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Monday, February 14, 2011

Homemade Butter Finger Bars

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I know that I’m a little late in the day, in fact it’s only still Valentines for the Western hemisphere. It’s plain old February 15th in Europe right now. Good thing that I’m giving you a non-Valentines specific treat! I spent the first half of my Valentine’s Day flying around the country. It’s a very exciting month in the Wilde household!

This weekend I spent packing up boyfriends house for his upcoming move to the east coast. We spent hours going through bins and bins of toys. Fabulous 1980’s toys! Everything from Ninja Turtles to G.I. Joes to Batman. It was a very Toy Story 3 kind of weekend, deciding what would move and what would be sent to the big Thrift store donation truck. Packing up old toys is hard! You get distracted and find yourself setting up the G.I. Joe base, when you should be deciding whether astronaut Raphael should be donated or not (donate).

So, while you may have spent your weekend heading to a romantic dinner or cooking something delicious for your favorite person, I spent it in a basement, playing with toys! Boyfriend was able to pick and choose his favorites and we set aside a big box (okay, five boxes) to take to the collection center. A big box (5) of G.I. Joe trucks and Batcaves, ninja turtle action figures and micro machines was on its way out of the house, so sad.

Fate intervened and a text message came to boyfriends phone. A friend saw us driving around town and was harassing boyfriend for ignoring him. A friend, with two kids. Kids who like toys! Perhaps boyfriends friend would like the toys? The return text message… Yes! Friend would love the toys! Hooray, the toys will have new kids to play with them! Such a Toy Story ending, everyone is happy. Except boyfriend, who wants to break open the boxes we packed and play with the toys.

Butter Finger Bars

I'm not a big fan of chocolate covered strawberries, I think they are kinda blah.  Butter Finger bars however, are a favorite.  You'll find these bars less sweet and tooth-sticking than the original candy but these bars do wind up with the same flaky layers.

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
2 cups chocolate candy melts (or chocolate chips & 2 tbsp shortening)

Grease a 9x9-inch pan, then line it was parchment paper so that the parchment extends over two of the edges (handles that you will use to remove the candy later. Butter the parchment paper.

In the top of a double boiler (or a bowl on top of simmering water), combine peanut butter and vanilla. Heat on medium, stirring until smooth. Turn down the heat on the simmering water and keep peanut butter warm.

In a medium pot, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Clip on candy thermometer and bring to 290 F without stirring.

Remove sugar pot from the stove and quickly add peanut butter. Quick quick, stir to combine then pour into the prepared pan. Smooth top with a wet spatula. Allow to cool overnight on a wire rack.

Remove candy from pan and cut into 1x1 ½-inch pieces. (You’ll need a sharp knife!) If you want to make them into candy bars, melt some candy melts in a double boiler. If you only have chocolate chips then add a little shortening until the chocolate is smooth and pourable. Dip the bars into chocolate, allow to set/cool on parchment paper on a sheet pan. Toss them in the fridge for a few minutes to help set chocolate faster.

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