Culinary Culinary & Culture

Culinary Chatter – Homemade Heavenly Hash Candy

Carola Lillie Hartley

As the weather begins to get cooler I think about the approaching holidays. And that makes me feel like making candy. Cooler weather is the best time to make homemade candy. And one of my favorite candy recipes is called Heavenly Hash. This is a very old recipe that I got years ago and have been using since that time.

But before we get to the candy making, let’s talk about the name Heavenly Hash. Where did that name come from? Growing up in Louisiana, many of us will remember the name from our childhood, and into the present day. A favorite Easter candy, the Heavenly Hash Eggs were sold during that holiday season.

The Elmer Candy Company of Louisiana makes those heavenly eggs even today. According to their website, the company was founded in 1855 as the Miller Candy Corporation by Christopher Henry Miller. When his son-in-law Augustus Elmer joined him, the company’s name was changed to Elmer-Miller at the turn of the 20th century, and in 1914 it became known as Elmer Candy Corporation. The Roy Nelson family purchased the company from the Elmer family in 1963, and that family operates the company today in Ponchatoula, LA. Elmer’s introduced their famous Heavenly Hash Egg in 1923. However, they did not create that name.

An article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune published in 1922 explains where and when the name originated. According to the article, one day in early 1921 S. J. Wilson was in the A. G. Williams Home-made Candy Company store in New Orleans when a large tray full of a popular confection made from milk chocolate, marshmallows and assorted nuts were laid on the counter. He asked what it was called, and the name “heavenly hash” was laughingly suggested. It made such an impression on him that he had the name registered immediately and started an advertising campaign. He bought the candy business from the Williams family, and with his promotion ability, the name soon became nationally known. He also renamed the company Heavenly Hash, Inc. The Elmer Candy Company acquired the Heavenly Hash recipe in 1923, and received the assets of the Heavenly Hash, Inc. company in June of 1927. And the rest is history.

So now you know where the name comes from. But let me also make sure you know the Heavenly Hash candy I make today is not that Elmer Company recipe. It is a different recipe I received from one of my mother’s friends many, many years ago. You can also find several other recipes for what is called Heavenly Hash Candy, and even Heavenly Hash Ice Cream on the Internet.  But for those who are interested, here is the recipe I use to make my home-made Heavenly Hash.

            2 Large 7oz. Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars

            2 Baker’s 4oz. Unsweetened Chocolate Bars (want candy sweeter, use Semi-sweet Baker’s Chocolate Bars)

            1 12oz. Package Large Marshmallows, cut in half

            About ½ cup miniature marshmallows

            2 cups chopped pecans

            A few pecan halves to use on top

In top of a double boiler pan carefully melt one Hershey Bar and one Baker’s Bar. Melt only do not cook. Remove from heat and add one cup pecans. Pour ¾ of mixture into a greased pan, leaving ¼ of chocolate in double-boiler. Dip marshmallows in remaining chocolate and evenly place them over the thin layer of chocolate in the greased pan. Sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over the larger marshmallows.

Melt the other two chocolate bars and add the remaining cup of pecans. Pour on top of marshmallows and spread evenly. Decorate with pecan halves. Let cool. This takes a long time to set and harden so placing in a cool place helps. But do not put in the refrigerator. When completely hardened, cut into squares and serve.  Enjoy!

I’ve shared my recipe in this Culinary Chatter column, and now I’d like to hear from you. To share your heritage recipes, or just one of today’s favorites, contact me at Carola@StLandryThenAndNow.com  And, keep on cooking!