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.
View all submissions below. There will be something to entice the sweet tooth in every family.
Easy Caramel Corn
1-8 oz bag hull-less popcorn (corn puffs)
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 full-size aluminum foil pan
Melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup on medium high heat. Boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add baking soda (this makes it foamy). Pour over hull-less popcorn and mix thoroughly. Place into foil pan and bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. When done baking, stir until cool (a few minutes) to prevent clumping. Store in a tightly sealed container. Enjoy! It’s very addictive!
Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative
I make a few batches in early winter and it’s perfect to bring to a last-minute get-together or have on hand for unexpected company! We call it “CRACK” because it is so addictive!!