Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars

Are you, too, a fan of Butterfinger Candies with their crunchy, almost “splintery” peanut butter toffee goodness surrounded by thick chocolate?  I ate more than my adult weight in Butterfingers during my childhood, but that’s a post better left unwritten in favor of providing you with the recipe for how to make them yourself.

Butterfingers are a simple candy to make, but the Weather Gods must be in your favor providing a day with low humidity (under 60%). This recipe of mine makes a candy that is a dead-ringer for the original Nestle’s creation…but without their chemicals and additives that allow them to exist on the shelf for years….

Butterfinger Candy Bars

(Yields about 96 miniature candy bars)

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup peanut butter

Spray Vegetable Oil (Pam, etc.) for keeping the knife lubricated in scoring

1 Pound of Tempered Semi-Sweet Chocolate for dipping

First begin by greasing a 12-by-17-inch jelly roll pan (with 1-inch sides) with safflower, vegetable or canola oil. Place the pan into a slightly warm oven to warm the pan while making the candy. (Don’t allow the pan to become hot, only barely warm to give you more time to spread and score the candy later.)

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the corn syrup and water, stirring well to combine. Place over medium-low heat and add the sugar. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is clear and then stirring often until it reaches a full boil. Clip on your calibrated candy thermometer, raise the heat to medium-high and continue to cook – without stirring – until the mixture reaches 310 degrees (F). During this cooking period, should sugar crystals form above the boiling line, carefully wipe away using a damp pastry brush, but be careful not to touch the boiling mixture. Rinse the pastry brush well – and make certain to blot-dry the brush well – between each swipe.

Remove your pan from the warming oven and place on your work surface.

Remove the candy from heat and add the peanut butter, stirring to blend completely using a clean wooden spoon. Working quickly, pour the mixture onto your well-greased jelly roll pan, and spread as evenly as possible. Score the mass with an oiled, heavy chef’s knife into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces, cutting at least half way through the candy. (The more quickly you do this, the easier and deeper your scoring will be.) It is helpful to spray the knife with cooking oil occasionally to aide the knife in scoring.

Allow the scored mixture to cool at room temperature about 2 hours. When cool and hard, complete cutting the scored pieces using a sharp, heavy knife (I like to use my Chinese cleaver here) and break into individual pieces.

Place the cut candies into the refrigerator while you temper your dipping chocolate and allow to chill for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the candies from the fridge and dip each piece into the chocolate, then place on parchment paper to allow the chocolate to harden completely (About 3 hours).

Note: You can add a certain flair to the candy by taking a clean dinner fork and touching the tops of each freshly dipped piece raising lines of “peaks” (akin to meringue peaks). Just use the back of the fork laid parallel to the chocolate cops, touch, lift and slightly pull to one side. Looks pretty snazzy….

Store on waxed-paper sheets in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


~ by eheavenlygads on November 5, 2007.

31 Responses to “Homemade Butterfinger Candy Bars”

  1. I have a recipe for peanut brittle that is just like the freshest butterfinger bar you ever tasted. Crumbly & flaky. Will humidity cause it to become hard and chewy? Why no soda in your recipe? I made several perfect batches and now can’t make one to save my soul. We’ve had rain and/or very overcast every time I make a bad batch. Is there a connection?

    SpinningSugar: Thank you for your comment, bsweet! Let me try and answer your questions:

    1. “Will humidity cause it [peanut butter] to become hard and chewy?” Yep and in a heartbeat. That is why I only recommend candymaking at humidity levels below 60%. When making candy (one using a solution of sugar and water or cream/milk, etc. — they also contain water) the water is necessary to dissolve the sugar and is then cooked to a certain temperature to reduce the amount of water in the sugar solution. High humidity dramatically reduces your ability to remove the necessary amount of water to achieve the real cooking stage you are striving for. So candies cooked on humid days become sticky or chewy because the humidity level has added moisture back into the cooked sugar. Now, your candy made on humid days is not guaranteed to fail (sometimes we get lucky), but it certainly is destined to fail the majority of the time. Does that make sense?

