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

Dad’s Fondant


5 c. sugar
1 c. whole milk
1 c. heavy cream
4 T. butter or margarine
½ t. cream of tartar
1 t. flavoring (orange, maple, vanilla, coconut etc.)
* For a great cherry flavor, use finely chopped maraschino cherries and a little of their juice
* Oil flavorings can be used in place of extract but are much stronger



1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except flavoring.
2. Stir until sugar is moistened. Place over high heat.
3. Bring to a boil, then gradually lower a candy thermometer into the mix. Do not stir anytime after sugar is dissolved.
4. Cook to 236°.
5. Carefully pour onto a slab (marble, or any other hard non-porous surface) and cool until “lukewarm.” Do not scrape pan after pouring onto slab.
6. Work with spatula until fondant creams, then knead with hands until very smooth. Add flavoring and/or food coloring at this point if desired. (A good rule of thumb is 1-2 drops of flavor/color per ½ cup of fondant)
7. Form into a ball and let rest until cooled completely.
8. Form into ¾” balls and dip in melted chocolate (use white chocolate for mint or lime).

The dipped fondants can be kept in a freezer up to 3 months. This recipe will make approximately 125 pieces.

Joanna Quinley
Corn Belt Energy Corporation

My dad has always been an avid baker at Christmastime (last year he made 600 dozen cookies!). He bakes all month and gives away all of the goodies. Family and friends come to help each year and everyone looks forward to helping. His only rule for helping is “if you break the cookie, you have to eat it”.
He wanted to add candy to his list of goodies and this fondant recipe has been perfected over time. Its been a long tradition in our household and now his grandkids are old enough to help. It is our favorite time of the year.