I love holidays because they offer us home cooks a time and space to make ridiculous dishes and desserts just chalk them off to whatever holiday is right around the corner.
For example, at Thanksgiving I’ve made four-layer pumpkin cakes, pumpkin pie crème brûlèe and 10-ingredient brines for my turkey; at Christmas I fashion a gorgeous boûche de Noel (yule log) out of homemade jellyrolls and luxurious chocolate icing and make dozens of cookies for the annual cookie exchange I host with my best gal, Laura.
So, it probably goes without saying that this year Halloween needed its own fabulous treat—something that took really took the notion of Halloween candy over the top. Flipping through the pages of Bon Appetit, I found what I was looking for: a dessert MADE out of Halloween candy. A concoction so ridiculous that even Mr. Milton S. Hershey would be impressed. Because you need a friend when making something so insane, I recruited Laura to help me out.
This Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Candy Bar is super easy to make and modify according to your own candy preferences. Laura and I swapped pretzels for Reese’s Pieces and attempted to dye the white chocolate orange with food coloring. Don’t bother trying that—the white chocolate just looks brown like the rest of the chocolate bar. We also used the microwave to melt both chocolates, but I would suggest doing the white chocolate over a double boiler because it’s the most temperamental of all chocolate and we had some trouble doing it in the microwave.
Whatever you do, share it with a friend, because this stuff is too good to eat alone.
Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Candy Bar
This recipe from The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen appeared in the October 2010 issue of Bon Appétit. I modified this recipe by using ¼ c. pretzels instead of Reese’s Pieces and attempting to dye the white chocolate orange (don’t bother). Yield: Makes about 2 pounds or 30 two-inch pieces. Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 50 minutes. Per serving: 169 calories, 12 g fat, 2 g fiber. Click here to download a copy of this recipe
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate chips, Ghiradelli brand recommended
3 (2.1-oz.) Butterfinger candy bars, cut into irregular 1-inch pieces
3 (1.4-oz.) Skor or Heath toffee candy bars, cut into irregular 3/4-inch pieces
3 (1.5 oz.) peanut butter cups, each cut into 8 wedges
¼ c. honey-roasted peanuts
3 oz. high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), chopped
Reese’s Pieces and/or yellow and orange peanut M&M’s
Make base. Line baking sheet with foil. Stir chocolate chips in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Pour chocolate onto foil; spread to 1/4- inch thickness (about 12×10-inch rectangle).
Add candy. Sprinkle with Butterfinger candy, toffee, peanut butter cups, and nuts, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate to adhere.
Melt white chocolate. Put white chocolate in heavy small saucepan. Stir constantly over very low heat until chocolate is melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Remove from heat. Dip spoon into chocolate; wave from side to side over bark, creating zigzag lines. Scatter Reese’s Pieces and M&M’s over, making sure candy touches melted chocolate.
Chill and cut. Chill bark until firm, 30 minutes. Slide foil with candy onto work surface; peel off foil. Cut bark into irregular pieces.