    2. “Why no soda in your recipe?” That is a very good question, bsweet, since soda is a must-add to nut brittles. This recipe does not produce a brittle. There are two primary reasons for not using soda in making these butterfinger candies. The first reason is this recipe requires peanut butter and its fats are what retard crystal formation in the syrup until the last moment during the cool-down. True brittles use whole nuts. Secondly is the final cooking temperature. The higher temperature in this recipe almost super-saturates the sugar solution and in using the fats in peanut butter to coat the crystals, the end result is a candy that breaks easily into shards. True brittles are cooked to a much LOWER temp and soda is used to react to the acids by foaming and spreading out the sugar crystals. True brittles are also pulled to stretch those crystals further. Without soda and stretching, brittles would be too thick, too dense and would be impossible to break without a hammer.

    3. “Is there a connection” between your failed batches and rain/overcast skies? Absolutely. Try again on a day with humidity no higher than 60% (50% or lower would be ideal) and expect a huge difference. If you still have a failed batch on a dry day, I would suspect the culprit in your ingredients, utensils or method in decending order of complicity.

  2. Alas! My favorite candy bar ever. Thank you again (and again) for these recipes ‘spinningsugar’.

    SpinningSugar: Ah, for you Carol, it is ALWAYS a pleasure! 😉

  3. i just found this site looking for blown sugar info. thanks its really great. then i saw you butterfinger tab, have you tried working this as you would puff pastry? the sugar mass being the
    ‘dough’ and the peanut butter as the butter? It’s a mess to start with, but with a well oiled/warm marble surface by the 3rd or 4th
    turn it begins to come together with 6 or 7 turns you create over 2000 layers sugar and peanutbutter. then score, allow to cool and
    chocolate dip. Cashew, almond, and/or hazelnut butter as well as tahini add a whole new dimension to this sweet treat.

    SpinningSugar: Wow. What an amazing idea, Bill. I haven’t a doubt in my mind how much your idea here would improve these bars in terms of texture with interior flakiness and immediate dissolving upon the first bite. Time- and technique-intensive, but what a payoff! Thank you!

    • I’ve used your recipe for the last two Xmas holidays and this time I tried turning it like puff pastry dough as Bill recommended. It works a treat and after 4-5 turns you end up with a product that literally melts in your mouth. Unlike conventional butterfingers which can be crunchy-hard and sticky when you chew, this batch broke all flaky and tender and melted in my mouth. This was especially helpful for my wife’s father who can’t take regular brittle any more due to dental issues. Thanks for the helpful recipe!

  4. Excellent website, thank you.
    Is the peanut butter in this recipe natural (peanuts and salt) or processed (Jif/Skippy, etc.)

    SpinningSugar: Many thanks for your kind comment, Victoria.

    Store-bought peanut butter will work perfectly well in this recipe. But if you are an anal purist as I am and also happen to have an older-model all-stainless Vita-Mix, you’ll enjoy making your own completely natural homemade peanut butter, the flavor of which will kick this recipe up quite a few notches!

  5. O….M….G…. Delish!

  6. Thank you! I plan to make this for my boyfriend as a gift. He loves butterfingers and sometimes gets them at the movies. These may not exactly be healthy, but they’re certainly better than the shelf-stable ones. Would these freeze alright?

  7. I love this page. Thank you.

  8. On a visit to Seattle, I tried a local confection called Peanut Bruttle – and fell in love! I live in Arkansas and have been unsuccessful finding anything remotely similar so I’ve looked for a recipe to make my own. This sounds like it might be close! Thanks for sharing

  9. What a Great recipe!Thank you for all the effort you put into posting! It’s just PERFECT! Regards,Grace

  10. I love this site..why are you not posting more??…I think i copied all your recipes and tips..I am in pastry school, and sugar and chocolate will be next! 🙂

    • For the last year, I’ve been traveling like crazy. I just stopped this week to catch up on comments (like yours from last March!), and will be posting more recipes. Good luck in school!

  11. OMG i’m an avid butterfinger fan who is really really low on cash and livs w/ her grandma who has ton’s of baking suplies!!! yay i’m soooo glad u put this recipe up!!!! i can finally have my butterfingers w/ out going to the store and spending 2 dollars for the amount of 2 of these!!!! your my life saver do you have anytips on makeing these is it an experience required thing (i’m only 14)

  12. I just tried making this recipe now, but it didn’t work and I was wondering if you could point me as to what I did wrong.

    After the syrup boiled to 310, a bit past the hard crack stage, I removed it from the heat. I tried stirring the peanut butter, but in less than 20 seconds, the mass had become too solid. Then I tried pouring it on the warm pan, and it actually didn’t pour, but rather drop in a single block.

