So, the Christmas holiday has come and gone. I fully intended to post this before the 25th, but… you know how that goes. I made two batches of this candy to take to my parents’ house for their annual Christmas-day party. For one, I used dark chocolate as the original recipe recommends. For the other, I used white chocolate, just for something a little different. They were both delicious, and enjoyed by everyone who ate it. The recipe is a little time consuming, and you’ll need a candy thermometer for this one, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor and investment, especially since it’s so tasty and pretty and you can pick up a cheap thermometer at Walmart.
This recipe is in the December issue of Food & Wine magazine.
- 1 stick, plus 6 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbs water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 12 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup peppermint candies, crushed (I used the Andes peppermint crunch baking chips)
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set it aside.
In a saucepan, preferably with a heavy bottom, combine the butter, sugar, water, and salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring pretty much continually. Cook until the mixture reaches 298 degrees F on a candy thermometer (~10 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and add the extracts, stirring well. Immediately pour this buttercrunch onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread it into an even layer. Allow it to cool and harden completely.
Once the buttercrunch is set, you’ll want to start topping it with chocolate and peppermint chips. Using a medium-sized glass bowl, heat half of the chocolate in 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring between bursts, until it is melted completely and is smooth. Pour this melted chocolate onto the buttercrunch. Using a spatula, spread it all around in an even layer until everything is covered. Top with half of the peppermint baking chips. Allow the chocolate to cool and set.
Once the chocolate is set, you’ll want to gently lay another large baking sheet flush on top of the hardened chocolate. Holding the two baking sheets together, sandwiching the candy, you’ll want to carefully flip them over so that the chocolate side is now facing down, and the bare buttercrunch side can be seen on top (once you remove the parchment paper/silicone baking mat and other cookie sheet, of course). Melt the remaining chocolate as you did before, and pour it onto the buttercrunch, spreading it around evenly. Top with the remaining peppermint pieces and allow it to stand until firm and cool.
Break the buttercrunch into irregularly shaped pieces. Eat!