Until recently I purposely didn’t own a candy thermometer. I don’t like to make anything that I have to watch over, measure very precisely and cook technically and perfectly, following a recipe exactly. But, that said, occasionally I am up for a challenge.
I sometimes hang out with my friend’s teenager when she is out of town. I can’t call this babysitting anymore, since she is too old for that at 14. But when I do it, I like to come up with something fun for us to do if possible. This time, I decided on a cooking project.
I had seen a recipe for homemade Snickers online. Though I knew there would be some trial and error and could even not work out, I thought it would be a fun afternoon activity and was for sure a two-person job (one to cook, one to monitor the recipe and instructions).
First, I broke down and bought a good candy thermometer. Then, we jumped right in. As expected, it was not easy. We had to repeat the nougat step and the caramel step. While there were frustrating moments, in the end, it worked.
They were delicious, unique and a fun afternoon project. The biggest tip I can give you is to be patient. Do not raise the temperature, the mixture will get there. I have adjusted the recipe a little bit and added some tips below. Good luck, you may need it!
PS, now that I have this down I would double the recipe. It is a lot of work for about only 16 bars.
For the nougat:
- 1 large egg white
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups roasted and chopped salted peanuts
For the caramel:
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
For the chocolate:
- 10 ounces milk chocolate bark
- Make the nougat:
- Use nonstick pan spray to lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking dish. Fit the baking dish with 2 long pieces of parchment paper, long enough so the edges stick up an inch or two above the rim of the dish.
- Lightly coat the surface of the parchment with nonstick pan spray and set the prepared baking dish aside.
- Add the egg white to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the sugar, corn syrup and water and gently stir to combine.
- Make sure there is no extra water or moisture on your work tools.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, then gently cook until the mixture reaches 240 F on an instant-read thermometer, about 8 minutes.
- Once the mixture reaches 240 F, begin beating the egg whites on medium-high speed, until the egg whites hold medium peaks.
- While whipping the whites, continue cooking the syrup until it reaches 260 F (do not raise the temperature above medium).
- Once the whites hold medium peaks, continue to whip them while slowly.
- Pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixing bowl.
- Continue to whip the mixture until the outside of the bowl is cool enough to touch, 1½ to 2 minutes.
- Scrape the whipped egg and sugar mixture into the prepared baking dish (it will be very sticky).
- Lightly coat your hands with nonstick pan spray and press the nougat out into an even layer and into the corners of the pan.
- Sprinkle the peanuts evenly over the top and gently press them to get them to stick to the nougat.
- Make the caramel: To a small saucepan, add the sugar and melt it slowly over medium heat.
- Shake the pan often until the sugar is melted, using a pastry brush dipped in water to dab the sides of the saucepan if the sugar granules sticks to the edges of the pan.
- Continue to cook the sugar, swirling often, it until it becomes a deep amber color, and reaches 340 F on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 minutes.
- Add the butter and cream (be careful as the mixture will sizzle and spatter) and continue to cook until the caramel temperature reaches between 250 F and 260 F on an instant-read thermometer (about 20 minutes or longer).
- If it looks separated, whisk it vigorously- this is important, we missed this and the butter separated.
- Immediately pour the caramel over the nougat, tilting the pan to even out the topping.
- Set the baking dish aside until the caramel sets up and can be sliced, at least 2 hours.
- Cut the Snickers into even 1 ½ to 2 inch squares.
- In a saucepan heat the chocolate bark.
- Layout a large layer of parchment paper.
- Using tongs, quickly dip and coat the squares in the chocolate and place them on the parchment paper to cool.
- They will be ready in about two hours.