Great-Grandma Rose’s Wintergreen Candies

This recipe is part of the Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap.  Be sure to check out all of the recipes in the side bar!

I’ve written a lot about my great-grandmother, Marion Rose.  She lived until she was 99 1/2 years old, and passed away when I was in high school.  She was the perfect matriarch of my family, a wonderful cook who could be found taking a nice long walk around the farm, finding four-leaf clovers, building with blocks on the kitchen floor, reading, sewing, and she always had cookies in her fridge for her great-grandchildren (and the dogs, too). 

My favorite Grandma Rose recipe is her Wineberry Pie, but Wintergreen Candies are a close second.  We like to make them around Christmas time, and it is a production.  Here’s her recipe, with my notes written in, as most of Grandma’s cooking came from her head and we’ve had trouble replicating them.  The candies consist of a pale pink fondant with just the perfect hint of wintergreen flavoring, dipped in chocolate.


  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water (cold)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp wintergreen extract
  • 1-2 drops red food coloring

Combine all ingredients but wintergreen.  Put in a large pot and cook to 236°F.  Add wintergreen and food coloring.  Allow to cool, while stirring,  until soft enough to work with (this takes experience!).  Stir and work together, then roll into balls and dip in chocolate.

Dipping Chocolate for Candies

  • 5 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 inch square paraffin 

Put all together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (or double-boiler) to melt.  Stir together after melted thoroughly.  Dip candies and place on wax paper.

Some additional notes: You can make any flavor you want, using vanilla or other extract.  Don’t substitute peppermint for wintergreen, it’s just not the same.  I’m considering omitting the paraffin this year, since I’ve had problems getting little white dots of wax on the outside of the candy.  They’re still edible, just not as pretty.  Make small candies, as they’re very sweet and just a small taste is enough.


Filed under Food, Recipes

7 responses to “Great-Grandma Rose’s Wintergreen Candies

  1. Ab,
    This recipe is a wonderful memory of Grandma Rose at her best! Many have tried to replicate her wintergreen specialties, but no one can do it exactly! Dad and I may try again this year.

    Food culture is such a part of family history. What a wonderful gift it was one Christmas when one of your aunts and your grandmother shared copies of Grandma’s (handwritten) recipe treasury with all of us in special recipe books!

    Thanks for sharing with everyone!

  2. Rusheika

    Hi I just stumbled upon your site while I was looking for canning instructions for cranberry sauce… you have a great site! Thanks for sharing!

  3. How wonderful that you have these recipes to pass down. Sadly, neither of my grandmothers cooked or baked much but I treasure my mother’s recipes from my childhood. We plan to make gingerbread men tomorrow and some other cookies next week. I’ll post some time this week or next weekend.

  4. EJ

    Just found your site. It looks interesting.
    iI cook and bake a lot, but use butter to make dipping chocolate rather than paraffin (industrial pretroleum-based product).

  5. The farmer

    Ab, we should get together and try to perfect grandma’s recipe. I think we need the parafin to make the chocolate set. Old Yankees didn’t buy a product unless they really needed it. I ran into spotting when I substituted another form of wax.

  6. EJ

    Chocolate sets fine with butter. I’ve done it for years, in fact just yesterday. Maybe old Yankees are using cheaper wax than butter?

  7. EJ- Interesting point, but you don’t know the history. Living on a dairy farm, my great-grandmother would have found butter to be much cheaper and much more available than paraffin.

    Thinking about the chemistry, butter is a lipid which give a shiny appearance to the chocolate. Paraffin is something we call a wax but doesn’t meet the true definition of a biological wax (a lipid), due to the fact that it doesn’t contain oxygen. I would imagine that butter and paraffin would be used for different purposes, butter for the appearance and paraffin for a preservative. Then again, the chocolate we have nowadays has so many preservatives in it, the paraffin probably isn’t necessary.

    Either way, thanks for the tip on the butter.

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