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[personal profile] leanakin
Finally, the weather is cooperating for me to make candy!! It's been raining FOREVER. Today and yesterday, we have cool, dry weather. I've been aching for this. The time to make candy is right now.

I made 2 things: Butter Crunch, my mom's recipe, and peanut butter fudge, my dad's recipe.

Peanut Butter Fudge

1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup peanut butter (depending on your preference – I like to go heavy on the PB)

This one's rather easy: Use a heavy-ish 2qt saucepan. Combine all but peanut butter into pot, stir to combine, then boil over low heat until candy reaches soft-ball stage (115°C on candy thermometer). Stir very occasionally, because this mixture will "turn to sugar" ... which, if turning to sugar is an actual thing or just something my grandma used to say, idk. Don't stir it too much.
Then, remove from heat and add yer peanut butter. Stir until the candy begins to cool. Candy will stiffen as it cools. Pour immediately into buttered 9” pie pan or 8x8 square pan. While still warm but after the fudge is about halfway set, cut into pieces.

This won't be totally ready until tomorrow, but here it is now:

Butter Crunch

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp light karo syrup
6oz can Diamond brand roasted salted almonds, finely chopped
6-pack hershey bars

I'm breaking this down into steps because it's a finely tuned sequential process.

  1. Line a 9x13 baking sheet with foil, then butter the berjeezes out of the foil. This time, i softened mine in the microwave and used a silicone pastry brush to ensure i didn't miss any spots. This candy will stick like a mofo.

  2. Melt the butter in a 2qt saucepan over low heat.

  3. Add sugar, water, and corn syrup.

  4. Heat to boiling, stirring often, to hard-crack stage (125°C)

  5. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the chopped nuts

  6. Spread on buttered foil. At this point, I usually let it set on the counter until some of the heat eases off, then i set it outside if it's cool. Do not put in the fridge to cool. The humidity will ruin the candy. That's why you have to make this when it's relatively dry, or you will find out the hard way that even if you do everything perfectly, this candy won't set.

  7. Meanwhile, melt 3 of the chocolate bars. I use a double boiler method.

  8. When the candy is fairly cool and set, spread the melted chocolate on the top and sprinkle half remaining nuts over the chocolate.

  9. This is what I did this time and it worked out SO WELL: i covered a large flat cutting board with wax paper, taping the paper on the other side so it is secure.

  10. Use this wax-paper-covered tablet to flip your candy over on. I held the board against the pan and turned the whole thing upside down.

  11. Peel off foil.

  12. Melt remaining chocolate and spread over back-side of candy, top with remaining nuts.

  13. When this cools/sets, you should be able to easily break it into chunks. My chocolate is still wet, but I will update with a photo when it's all complete.

When you make this candy right, it should melt in your mouth when you eat it. It should not stick to your teeth like a heath bar. This is not toffee. If it sticks to your teeth, it wasn't cooked to the proper temperature, or the temperature you tested and thought was correct was not consistent throughout. I'm crossing my fingers on this one. The little edges I've tasted seem like the right non-sticky-teeth texture, but it's not all the way firm yet. I hope I haven't miscalculated on the humidity. We shall see! DUN DUN DUN.

In the original pan:

On the board, opposite side:

ETA: Finished product:


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