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.
2 Cups Chopped Walnuts
1 1/4 Cups Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Dark Unsulphured Molasses
2 Teaspoons Instant Espresso
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Milk Chocolate Morsels
1 Cup White Chocolate Morsels
1/3 Cup Water
Preheat Oven to 350. Butter a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.
Bake walnuts in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Let cool 30 minutes.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in sugar, brown sugar, molasses, espresso, cinnamon, salt, and water.
Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 290 (soft crack stage), about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in walnuts.
Quickly pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Immediately sprinkle milk chocolate and white chocolate morsels over top and let stand 5 minutes.
Swirl chocolate using an off-set spatula.
Cover and chill until firm (about 1 hour).
Break toffee into pieces.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Makes about 2 pounds.
Best Toffee Ever!
Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, Inc.
This recipe has been around for years but no one ever made it. Several years ago I made it on a whim and served at the family Christmas party. Now it is requested by everyone. I even ship it to relatives in South Carolina each Christmas. It really is the best toffee I have had.