So I haven’t been an official Candy Addict for long, but you may have noticed that I like to make candy as well as eat it. And if you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ve undoubtedly read about my grand affinity for peanut butter candies.
I am delighted to be able to introduce each and every one of you to my absolute favorite candy ever. This candy cannot be bought in a store, at a mall, or from a circus vendor. To my knowledge, this candy can only be obtained from your own kitchen. (Unless someone gives it to you as a gift, but I promise you that I never give this stuff away.)
This candy makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I could eat an entire 1.5 quart plastic container of it in one day. I hide it from my children. To me, the four words that make up this candy’s name are just an alternate way to spell “holiday” or “delicious” or “love.” This candy is peanut butter hard candy.
Before I provide the recipe, let me give you fair warning: this is real candy making. This isn’t like the Easy Peasy Fudge recipe I shared a few days ago. This one requires a candy thermometer or a candy-making expert with a glass of ice water and intimate knowledge of “hard crack.” It takes time and patience and a strong arm to stir. It can be very helpful, maybe even necessary, to have two people for spreading it onto the pan after cooking.
I promise it’s well worth the effort, though. I started making peanut butter hard candy when I was about 13. If I could do it then, you can do it now. So without further ado….
Peanut Butter Hard Candy
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups peanut butter
Stir together sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat over medium heat until mixture boils. Place your candy thermometer into the mixture and continue boiling until it reaches the “hard crack” stage (295 to 310 degrees F).
While mixture boils (and well before it reaches the hard crack stage), measure peanut butter into a large bowl. Pour boiled syrup mixture over peanut butter and stir very well. Work fast. (This is where it helps to have two people for stirring.) Turn onto a baking sheet or platter. Cut while still hot.
That’s it! Not too complicated, right? Don’t be afraid to give it a try, especially if you love peanut butter as much as I do. Making peanut butter hard candy is definitely easier than making caramels (which I tried and scorched three times in two weeks).
As you’re spreading the candy onto your platter, most of it hardens into thick pieces which are deliciously rich with a unique texture all their own – very slightly chewy while slightly flaky at the same time. Some of it dries thin and “stretched” as you’re drawing the spoon away from the bowl and platter. These pieces are crunchy and light and almost melt in your mouth. The combination of thin, melty/crunchy pieces and thick, chewy/flaky pieces is one of the things I love about this candy. The peanut butter flavor it the main thing, though, of course. (I know, I’m quite predictable.)
Be brave! – go try to make some peanut butter hard candy and let me know how it turns out.