This is a real thing. A decadent, over the top, real thing.
Seriously, homemade snickers. I found this recipe on the beautiful Not Without Salt. Creamy peanut butter nougat. Salted peanut caramel. Chilled and cut into little squares, dipped in dark chocolate. Elevated snickers. I love making things at home that people don’t realize can actually be made at home. It’s fun to play around with these kind of recipes, like homemade marshmallows or egg nog, too. These little candies kind of made my last two weeks. I made a few batches and kept them with me as I went out: running errands, going to work, visiting with friends and family…here, have some homemade snickers. I felt a bit like Santa.
There are a few steps involved in making these, but the candies come together really nicely, leaving you with plenty of little treats to give to family and friends.
Okay, so there is corn syrup in these, but it’s not high fructose. I’d like to play around with using agave or another sweetener in its place, but for now, I needed the recipe to be reliable to crank a bunch of them out. David Lebovitz has a super helpful post on his blog about why corn syrup is called for in certain recipes, and when it’s appropriate to substitute something else. There are some organic corn syrups out there that are GMO-free; Wholesome Sweeteners is one. I think since this is just a every-once-in-a-while treat, a little corn syrup to make homemade candy is fine. That being said, for a less guilty version, you may want to look for a creamy peanut butter without corn syrup or hydrogenated oils added. If you go for a natural creamy peanut butter, be sure to mix it well.
Thanks to Not Without Salt for letting me share her recipe!
Yields about 3 dozen, depending on the size you choose
Make sure you have an accurate candy thermometer, as you’ll need an accurate thermometer for both the nougat and the caramel.
- 3/4 cup / 160 g sugar
- 1/4 cup / 75 g light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons / 40 g honey
- 1/4 cup / water
- 1 large egg white
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup / 130 g smooth peanut butter
- 8 oz/ 1 cup / 228 g sugar
- 6 oz/ 1/2 cup / 170 g Lyle’s Golden Syrup*
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 oz/ 3/4 cup / 170 g heavy cream
- 2 oz/ 4 tablespoons / 57 g butter, soft
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed**
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 2 cups roasted and salted peanuts***
*I couldn’t find Golden Syrup, but corn syrup also works in its place.
**1 vanilla bean = 2 teaspoons of extract. If you choose to use extract rather than vanilla bean, use 1 teaspoon extract.
***All of the salted peanuts I found at the supermarket had strange chemicals and hydrogenated oils added to them. I chose to use unsalted peanuts since nothing was added to them, and added a bit more salt to my recipe.
- 1 1/2 pounds chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate, but milk chocolate works just as well.
- 1 tablespoon oil: coconut oil, butter, etc.
If you feel comfortable with the timing of it, you may want to get both the peanut nougat and the caramel started at the same time. The caramel takes a bit to get going, but you do need to watch it, but it saves a nice amount of time to work on both at once.
Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan then line it with parchment paper so that a few inches are left hanging over the side. Set aside.
In a saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, honey and water. Stir gently then wash down the sides of the pan with water. (Basically, you don’t want any sugar crystals to be left on the sides of the pan, so just pour a minimal amount of water down the sides to wash any remaining sugar off, after you add the 1/4 cup of water that’s called for in the recipe. If there are sugar crystals remaining on the sides, it could cause the nougat to crystallize.) Cover the pot with a lid and set over medium high heat. Remove the lid after 5 minutes then continue to cook until the sugar reaches 275 degrees F.
While the sugar syrup is boiling, place the egg white in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Start the machine on low, add the salt and beat until nice and frothy. Bring the speed up to medium and beat until stiff peaks form.
Once the syrup reaches 275 degrees F, drizzle the syrup down the side of the stand mixer while it is running. Try to avoid pouring the syrup over the whisk so the hot syrup doesn’t splatter. Continue to beat the nougat until it cools slightly and starts to pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This entire process should take 3-4 minutes.
Butter a spatula then stir in the the creamy peanut butter until well mixed. Add the nougat to the prepared baking sheet with parchment, spreading evenly with the buttered spatula. Seriously, it makes all the difference to butter the spatula — I forgot to do it the second time around, and it makes it so much easier.
Set aside and let stand while you prepare the caramel.
Combine the sugar, golden syrup (or corn syrup) and water in a large saucepan. Stir gently to combine then wash off the sides of the pan using water and your clean hands to feel if any sugar remains on the side. Like with the nougat, if stray bits of sugar fall into the caramel it can cause the caramel to crystallize so you’ll want to make sure all the sugar is in the bottom of the pan mixed with the water.
Place the lid on the pan and put over high heat. Having the lid on during the first few minutes of boiling creates condensation that further helps to wash away any sugar that may be left on the sides of the pan. After 5 minutes remove the lid and let the caramel continue to boil until it reaches 300 degrees F. If some of the caramel starts to color you can gently swirl the pot to combine.
Add the cream, butter and vanilla seeds once it has reached 300 degrees F and then continue to cook until the caramel reaches 248 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Pour the caramel over the nougat. Sprinkle some kosher salt on top — you really won’t want to skip this step — to give them caramel a rich, balanced flavor. Without the extra salt, the snickers are still incredibly delicious, but the salt balances out all the sweetness perfectly. Let the caramel sit at room temperature for 40 minutes then refrigerated until completely firm, about 30 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or using a bain marie on the stove. Stir in the oil.
Cut the candy bar into 1 inch squares and dip into the melted chocolate. (If the caramel is too gooey, worry not. It will still be insanely tasty, but you may have a hard time dipping the squares into the chocolate. If this happens, you can roll the squares into balls and then dip them in the chocolate. Just as good!)
Set aside on a sheet tray lined with parchment. Place the candy bars in the refrigerator to set up.
These candy bars will keep for three weeks in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer. Good luck in holding on to them that long!