Chewy, delicious Christmas Gumdrop Nougats are a fantastic and easy no-bake old-fashioned holiday treat. Easily flavored with peppermint or cinnamon, this super sweet and festive holiday candy is trendy in the latter part of the year.
The pretty red and green gumdrops are a welcome and colorful way to enjoy this classic candy.
Why you will love Gumdrop Candy
I may be aging myself, but this classic candy recipe is a perfect way to bring back your childhood. Likely you have tested many bits of gumdrop nougat candy at a grandparent’s house. It’s a traditional old fashioned candy that is creamy, sweet, and commonly found in the Christmas holidays.
While many people purchase candies from Branches (and those are great!), this recipe is a fun way to get some Christmas cheer going on in your kitchen without too much work.
- white chocolate chips
- mini marshmallows
- red and green gumdrops – These are Dots gumdrops, I bought 3, 6.5 oz boxes and sorted out all of the green and red. These are the “theater candy” boxes that are usually $1 at the store.
How to make Easy Christmas Gumdrop Nougats
Whip up a batch of handmade nougats, which are perfect not only to enjoy but pass to friends and family during the holiday season. This chewy candy makes lovely homemade gifts!
- Line an 8×8 baking pan (square baking dish) with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Set aside about ten red and ten green quartered gumdrops.
- Add butter, chocolate chips, and marshmallows to a large saucepan (stockpot is fine, must be large enough to accommodate marshmallows) and heat over medium-low heat, constantly stirring until the mixture is completely melted. Alternatively, a double boiler is acceptable to use. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for 2 minutes.
- Fold in colorful gumdrops.
- Spread mixture into a prepared pan. The mixture is sticky, so I place a sandwich bag greased with cooking spray on my hand and use that to press into the pan.
- Add reserved DOTS gumdrops to the top and gently press them into the candy.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator, remove from pan and discard the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut into 30 squares.
- Serve immediately in candy dishes or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
Other than traditional gumdrop nougat, there are other additives to make this candy recipe. Just be sure that anything added to nougat candy is in smaller pieces to prevent choking and easily chewed. I prefer items that show nougat between pieces and complement the spongy texture.
Additionally, be sure anything you choose can go well in the fridge or get extra hard once cold.
- Pretzels – crushed up pretzel pieces work well if you change from white chocolate to semi-sweet or milk chocolate nougats.
- Cookies – Oreo cookies are a fantastic option.
- Candy pieces – try a colorful candy option like M & M’s or Reeses Pieces.
- Nougats are traditionally a very sweet candy, so do not cut the pieces too big. This recipe should have atleast 30 pieces.
- As noted in the recipe, nougat candy needs time to set before it can be cut. This is a made in advance candy to enjoy. If you need recipes that can be made the day of, try holiday puppy chow, hot chocolate cocoa bombs, marshmallow fluff or Buckeye Balls.
- When cutting, spray the knife with a bit of nonstick cooking spray.
- Nougat squares are best cut OUT of the pan, so make sure the parchment paper is high enough up the sides of the baking dish that you can grab, lift and remove.
- Marshmallows, butter, and chocolate need to be melted on a medium-low. If you bring too much heat too soon, it can cause the chocolate to seize up. All chocolate needs a low and slow option with steady stirring. If you walk away from the pan, you risk the burn. A double boiler can work well if you are unfamiliar with melting chocolate.
What is a nougat candy?
A nougat candy is similar to fudge but has more sugar content. It’s also softer and chewier. You’ll find many different types of nougat candies at your local grocery stores.
They’re usually sold as bars or sticks. Some have nuts mixed in, while others don’t. There are even some flavored varieties available.
How to Make Peppermint Nougat
To get a sweet peppermint flavor (peppermint extract). Add in seasonal nougats with aromatic peppermint flavor profiles. We recommend dipping a toothpick into the peppermint oil and then the toothpick into the melted chocolate and stir.
This will give you a peppermint nougat candy that isn’t overpowered. Add as little or as much as you want.
Can peppermint pieces be added instead of gumdrops?
While I prefer the spongey texture of old-fashioned pieces of nougat candy, it’s OK to replace them with peppermint pieces for your sweet tooth.
Typically 1 cup of crushed peppermint candy or candy canes (make sure they are bite-sized pieces if you are crushing yourself or buy precut ground mints) to the same recipe.
How to store Homemade Nougat Candy:
Store pieces in an airtight container in the fridge.
Chilling prevents the candy from breaking down from humidity and keeps it firm. If you need to layer candy on top of another inside the container, make sure to add a piece of parchment paper in between, or the candy may stick.
Can dark chocolate or milk chocolate be used to be candy nougat?
- Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters
- Christmas Cream Cheese Mints
- Golden Oreo Truffle Balls
- Mummy Stuffed Mushrooms
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghosts
- Crock Pot Candied Pecans
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Christmas Nougat Candy with Gumdrops
- 2 tbsp butter
- 20 oz. white chocolate chips
- 24 oz. mini marshmallows
- 1.5 cups gum drops - quartered – DOTS work well.
- Set aside about 10 red and 10 green quartered gumdrops.
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In either a double boiler OR a large stock pan, add butter, chocolate chips and marshmallows and heat over low to medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is completely melted. This process can take about 10-12 minutes and must be done slowly and while stirring.
- Remove chocolate from stove heat and cool for 2 minutes.
- Fold 1 cup quartered gum drops into the mixture with a spatula.
- Spread mixture into a prepared pan. The marshmallow is sticky, so I place a sandwich bag greased with cooking spray on my hand and use that to press candy into the pan (see article for image example).
- Add 1/2 cup reserved gumdrops to the top of the nougat and gently press into the surface of the candy.
- Refrigerate Christmas Nougat overnight to set. Remove from refrigerator, remove from pan and discard the parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to cut into 30 squares. Serve gumdrp candy immediately or refrigerate, covered until ready to serve.