Halloween is fast approaching, y’all. Ready?! I am. Kind of. I got the costumes months ago but I still haven’t been able to find all our Halloween decorations! I need to get on that. And I haven’t begun buying candy. Because I will eat all of it. In one day. I’m definitely that person that goes to the store on Halloween afternoon looking for whatever candy is left. I just can’t be trusted before then.
But since it’s getting so close to Halloween, I wanted to do a week of fun Halloween-y treats and we’re kicking off the week with Snickers! Because who doesn’t love Snickers?!
I’m not a candy maker, you guys know that, but I thought these came together beautifully. There are 3 steps – the nougat, the caramel, and then the coating. The nougat was fairly simple as long as you’re okay with a candy thermometer. Same with the caramel. It’s the chocolate that got me. I am just no good with melted chocolate. But it’s not appearance that matters, right?
They taste almost exactly like a Snickers. I think my caramel is a little chewier than the store-bought version but that’s to be expected with homemade caramel. They were a lot of fun to make and really upped my candy-making confidence.
- Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side. Set aside.
- Place egg white in the base of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer and place over medium-high heat. Stir mixture until sugar completely dissolves.
- Once sugar mixture is at 270F, add salt to egg white and beat at high speed to stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
- Once sugar mixture reaches 275F, remove from heat. Keeping the mixer on high speed, very slowly pour 1 tablespoon of the hot syrup in a thin stream down the side of the bowl (avoiding the whisk) and let it completely incorporate before adding more. Repeat until you've added all the syrup; it should take about 2 minutes. Continue to mix until nougat pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute more. Turn off the mixer and, using the oiled spatula, stir in peanut butter; mixture should be thick and spongy.
- Immediately turn nougat into the prepared pan and, using the oiled spatula or your hands, spread mixture evenly. Let sit uncovered while you make the caramel, at least 5 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients except peanuts and vanilla extract in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer and place over medium-high heat. Stir mixture until sugar completely dissolves, about 2 minutes. Wash down the inside of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization. Boil mixture, swirling pan occasionally (but not stirring), until syrup is at 248F, about 8 minutes.
- Immediately remove the saucepan from heat, stir in peanuts and vanilla extract, and mix until peanuts are evenly distributed. Pour caramel mixture over nougat and, using an oiled rubber spatula, spread evenly in the pan. Let cool until caramel is no longer warm to the touch and is opaque, about 70 minutes. Remove nougat-caramel mixture from the pan, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator until caramel is cool and gives slightly when pressed.
- Remove nougat-caramel mixture from the refrigerator and place on a cutting board, caramel side down. Cut into 4-by-1-inch rectangles (you need at least 24). Return to the parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden while you melt the chocolate.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or the microwave).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove undipped candy bars from the refrigerator and drop them one at a time, nougat side down, into tempered chocolate. Cover caramel side with more chocolate, then remove candy bar. Use a fork to remove the bars to allow the excess chocolate to drip.
- Place bars on the baking sheet by tilting the fork(s) so the edge of each candy bar touches the parchment-lined pan, then smoothly pull the fork(s) out. Repeat until all candy bars have been dipped. Let sit at room temperature until completely set, at least 20 minutes.
- Trim any excess chocolate from edges of candy bars and place in an airtight container.