Mmmmm….remember Butterfinger chocolate bars? Perhaps you don’t even need to have a Proustian memory experience around it like I do (yes, I know, I’m letting my literary snobbery show. If it makes you feel any better though, I’m almost 100% certain that if Proust were still alive, he would most definitely not be flattered by my bastardization of his poetical sense memory imagery to swoon over something as commercial as Butterfingers. Although what do I know? I’m sure he had a few low class loves himself. Although maybe not of the food variety if you know what I’m saying? wink wink, nudge nudge 😉 . Ummm…can I still be sued for defamation of character at this point? He’s been dead for almost a century, so I like to hope that the statute of limitations has run out on that. Which means I can be as brazen and flamboyant about the rumours that I make up about him as I want right? RIGHT???? Possibly my next blog post will be written from a prison cell. Worth it). In fact perhaps you’re coincidentally eating one right this minute while you’re reading this post (wouldn’t that be spooky?!!! And kind of awesome. Please tell me this has happened to someone out there, it would totally make my day. In fact, feel free to go grab yourself a Butterfinger and then start re-reading this post. I’ll wait 😉 ).
Anywho, obviously you can see where this is going now right? Homemade Butterfingers!!! What’s not to love here? Crunchy, sweet, chocolaty, peanut buttery, bite size and portable, I’m really failing to see any downside to these whatsoever. Maybe I’m just on some kind of weird dipping things in chocolate kick though? What with the truffles last week, and these now, you’d almost think I had an overabundance of leftover chocolate to use up or something 😉 (’cause that’s a real tragedy right? Damn – I have to make more deliciously chocolatey things. Well, ok, I guess. *insert overly exaggerated sighing noise here*).
Full disclosure, I use to kind of dread candy making in general. Candy concoctions with all their exacting temperatures seemed to foil me at every turn. However, that’s partly because, in the words of that girl from Home Alone, I was “what the French call les incompetent” (also here’s a couple of awesome memes from that scene for your (but mostly my) enjoyment:
Who does’t love a good Home Alone reference? (’cause speaking of memories/ nostalgia, that totally takes me back)). Well, I suppose it was’t so much incompetence as it was sheer laziness. Buy a candy or food thermometer? Screw you temperature regulator industry! I don’t need any of your fancy gadgetry to tell me when candy has reached the “soft ball” or “hard ball” stage. That’s why those descriptors were created, so that I could completely circumvent your attempts to make me spend money on an unnecessary product. Haha! Well….the joke was really on me. Those thermometers are really not that expensive, and they have a) made candy making much easier an b) made it much more enjoyable to do. Beneficial side note for me and everyone else who gets to partake in my baked gooderies? More candy. Now that’s a reason you can-dy-light in purchasing one for yourself 😉 (oh good lord that was horrendous. Pun school is now forcing me to sit in the corner with a dunce cap. And trust me, those people are hard to displease, so that’s some true punishment right there).
In the interest of honesty, I super loved these and thought they were perfect. Kevin on the other hand said they were really good, but that they weren’t sweet enough to be like actual Butterfingers. If you like your desserts on the even sweeter side, you can do a couple of things to make these sweeter (and, according to my sources/ taste testing panel, more “authentic”). Use the sugary peanut butter instead of all-natural, which is what I typically tend to use, and you could also substitute the maple syrup and/or honey with corn syrup, or agave maybe? (i.e. any liquid sweetener that’s super sweet).
Now there’s no need to butter me up to get your hands on some of these, I’ve now given you the tools so that you can get out there and make a big ol’ batch for youself 😉 .
Yield: 16 small bites
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup honey (or just use all maple syrup)
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped peanuts
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped corn flakes or brand flakes cereal
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Combine the maple syrup and honey in a small saucepan, and stir in the cream of tartar until dissolved. From this point on, no more stirring is required (no matter how much you might want to, resist the temptation).
- Bring mixture to a boil, over medium-low heat, and allow to heat up to 300F. Use a candy thermometer to check it every few minutes. It does take a little while though, so no need to panic if it’s taking longer than you expect.
- While the mixture is boiling, in a small bowl, combine your peanut butter, sea salt, chopped peanuts and chopped cereal so it’s ready to go once your sugar mixture is ready (it’ll firm up pretty quickly once it’s off the heat, so you want to do the final steps quickly-ish).
- Line a baking sheet with silpat or wax paper, so it’s also ready when the time comes.
- Once your maple syrup-honey mixture reaches 300F, remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir your peanut butter mixture into the pan, stirring as quickly as possible.
- Transfer the candy to your lined baking sheet, and press it into a flatish square, size dependent on however thick you’d like them to be.
- I HIGHLY recommend lightly greasing a sharp knife and scoring and/or cutting them at this point while it’s still warm (you can cut it after it’s hardened too, but it might not cut as nicely, and you’ll likely need to put a little more elbow grease into it). I cut mine into 16 1.5″ pieces, but make them any size you like.
- Place the pan in the freezer to cool completely (I left it for about a half hour).
- For the chocolate coating, place your chocolate chips in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for about a minute, then stir until chocolate is smoothly melted (or feel free to do this on the stovetop in a double boiler).
- Remove your candy from the freezer and dip each square in your chocolate and sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired, then return to your baking sheet and freeze or refrigerate until set.