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

Forget Your Diet Walnut Caramels


1 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. unsalted butter
2 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. light cream (half and half)
1 c. corn syrup
1 t. vanilla


1. Line an 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan with foil and butter the foil well.
2. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. In a heavy saucepan, melt 1 cup unsalted butter over low heat.
4. Add brown sugar, light cream and corn syrup; mix well.
5. Cook over medium-high heat stirring frequently until 248 degrees (firm ball stage).
6. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
7. Quickly pour over the nuts in the prepared pan.
8. When cooled and firm, use foil to lift the caramel out of the pan. Using a buttered knife, cut into squares and wrap in plastic.

Yvonne Larsen
Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. (NFP)

If you make the recipe, you will know why it is a family favorite. I made these caramels 25 years ago for cookie box gifts and family members still request them every year! Definitely a crowd pleaser.