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

Sugarplum Christmas Candy


1/2 cup pitted dates (coarsely chopped)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup prunes (finely chopped)
1/4 cup toasted skinned hazelnuts (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons cherry preserves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar


Place the chopped dates, walnuts, cranberries, prunes, and hazelnuts in a food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times. Add the cherry preserves, cinnamon, and cloves and pulse several more times until the mixture begins to come together. It should hold itself in a ball when you squeeze it between your fingers. You want to retain some of the coarse texture. Do not over process it into a sticky paste.
Roll the candy into 1 inch balls, then roll the balls in the granulated sugar until they are fully covered with sugar.
Store the finished sugarplums in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper until you are ready to serve them. Sugarplums can be kept refrigerated for up to one month.
Makes about 24 servings.

Carla Mueting
Corn Belt Energy Corporation

As a parent and former teacher, I have attended The Nutcracker Ballet and listened to its music a number of times. This recipe can be used to start a fun tradition of eating sugarplum candy afterwards.