It’s all about balancing the peanut and chocolate and a crunchy salt finish. Sweet yet savory. These are never a miss.
- 16 ounces sugar
- 12 ounces orange blossom honey
- 18 ounces creamy peanut butter
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt
- half sheet pan
- silicone baking mat or a piece of parchment paper
- 4-quart saucepan
- candy thermometer
- wooden spoon*
- pizza wheel
Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or a piece of parchment paper coated with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the sugar, honey and 1/2 cup water in a 4-quart saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and boil for 5 minutes.
Put the peanut butter in a large heat¬proof bowl and have standing by on a clean kitchen towel or no-skid pad.
Remove the lid of the saucepan and clip a candy thermometer to the side. When the mixture reaches 295˚F, remove from the heat and quickly pour the sugar mixture over the peanut butter and use a wooden spoon to combine. Don't try for a homogeneous mixture. There should still be some streaks of peanut butter throughout.
Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. The mixture will begin to harden right away. Use a pizza wheel to cut the candy into 1-inch squares while still warm. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Add enough water to a large saucepan to come up the sides 1 inch, then bring to a simmer over medium heat. Combine the chocolate and shortening in a medium heatproof bowl and melt over the simmering water, stirring occasionally until completely smooth. Pour over the cooled peanut butter candy and spread into an even layer. Cool for 3 to 4 minutes and then sprinkle with the salt.
After the chocolate has set completely, cut the candy again with the pizza wheel, following the lines created by the first cuts. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Or just eat it all right then and there. No one would blame you one bit.
Note: I usually give this stuff away as bribes. It's that powerful.
* Why wood? Because metal conducts heat and could result in localized crystallization, throwing off the texture of the finished candies. Although the fat from the peanut butter will likely mitigate this, there’s no reason not to play it safe.