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.
Butter (salted) 1 cup
Brown sugar 2 cups
Light corn syrup 1 cup
Sweetened condensed milk 1 can (14 ounces)
Salt 1/8 teaspoon
Vanilla 1 teaspoon
Prepare a square 9 inch baking dish by lining it with foil and buttering the foil so that the caramel will not stick. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan combine all the ingredients except the vanilla and cook stirring constantly over low heat until the mixture reaches 243 degrees. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into the prepared pan and cool completely. Flip onto a cutting board and peel back the foil. Cut into small squares. (You can also dip the caramels into melted chocolate almond bark for chocolate covered caramels.
Jill Lynn Cassady
McDonough Power Cooperative
This recipe has been in our family for at least 20 years. I have been making caramels for friends and family as gifts for as long as I can remember. My ex-husbands co-workers were so disappointed when we got divorced because they still wanted my caramels at Christmas time! HA!
This recipe is also great as a caramel topping for ice cream or for a drizzle on apple crisp. Just cook it until it reaches around 230 for a caramel sauce.