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.
Triple Nut Toffee
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup cashew halves and pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Finely chop nuts. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with foil. Spread nuts in pan. Bake 6-10 minutes, stir occasionally until light brown. Pour into small bowl; set aside. Save foil-lined pan. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, cook brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and water over medium high heat, 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil 20-25 minutes, stirring almost constantly to 300 F on candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of the nuts; pour into foil-lined pan. and quickly spread to 1/4-inch thickness with rubber spatula. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand about 1 minute until chips are melted. Spread out chocolate and sprinkle with remaining nuts. Refrigerate about 30 minutes until chocolate is firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Spoon River Electric Cooperative
This seems really involved, but it’s not really. It is worth it and my family loves it and asks for it every year.