How sweet it is!

Christmas candy contest results

Homemade candy has been a holiday tradition for hundreds of years. Readers submitted almost 300 candy entries of their family holiday favorites, making it a difficult decision narrowing down entries.

Ultimately, winners emerged as judges sampled from 14 different selections including a variety of caramels, fudge, toffee, hard candies and chewy favorites.

First place went to the winning combination of toasted nuts, toffee and chocolate in Linda Pittman’s Triple Nut Toffee. The Honey Caramels, submitted by Jerry Daugherty, were a close second place for their smooth luscious texture and Carol Walk’s Snickers Fudge placed third for its chocolate, peanut, caramel combo that tastes just like its namesake.

The five honorable mentions are: Chocolate Amaretto Snowballs, submitted by Nancy H. Peterson; Rock Candy, submitted by Diane Sherman; Pecan Espresso Bark, submitted by Barbara Wiesen; Nougat, submitted by Mary H. Hammann; and Maple Bacon Fudge, submitted by Dorothy Billington.

1st place
Triple Nut Toffee
2nd Place
Honey Caramels
3rd Place
Snickers Fudge


View all submissions below. There will be something to entice the sweet tooth in every family.

Recipe submissions

Everyone’s Favorite Soft Caramels


1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/4 Cups white Karo Syrup
1 1/2 pints heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pecans


stir together sugar, syrup and 1/2 pint cream and cook to soft ball (234) stirring once or twice
Add 1/2 pint cream and and repeat above direction.
* Add 1/2 pint cream and cook to about 240. Remove from heat. (I remove from heat when mixture starts to separate when stirred.).
Stir in a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and nuts
Pour into a well buttered square cake pan, cool, cut and wrap with waxed paper squares.
* If hard caramels are preferred cook until close to hard ball.
Since candy thermometers vary it takes a little more attention on the first batch.

Sandra Hurrelbrink
Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative

My grandmother & mother made these from an 1847 cook book. When my mom made them my dad would pass them out to friends, neighbors and strangers. It became a pleasure and an honor to receive one of Granny Verna’s caramels. I have carried on the tradition and everyone seems to look forward to having one or more. I usually make the caramels in late fall or early winter and they make very nice Christmas gifts