So I went to the internet to see if making Butterfingers at home was indeed possible. Most recipes I found used melted candy corn, which intrigued me, but the end result looked more akin to a Balance Bar than a Butterfinger. The main draw of the Butterfinger is the flakiness so I kept looking.
I finally settle on a recipe that looked promising. It requires you to bust out your candy thermometer, but it is worth it... your finished candies will have the Butterfinger texture we all know, love and used to hoard after trick-or-treating as a kid. Or was that just me?
I wanted my candy bars to look as much like the real deal as possible so I added a touch of orange food coloring to the molten sugar mixture. Corn syrup, sugar and water (and in my case food coloring) get boiled until they reach 310 degrees (F).
After your sugar reaches that temperature quickly mix in peanut butter and turn the candy out onto a well greased, foil-lined baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread the candy into an even layer on your baking sheet (I made mine pretty thin- for traditional Butterfingers spread candy to about 1/2" in thickness.) Once it is in an even layer, use a sharp, oiled knife to score the candy. This will make it easier to divide completely after it has cooled.
Once cooled, slice your candy bars and cover them any which way in chocolate. I added sea salt to the situation, but feel free to omit it.
Beautiful Butterfinger flakiness.
Some helpful hints: candy sets up quickly and has a short window of time that you can work with it. Make sure to measure/prepare all your ingredients and utensils before beginning the candy making process because you will have to work pretty fast. I found it helpful to warm the baking sheet slightly in the oven before pouring the hot candy onto it... this helps keep the candy spreadable for a little longer. Finally, make sure to watch your boiling sugar- it will take a while (20-30 minutes) to reach 310 degrees, however it can go from good to bad to burnt quickly.
Happy candy making!
Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars
adapted from http://spinningsugar.wordpress.com
makes about 2 dozen mini candy bars
1/3 c light corn syrup
1/3 c water
1 c sugar
2 drops orange food coloring (optional)
1 c creamy peanut butter
semi-sweet chocolate chips
coarse sea salt
- - -
1. In a medium sauce on low heat combine corn syrup and water until mixture is clear; add sugar and food coloring (if using) and increase heat to medium
2. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until all sugar dissolves and mixture reaches a full boil
3. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 310 degrees (F)... this will take a while. If sugar crystals begin to form on the sides of the pan, wipe them away with a damp pastry brush (make sure not to get the brush into the boiling liquid)
4. While sugar mixture is cooking, mist a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray and place in a warm oven to heat slightly... a warm (not hot) pan will give you a little more time to work with the candy before it begins to set up; also measure our your peanut butter because you will need to act quickly once the candy reaches its working temperature
5. Once candy reaches 310 degrees (F) remove from heat and, using a clean wooden spoon, quickly mix in peanut butter
6. Pour hot candy mixture onto your prepared pan and use a spatula to spread to desired thickness (I made mine on the thinner side so that they would set up quickly)
7. Mist a chef's knife with cooking spray to prevent candy from sticking to it and score the candy into bars (about 1" by 2",) making sure to only cut about halfway through the mass (this will make cutting and dividing your candy easy once it sets up)
8. Allow mixture to cool for about 2 hours
9. Once cooled, complete the cutting of your candy bars with a sharp knife
10. Line a baking sheet or cutting board with parchment paper
11. Now its time to dip your candy bars: melt chocolate over a double broiler and dip/stripe candy bars; place freshly dipped bars onto the lined baking sheet; sprinkle with sea salt if desired
12. Chill candy bars until chocolate sets up (about 10 minutes) before enjoying