Saturday, January 13, 2018

Salty Sweet Nut Bars

They say that opposites attract and I believe in that statement. It applies when it comes to people as well as several other things. I guess it is human nature's attempt at making things more even instead of extreme. It is the diversity of people that make up the world, not people that are exactly the same.

Focusing on the theory of opposites, today I bring you a candy recipe that is a perfect example. One bite of the velvety chocolate surrounding sweet honeycomb and salty peanuts will have you believing that opposites attract. In the aftermath, you will be seeking out other salty sweet combos to satisfy your taste buds.

So if you are already in love with salty sweet combos or you have yet to take a step in that direction, this recipe is well worth a try.

Salty Sweet Nut Bars
adapted from Food Network

Ingredients/Honeycomb Candy
(this component adapted from
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup corn syrup

7 oz of bittersweet chocolate (chips or chopped bar)
3 tbs of golden syrup or corn syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tbs butter
2 1/4 cup salted peanuts
6 oz of crushed honeycomb

Prepare an 8x8 inch cake pan by lining with parchment paper.

Fill a medium size saucepan with the sugar. Smooth out to cover the bottom with an even layer. Carefully pour in the water so the sugar is not displaced too much. Add the corn syrup and honey, pouring in the center of the pan. Then swirl (do not stir) the pan, so the liquid ingredients cover the sugar layer.

Place the pan over medium high heat and rest a candy thermometer in the liquid, clipping it in place on the upper edge of the pan. Monitor carefully as the sugar dissolves and cooks. Once the temperature reaches 300F degrees, remove from heat. It should take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes in order to reach the desired temperature. Once removed from the heat, sprinkle in the baking soda and stir. The mixture will foam up, but continue to stir until the foaming stops. Empty contents into the prepared pan and let rest until completely hard, about an hour.

Once hardened, break off pieces and place in a zip lock bag and crush into smaller pieces using a rolling pin or the bottom side of a glass. The largest pieces should be only pea sized when finished. Continue with the process until the crushed honeycomb equals 6 oz.

To make the candy, start by lining a 9x13 inch pan with foil.

Set up a double boiler and place over medium heat. Add the chocolate, syrup and butter to the top pot. The ingredients will start to melt together. As it melts, stir occasionally.

Fill a small bowl with the peanuts and honeycomb. Stir to combine. Once the chocolate and butter has melted in the double boiler, remove from heat and mix in the nuts and honeycomb. Using a spatula, empty the contents into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly.

Place candy in refrigerator to set up and harden. This should take about 4-5 hours. Then it is ready to cut and serve.

Tips and Notes:

1. You may have some honeycomb leftover. It is good in tea or ice cream or delicious on its own.

2. Semi-sweet chocolate can be used in this recipe as well. However, I do not recommend milk chocolate.
                                  **LAST YEAR:Italian Christmas Pastry**