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.
Best Ever Caramels
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar – packed
1 cup Kayro light corn syrup
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup butter (NOT MARGARINE)
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
Butter the bottom and sides of an 8x8x2 glass pan. Set aside.
In a heavy pan, I use an old pressure cooker pan – combine all ingredients (EXCEPT) vanilla; stir well.
Cook slowly; stirring occasionally. Continue until candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees, firm ball stage.
Remove from heat, carefully add vanilla and stir well. Pour into buttered pan.
Cool completely, uncovered.
When firm, cut into squares to desired size. Wrap each square in waxed paper, twisting ends to keep caramels fresh. Best if stored in air tight container.
**If desired, add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans with the vanilla
Menard Electric Cooperative
The recipe has been a favorite in our family for over 35 years. A dear friend shared this recipe with me that her Grandmother always made for her family and friends. One taste and I knew it would be a go to recipe for years to come. These caramels will melt in your mouth and anyone fortunate enough to receive these as a gift will hope that they will always be remembered when you make another batch for sharing!