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Healthier Homemade Butterfingers

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Hello friends! I just about flipped out when I found this recipe from Detoxinista . Her recipes are to die for! Now this recipe was quite a new thing for me. I have never truly attempted to make candy. If you haven’t either I STRONGLY encourage you to read through EVERYTHING before you start. I am reblogging this straight from Detoxinista and then adding in my experience. :)
I must state that these are not sugar free or super healthy! They are still candy and should be eaten in moderation. BUT they are much healthier than a normal candy bar!

Healthier Homemade Butterfingers photo
makes about 20 bars, depending on size

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup, or honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (to prevent crystallization)
  • 1 cup unsalted natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy) (I used crunchy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 cups dark chocolate chips, as desired for coating
  • butter or coconut oil, for greasing the saucepan

Instructions

  1. Pour the maple syrup or honey into a small saucepan, and stir in the cream of tartar until dissolved. This is the ONLY time you will stir this mixture!
  2. Attach the candy thermometer to the saucepan, making sure that the stem of the thermometer is not touching the metal sides, or bottom, of the pot. Ideally, the tip should be submerged in 2-inches of syrup, for the most accurate results. (See notes below)
  3. To prevent the maple syrup from boiling over, use your finger to spread of bit of butter or coconut oil around the inner rim of the saucepan. This really does help!! 
  4. Bring the maple syrup or honey to a boil, over low-medium heat, and allow to heat up to 300F. This may take longer than you expect– close to 10 minutes of boiling!         NOTE: I doubled this recipe and ended up standing in my kitchen for an hour waiting for it to come to temperature…IF you are doubling it don’t be afraid to SLOWLY increase the temperature. I ended up with my stove top on high for about 3-5 minutes. You MUST watch the temperature closely though! Mine reached 300 pretty fast after I begun raising the temperature. 
  5. While the mixture is boiling, measure out the cup of natural peanut butter and salt. You’ll want these two ingredients ready to go when the maple syrup is ready, because things will move quickly once the boiling is done! You’ll also want to line a baking sheet with parchment paper, so it’s ready when the time comes.
  6. When the maple syrup has reached 300F, remove the pan from the heat immediately! It will burn quickly after that, so be sure to watch closely!
  7. Quickly mix in the peanut butter and salt, stirring as fast as possible. The mixture will become difficult to stir as it cools. NOTE: I mixed my peanut butter straight into the saucepan when I removed it from the hot eye. The syrup WILL cool quickly. It was quite a workout trying to stir it all until combined. Move quickly!
  8. Transfer the peanut butter mixture to the parchment-lined baking sheet, and press it into a relatively flat sheet, according to desired thickness.
  9. Use an oiled-knife to score the bars, as it’s easier to cut into them while the mixture is still a bit warm. Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to cool completely. NOTE: MUST BE DONE BEFORE Cooling! Mine hardened REALLY quickly.
  10. For the chocolate coating, melt 1-2 cups of dark chocolate chunks, by placing them in an oven-safe bowl at 350F, stirring after 5 minutes until melted completely. (A microwave works, too!)
  11. Coat both sides and edges of each bar with melted chocolate, and place them on parchment paper to set. For best texture, place the coated bars in the freezer for at least an hour before serving.
  12. These bars are most crunchy when served directly from the freezer, but they are delicious at room temperature, too– just a little softer

Notes:

Because candy-making has a bit of a learning-curve, here are some helpful notes that may prevent any disasters during the process.

  • Once you have a candy thermometer, be sure to test it! (This would have also prevented a couple batches of scorched maple syrup on my end.)

You can test your thermometer by placing it in a pot filled with at least 2 inches of water, and bringing it to a boil. Boiling water should read about 212-degrees Farenheit. If your thermometer is off, adjust accordingly!

  • To prevent the maple syrup or honey from boiling-over, swipe a small amount of butter or coconut oil along in the inner rim of the saucepan. (I don’t know why this works, but it does! Otherwise, there’s a good chance it will boil over…)
  • The thermometer’s temperature-reading will vary, based on the level of liquid in the saucepan. My smallest 1 1/2 quart sauce pan is too wide to have the liquid level cover enough of the thermometer’s tip, and as a result, I didn’t get an accurate reading. I ended up compensating for this measurement by figuring out how many degrees “off” my thermometer was with such a low level of liquid. (To do this: Boil exactly 1 cup of water, and see what the thermometer reading is. For mine, it only reached 180F, but I know the boiling point for water is actually 212F. So, there was a 32-degree difference, which I accounted for by only boiling my maple syrup to 268F, which would be the equivalent of 300F. Math is fun, huh?) You could also make life easier by simply doubling the recipe–> 2 cups of maple syrup will more than cover the thermometer, and will result in a more accurate reading. You’ll also have LOTS of leftovers!

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