As Halloween is quickly approaching and I have stuffed my face with enough candy corn, M&M’s and Reese’s Cups for at least a large family, I decided that enough is enough—I must make my own Halloween candy!
For some reason, holiday candy seems to taste that much better to me than if I was to buy the same exact thing at any other time during the year. Something about the packaging, how the stores are decorated, the bite sized candies, really gets me! Since moving into our new apartment that is actually in a neighborhood with potential trick-or-treaters, I figured that there was the possibility of having kids stop by (but who am I kidding, children won’t come into our apartment building…). With the disappointment of not being able to have a creepy candy bowl filled with all sorts of goodies—tootsie rolls were always my weakness—I thought why not have a jar filled with some homemade buttercrunch toffee to munch on well before and after this costume filled evening.
This candy is oh so simple and about 100x more delicious. Butter, sugar, water and a little bit of vanilla (substitute in some bourbon for an adult appropriate Halloween treat) are what make up this sweet and crunchy bite. What else is so great about this homemade candy? You can top it with whatever you choose! Whether leaving it au natural or dressing it up, your taste buds will thank you. To be honest, it is Halloween, where dressing up is pretty magical (minus ages 18-22), so why not give your buttercrunch some flair as well! Covered with melted chocolate, sprinkled with cinnamon, salt and toasted pepitas, your candy has a pretty tasty costume!
While the days of being part of Josie and the Pussycats, a gypsy or Baby Spice are long gone, I would say my adult celebration of homemade candy, a Punkin Ale and a thriller with my fiancé is a pretty great trade!
Butter—4 oz, or 1 stick
Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C
Water—0.75 oz, or 2 TBL
Vanilla Extract—0.15 oz, or 1 tsp
Chocolate, 70%—2 oz
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds—½ C
In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
Add in the sugar, water and salt; stir.
At medium heat and while constantly stirring, cook your toffee until it reaches 295˚ F.
Remove from the heat and add in your vanilla.
*To make this toffee a little unique, replace the vanilla with an equal amount of bourbon!*
Pour onto a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment or a silpat.
Spread quickly with a spatula and allow to set.
Once the candy has set, blot with a towel to pick up any oil that has come to the surface.
Make a double boiler using a small saucepan filled with water and a heat proof bowl.
Place your chocolate in the bowl and, over low heat, melt the chocolate.
I like to use a dark chocolate between 70%-80% to cover this candy. The toffee is so wonderfully sweet, that a darker chocolate gives balance to the end result.
Once the chocolate has melted, pour over your toffee and spread with an offset spatula.
Sprinkle with salt and toasted pumpkin seeds! (To toast the seeds, spread on a sheet pan and put in an oven set at 300˚ F for about 8-10 minutes.)
Once the chocolate has set, break apart the toffee in large or small random sized pieces and enjoy!