…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? This is a delicious, fun crispy-cookie-style bar with the taste and texture of a Butterfinger bar. Butterfinger was invented by Otto Schnering in 1923 after he founded the Curtiss Candy Company in Chicago the year before.
The company held a public contest to choose the name of this candy. In an early marketing campaign, the company dropped Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars from airplanes in cities across the United States as a publicity stunt that helped increase their popularity—it was raining chocolate and peanuts.
The first bite of a Butterfinger bar is a unique experience. There’s no candy that quite captures the same flaky crunch of this peanut-y pleasure. After several different shifts in ownership, the taste and texture has remained pretty much the same.
The whole thing starts off with real, freshly roasted runner peanuts. These peanuts are then ground into a creamy peanut butter—the base for the Butterfinger filling, with additional ingredients to deliver that crispy, crunchy texture.
To get that rich flakiness, the recipe calls for the addition of hybrid corn flakes to create the light, airy and perfect texture that compliments the smooth peanut butter. They’re stirred into the churning vat of peanut butter, making up the Butterfinger center!
While the peanut butter is being readied, another mixture is boiling away. It is a mixture of molasses, corn syrup, sugar and water which is heated 300⁰ F degrees, and then poured onto a cooling table to rapidly bring down the temperature. The sudden temperature changes cause the candy to crystallize, adding even more of a bite to the consistency of the filling. Then the whole thing is covered with chocolate.
Nestlé sold over twenty of their candy brands, including Butterfinger, to Italian chocolatier Ferrero, for $2.8 billion. The newly acquired brands were folded into the operations of the Ferraro Candy Company. Butterfinger has since been reformulated to improve the flavor and texture with a cleaner label.
Here is my version of a clean label Butterfinger-style confection.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cool time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen servings
Food release spray (I prefer Pam)
4 cups crispy cereal (corn flakes or crispy rice)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup white corn syrup (I prefer Karo)
1/3 cup molasses
1 (16 ounce) jar crunchy peanut butter
2 cups milk chocolate chips
ChefSecrets: If you ever wondered, it’s the molasses that gives the Butterfinger the unique orange color.
Quip of the Day: “I tried juggling some candy bars but kept dropping them. I guess I have Butterfingers.”
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