    Thinking that I might still be able to salvage the whole thing, I tried spreading it on the pan, but it started breaking into little shards.

    Any idea?

    • Your syrup was too hot and the peanut butter seized while blending it in. I know the disaster well: I’ve done it myself hundreds of time! Be sure to calibrate your thermometer and certainly cook it at least 5 degrees less next time.

  13. Easy and to die for! Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe.

  14. I left a reply last week about trying to make the butterfingers at home, and how I must’ve made something wrong. I was asking for your help on this one.

    But I see that this might be seen as a criticisim, so not only do you not answer, you also remove my reply so it wouldn’t be seen.

    This is your website, and you have the right to do whatever you see fit. I just hope that, in the future, you would at least have the courtesy to reply to a simple question.

    • I apologize for the delay. Have you seen the movie with George Clooney flying around the world, knowing every airport everywhere? Well, that’s me. Yesterday was the first day I’ve touched my blog in over a year! Sorry for the delay — it wasn’t personal and it’s next to impossible to trouble me. I will do my best to dig down and find your comment and respond.

  15. This sounds so good my stomach hurts.

  16. I made a batch of these formy mother’s birthday, because she is a butterfinger fiend, and she loved them. My son and husband are beggin for more! Thank you!

  17. Wow! I was leery of the recipe, not sure it could replicate the flakiness of the Butterfinger, but it is very, very good!
    One tip for you, rather than scoring the mixture, I used a pizza cutter. Very easy and quick.
    Thank you for this recipe, I’m hooked!

  18. I wonder if it would be possible to somehow create a peanut butter sponge candy to emulate the Butterfinger? I recently had fun making some sponge candy; I might try to figure out a way to add peanut butter…

  19. thanx

  20. could you make the sugar free butterfiners and I’ll pay you for making them PLEASE.am handycap so I cant get around I stay in my chair intil it’ time to go to bed.

    • The closest you can come to sugar-free would be to use Splenda. Substitute it measure for measure for sugar. I use the stuff often and am surprised and the high temperatures it holds up to, certainly higher than this candymaking temperature.

  21. Does this recipe come out with the Peanut butter being crunchy?

  22. good

  23. OMG this is amazing. I just randomly stumbled on this and tried it immediately. I didn’t even measure the peanut butter or the corn syrup and it came out perfect… took like 5 minutes (well I might eat them all before I get to covering them with chocolate). I can’t believe how much easier this was to make than like… cookies…

    kind of mind boggling for me, sorry

  24. Thank you for a wonderful recipe and all the details!
    I made these once, and didn’t get them spread as fast, but the taste was amazing. I am trying again today, we live in the midwest, and maybe the cold makes a difference. Will try taking it off early. Thanks again! We have severe food allergies, and were grateful to find s sweet treat for Christmas.

  25. Love your blog. Great tips on candy making and appreciate your words on the ‘Weather Gods’. I have tried but you can not …. I repeat … can not fool Mother Nature! When the humidity is above 60% you are just in denial that your batch of candy is going to come out ok. Think about it….you are giving up precious moments and wasting your hard earned money! I know because I have done this several times recently! I knew better but….I did it anyway…. thinking I could finely beat the odds on this one day! LOL! I was seriously mistaken!
    I am looking forward to making your recipe …. after it stops raining! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  26. Since I found this page, I’ve been making this recipe for years…so just thought I would finally come on record with a big THANK YOU! I have done it by-the-book for holidays etc– and eventually discovered ‘the lazy way’ for when they will never leave my house.

    In a dry climate, these can easily be made in the microwave– stir together room temp sugar/corn syrup/water in 2 qt Pyrex “huge” measuring cup type high-sided bowl. Microwave 2 minutes, stir (with new spoon) until it’s perfectly clear. Back in microwave for 6-8 minutes without touching– the correct temp almost always coincides with the mixture just beginning to turn amber (do not let it go past the first blush of amber.)

    Stir in the peanut butter (new wooden spoon) with a whipping bit of elbow grease, then turn out the mixture onto Silpat (silicone mat) or whatever you’re using, and flatten it evenly with a silicone spatula quickly, before it is too hard to do so. While it is still hot, sprinkle milk choc chips on it and wait about 15 minutes– they will melt in place, then take a spatula and smear them about– as you would for English toffee. Let it cool a couple hours…crack into serving sized pieces.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: