martha Washington candy and you will be transported to your grandma's kitchen or an old timey candy store. These easy candies are a classic for good reason, they are really tasty. But the best part is they are easy to make at home.
4.93 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • About 20 maraschino cherries
  • 1 pound melting chocolate
  • 1 cup white candy melts

Instructions
 

  • Chop the maraschino cherries relatively finely and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
    About 20 maraschino cherries
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together the butter, powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until combined.
    1 cup salted butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Stir in the coconut, pecans and cherries.
    3 cups sweetened shredded coconut, 2 cups chopped pecans
  • Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  • Using a 1 tablespoon scoop, scoop out the candy and roll into a ball and place on a parchment lined tray.
  • Once all the candy is scooped and rolled out into balls, place the tray in the fridge for 2 hours (up to overnight).
  • Next melt your melting chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. 
    1 pound melting chocolate
  • Dip the balls in melted chocolate tapping off the excess chocolate and place back onto the parchment paper.  
  • Melt the white candy melts in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted and smooth. 
    1 cup white candy melts
  • Drizzle the white chocolate on top of the candies.
  • Allow to set completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

If you are in a hurry, you can put the balls of filling in the freezer for 30 minutes instead of chilling them in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
You can make the centers ahead of time and freeze to dip later.

Nutrition

Serving: 1candyCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 69mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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