1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt (kosher, fleur de sel, Maldon)
½ vanilla bean, seeds removed (optional)
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
¾ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (chocolate chips are fine too)
-Butter an 8-inch square pan then set aside. In a small, microwave-safe bowl (if you don’t have a microwave you can use a double boiler) combine the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Set that aside.
-In a very clean medium saucepan combine the vanilla seeds (if using), sugar, corn syrup and water. Using clean hands combine those ingredients and remove any grains of sugar left on the sides of the pan with your fingers and a bit more water. I use my hands for this because I can be certain to feel if any gritty grains remain on the side and the sugar in the bottom of the pan is lump-free. You may also use a pastry brush to wet down the sides of the pan if you prefer.
-On medium-high heat cook the sugar until it reaches 290*, just under hard crack. While the sugar cooks warm the peanut butter mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds. Keep warm.
-Once the sugar has reached 290* quickly add the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. The mixture thickens quickly so once combined immediately put the mixture in the buttered pan. -Let cool for about 7 minutes on a wire rack. While it is still warm carefully scatter your chocolate on top. Let it sit for a couple of minutes. Using an offset spatula spread the chocolate evening over the peanut butter candy. Place in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
-Once the candy has set run a knife or the edge of an offset spatula around the edge of the pan then invert. The candy should pop out but if it doesn’t insert your knife into the corner and pry it up until it pops out.
-Cut the candy into desired shapes. I like to keep my stash in a ziploc bag in the freezer. I love the texture of this candy when it’s frozen and then it’s always ready to be added to vanilla ice cream.
***A candy thermometer is crucial in beginning to make candy. Pull the sugar as soon as it reaches 290* and work quickly. Be so very careful when working with hot sugar as its burn hurts more than any other.
recipe courtesy of not without salt