Martha Washington Candies have a creamy coconut and pecan center with chopped cherries throughout. These bite-sized, chocolate coated balls are similar to a coconut truffles with a slightly creamier center. Perfect for Christmas, or Valentine’s Day gifting, or seasonal treats, these will make your friends and family smile.
Why I Love these Candies
I especially love these decadent candies because they are so creamy and flavorful. Some of my favorite candy combos are chocolate, coconut, and cherry so these just really make my taste buds happy. While they are quite a bit of work to make, this recipe produces enough to bring to my holiday party and gift to friends and family. Simply add the candies to cupcake wrappers and place them in little ribbon tied cellophane bags, or gifting tins.
What are Martha Washington Candies?
Martha Washington Candies are a delicious chocolate treats with decadent fillings that dates back to the 18th century. The recipe is said to have been first given to Martha by her mother-in-law, George Washington’s mother Martha Dandridge Custis. This recipe was passed down through generations of the family and has many flavor variations.
How to Make Martha Washington Candies
Gather all your ingredients so they are ready to make these candies.
Mix the melted butter, extract, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut until creamy.
Fold in nuts and cherries.
Form 2 tablespoon-sized balls with the mixture (chill for 30 minutes if it is too sticky). Freeze the balls for one hour on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Once candy is firm melt candy wafers until creamy (see full instructions below).
Dip balls into the melted candy and shake off any excess chocolate. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to harden before adding the swizzle.
Add a swizzle of the opposite color to your candies (optional).
Recipes Tips & Tricks
Melt the chocolate you plan to dip the candies into first. The chocolate used for the drizzle will be melted after the candies are dipped and beginning to cure. You will need an additional half a cup of melts of each color depending on if you choose to add the swizzle.
How to Store these Candies
Store all leftovers in an airtight storage container. If you have a deep container with space for two layers, be sure to use parchment paper in-between each layer to prevent any sticking. These must be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, but can also be frozen for up to 3 months using a freezer-safe storage container.
More Giftable Candy Recipes
Looking for more tasty treats to make for your special occasion? Check out these other giftable treats below.
Martha Washington Candies
- large baking sheet
- parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons
- zippered bags (2)
- large mixing bowl
- small mixing bowls (2)
- two tablespoon sized cookie scooper
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), melted
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 14 ounces shredded sweetened coconut flakes
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 10 ounces maraschino cherries chopped and drained (blot with a paper towel until dried)
- 3 cups pecans chopped
- 12 ounces pink candy melts You will need an extra ½ cup if you choose to make the swizzle on each candy.
- 12 ounces chocolate candy melts You will need an extra ½ cup if you choose to make the swizzle on each candy.
- Add sugar, melted butter, extract, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut to a large bowl and combine with a spoon until all the mixture is wet.
- Fold in the cherries, and pecans.
- With gloved hands, form small 2 tablespoon-sized balls. The mixture will be slightly sticky, but still formable. If you have time, chilling the mixture for one hour can help ease the stickiness.
- Add the formed balls to a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all are formed, add the baking sheet to the freezer for one hour to chill these balls before dipping them in chocolate.
- Once the candies are firm, it is time to dip them in the candy melts. Add the chocolate or pink melts (do one kind at a time) to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and then microwave for 15-second intervals stirring in-between each until creamy.
- Using a fork and spoon, dip each candy into the melted chocolate and shake off any excess, Place each candy on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Swizzle the opposite color over each candy, or add a little extra pinch of shredded coconut. Once they are all done, place the baking sheet in the freezer to firm them up for 30 minutes.
- Store candies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.