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



12 oz pecans (3 cups)
1 package ( 12oz) Hershey’s milk chocolate pieces
2 cups light cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


12 oz pecans (3 cups) 1 package 12oz Hershey’s milk chocolate pieces
1 recipe creamy caramel mixture

Arrange groups of 4 pecan pieces on buttered cookie sheet. Spoon about 1 teaspoon caramel mixture in center of each group of nuts, half covering each nut to resemble turtles. Let stand about 10 minutes. Met chocolate and spread some on each turtlette. Let stand until set, then wrap in plastic. Makes about 4 dozen.

Creamy Caramel mixture

2 cups light cream 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar 1/3 cup butter
1 cup light corn syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat cream to lukewarm in large heavy saucepan. Pour out 1 cup and reserve. Add sugar, corn syrup, and salt to cream in saucepan. Cook, stirring until mixture boils. Add reserved cream very slowly so mixture does not stop boiling. Cook 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in butter, about 1 teaspoon at a time. Reduce heat and cook stirring almost constantly, until a small amount of mixture forms a firm ball when dropped in very cold water (248 F) on candy thermometer. Remove from heat and gently stir in vanilla and cool slightly.

Cheryl Sands
SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Inc.

You can’t stop eating them! I put them in the freezer to prevent them from disappearing and discovered they tasted even better.