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.
Aunt Leah’s No Bake Cookies
2 Cups Sugar
¼ Cup Cocoa Powder (Hershey’s Cocoa Powder)
½ Cup Whole Milk
½ Cup Butter (Land O Lakes)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla (Premium McCormick Vanilla)
¾ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter)
DON’T WORRY IF YOU OVER FILL ON THE PEANUT BUTTER, IT’S DELICIOUS IN THE COOKIES!
3 Cups Oats (100% Whole Grain Old Fashioned Quaker Oats)
DO NOT OVER FILL YOUR CUPS, YOU DON’T WANT EXTRA OATS IN THE COOKIES! IT MAKES THEM DRY!
Mix sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in a large round pan (Do not use a small saucepan). Stir CONSTANTLY over medium-low heat. Bring it to a light boil and do not burn. Make sure to constantly stir. When you first start, you will hear the “scraping” of the sugar on the pan. You will know you have a nice mix going when you no longer hear that scraping sound. You want all of the sugar to be dissolved. Once your mix has come to a slight boil and the sugar is completely dissolved, remove the pan from hot burner and place on a cool burner. Let mixture cool for one minute. Add vanilla and peanut butter and stir until peanut butter is mixed (Don’t whip or over mix the peanut butter). Add oats in 1 cup at a time and mix between each cup. Once your cookie mixture is mixed well, drop spoonful’s on wax paper. Desired size is about 2 ½ inches around. Let cool completely before removing from wax paper. Enjoy!
Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative
This a twist on the classic no bake cookie recipe! No extra salt added. I use real butter instead of margarine. Whole milk instead of low fat. Extra vanilla and peanut butter, and old fashioned oats instead of quick 1-minute oats. Plus, the complete mixing and dissolving of the sugar. These differences make a HUGE impact on the flavor and texture of the cookie. My friends and family were not fans of no bake cookies…UNTIL THEY TASTED AUNT LEAH’S NO BAKE COOKIES! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!