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

No-fail Carmels


1 cup butter (2 sticks, I use salted butter)
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract


Over medium heat, in a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, stir well. Add the corn syrup, stir well. Pour the sweetened condensed milk in slowly. Product will start bubbling, attach candy thermometer, keep stirring until thermometer reads 245°
Take off the stove, stir in vanilla, & pour into a butter greased 9×13 pan.
You can cool in the fridge, makes cutting a little smoother. Cut wax paper rectangles, and I cut my caramels one row at a time, using a heavy, solid metal spatula. Wrap each caramel square individually.
These store great in a gallon zip lock freezer bag, and placed in freezer. You can make ahead, pull them out to add to a Christmas cookie platter.

Sherri Tammen
Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative

My mother in law has made these for our family every Christmas for 20 years. After I asked her for the recipe, I find them so easy to make, and my friends, family & co-workers all rave over them! I usually make them from Halloween through Valentines Day.