Man Lab Kitchen: Homemade Halloween Candy

With Halloween just over a week, I thought we’d do something a bit different today. Have you ever tried making your own candy? I haven’t but thanks to some recipes that Bon Appetit has found, I might be willing to give it a try before Halloween. Giving it away probably isn’t a good idea but there’s nothing stopping you from eating it all yourself.

Homemade Twix

Cookie Layer Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup toffee chip

Cookie Layer Instructions

Melt butter and let cool to warm. Add in brown sugar and mix to combine. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add in flour and food to combine. Fold in toffee bits and combine. Pour mixture into pan and flatten top to a smooth finish.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Caramel Layer Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Caramel Layer Instructions

Place sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Dissolve any crystals forming on the side with a wet pastry brush.

Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to high.

At this point do not stir the mixture directly. Now and then, using the handle, give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute or so.

After 3-4 minutes the mixture will turn from light amber to medium amber. Add the butter and heavy cream and stir to combine. The mixture will bubble wildly. Whisk to combine (bubbles will subside upon cooling). Set aside to cool completely.

Chocolate Layer Ingredients

  • 6 oz. chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 5 tablespoon butter

Chocolate Layer Instructions

Place all ingredients in a heat proof bowl set over simmering water. Stir until melted.

Assembly Instructions

Pour cooled caramel on shortbread. Pour chocolate on top of caramel, using an offset spatula evenly spread chocolate layer to a smooth finish.

Transfer fully assembled bars to refrigerator to chill until chocolate has set.

Cut to desired size and serve.

Homemade Butterfinger

Ingredients

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine too)

Instructions

Butter an 8-inch square pan then set aside. In a small, microwave-safe bowl (or double boiler) combine the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Set aside.

In a clean medium saucepan combine the vanilla seeds (optional), sugar, corn syrup and water. Using clean hands combine those ingredients and remove any grains of sugar left on the sides of the pan with your fingers and a bit more water. You can use a pastry brush to wet down the sides of the pan if you prefer.

On medium-high heat cook the sugar until it reaches 290°, just under hard crack. While the sugar cooks, warm the peanut butter mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds. Keep warm. Once the sugar has reached 290° quickly add the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. The mixture thickens quickly so once combined immediately put the mixture in the buttered pan. Let cool for about 7 minutes on a wire rack.

While it is still warm carefully scatter your chocolate on top. Let it sit for a couple of minutes. Using an offset spatula spread the chocolate evening over the peanut butter candy. Place in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

Once the candy has set run a knife or the edge of an offset spatula around the edge of the pan then invert. The candy should pop out but if it doesn’t insert your knife into the corner and pry it up until it pops out.

Cut the candy into desired shapes.

Homemade Snickers

Base Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 ½ ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup puffed rice cereal

Base Instructions

Coat an 8″x8″x2″ metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Line with plastic wrap, pressing to smooth out any wrinkles.

Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan. Stir in peanut butter, then cereal.

Transfer to prepared pan. Press over bottom in an even layer. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Peanut Nougat Ingredients

  • 1 large egg white
  •  teaspoon plus ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ cup toasted salted peanuts, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Peanut Nougat Instructions

Line a baking sheet with parchment and coat with nonstick spray.

Place egg white in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until frothy. Add  teaspoon sugar; beat until peaks begin to form.

Bring honey to a boil in a small saucepan. With mixer running, gradually add honey to egg white. Set aside.

Stir ¾ cup sugar, corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat; boil until mixture reaches 275°, 5–7 minutes.

Return mixer with egg white to medium speed. Gradually add syrup to egg white, allowing it to drip down sides of bowl. Beat until glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes. Fold in peanuts and salt. Spread nougat over prepared sheet into an 8″ square (about ¼” thick). Let cool for 1 hour.

Invert nougat over base in pan; peel off parchment. Spread over base in even layer.

Milk Chocolate Bavarian Cream Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons whole milk, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 9 ounces milk chocolate, melted

Milk Chocolate Bavarian Cream Instructions

Place 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; let stand to soften, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring remaining 2 tablespoons milk and ¼ cup cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk yolks and sugar in a medium bowl; gradually whisk in hot cream mixture. Return to same pan. Stir over medium-low heat until thickened and a thermometer registers 175°, about 3 minutes. Add gelatin; whisk until dissolved.

Place melted chocolate in another medium bowl. Pour cream mixture through a strainer into chocolate. Whisk until smooth.

Beat remaining ¾ cup chilled cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture in 2 additions, folding just to blend between additions. Pour Bavarian cream over nougat, spreading in an even layer. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

Chocolate Coating Ingredients

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter

Chocolate Coating Instructions

Place chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted.

Assembly Instructions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Invert 8″ pan onto a work surface. Remove pan and peel off plastic. Turn over. Cut into 6 slices, then halve each slice crosswise. Transfer pieces to prepared baking sheet, base side down. Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate over tops and sides of bars. Freeze to set, 30 minutes.

Source:
Bon Appetit

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