1 tablespoon corn syrup

3 tablespoons water

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, divided

1 6-ounce package chocolate chips

Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and corn syrup until smooth. Heat to 290 F., using a candy thermometer.

When the temperature has been reached, stir in 1 cup of the walnuts, and cook for three more minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into the prepared pan, and allow to cool. When the toffee is cooled, remove from the pan, and place onto waxed paper. Melt chocolate chips in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until smooth.

Spread half of the melted chocolate onto one side of the toffee slab, and sprinkle with half of the remaining nuts. Allow to cool until set, then repeat on the other side of the toffee. Break into bite size pieces when set. Yield: 1 1/2 pounds.

Holiday Hash

Combine in a big bowl:

3 cups Rice Chex

3 cups Corn Chex

3 cups Cheerios

2 cups small pretzels

2 cups salted peanuts

1 bag (12 oz.) plain M&Ms

1 bag (12 oz.) peanut M&Ms

2 12-ounce bags white chocolate chips

Melt chips according to the package instructions. Be careful to not overcook as these chips burn quickly. Pour the melted white chocolate over the mixture and with a strong long-handled wooden spoon toss well to coat.

Spread the hash out on waxed paper and let set until the chocolate hardens. Store in an airtight container or pour into gift bags. Using red and green M&Ms gives a very festive looking result.

Traditional Holiday Fudge

Combine in a large mixing bowl and set aside:

1 cup (6 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Combine in a large saucepan:

12 large marshmallows (no minis, no marshmallow cream)

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup evaporated milk

Bring ingredients in the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat then turn down to medium so it continues to boil actively, stirring constantly. Once the marshmallows melt, continue boiling and stirring for exactly 6 minutes (time this carefully) and remove from stove.

Immediately pour this hot mixture over ingredients in the bowl. Stir to combine and then beat by hand for exactly 20 minutes (you may do this on Low with an electric mixer) or until you cannot stir it any longer because it is so thick. Pour into a lightly buttered 8-inch square glass dish. (Hint: Also spray with non-stick baking spray to make sure it comes out easily.) Sprinkle a few ground nuts on top (optional) and refrigerate to harden. Wait for several hours, then cut into squares.

Note: Measurements, cooking and beating times must be exact. No "fudging" allowed or this won’t turn out. But if you follow the directions exactly, you will have excellent results.

World’s Best Hot Chocolate Mix

1 8-quart box Carnation instant dry milk

1 22-oz. jar Cremora coffee creamer

1 1-lb box powdered sugar (any brand)

1 14.5-oz. box Hershey’s Instant Chocolate Drink Mix (not cocoa)