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How to Make Your Own Candy Bars
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How to Make Your Own Candy Bars

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Candy bars are the ultimate guilt-riddled treat, with no redeemable health qualities and the post-indulgent-acne to prove it. So no – I’m not going to try to spin this article as a health preaching one, but rather I’m going to offer you away to lessen your guilt ever so slightly by making a candy bar yourself. There’s an undeniable pride that comes from making something yourself, so have at it, and when you tell your friends, stress that you made them yourself, and ignore the calorie count.

 

1. DIY Almond Joy from Food Fanatic

Food Fanatic

What You’ll Need:

• 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

• 14 fluid ounces sweetened condensed milk

• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

• 24-30  almonds, raw and whole

• 4 cups chocolate candy melts

How to Do it:

1. Line an 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Mix together the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar. Press the coconut mixture into the baking dish, and place (uncovered) in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (up to an hour).

3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate melting candy by microwaving for 1 minute or heating over low heat on the stove until smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

4. Remove the coconut mixture from the freezer and lift from the baking dish using the parchment paper. Cut the coconut into bars (I cut 9 bars, and mine were quite large).

5. Dip the backs of two almonds in the chocolate (which will act as "glue") and stick the almonds to a coconut bar. Use a fork to dip then entire bar into the chocolate. Move quickly so that the bar doesn't fall apart. Tap on the edge of the bowl to release any extra chocolate. Move the dipped bar to a sheet of wax paper or silicon mat to let cool and harden.

6. Repeat with all of the bars.

 

2. Homemade Kit Kat Bars from Serious Eats

Homemade kit kat bars

What You’ll Need:

• 75 Club crackers

• 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter

• 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

• 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

• 1/2 cup milk

• 1/3 cup granulated sugar

• 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

• 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

How to Do it:

1. Line 9- by 13-inch rectangular baking pan with one layer of Club crackers (you may need to break some to fit).

2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, dark brown sugar, milk, and granulated sugar. Bring to boil. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Pour half of butter mixture over crackers in pan. Smooth surface with spatula.

3. Arrange another layer of Club crackers over butter mixture. Pour remaining butter mixture over surface. Smooth surface with spatula. Arrange a third layer of crackers over top.

4. Combine peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips in small saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over crackers.

5. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate two hours. Cut into 2-inch bars. Bars will keep for two weeks, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

3. Dark Chocolate Twix Bars from Baker by Nature

Dark chocolate twix bars

What You’ll Need:

• (3) Packages of Walkers Shortbread Fingers

• 1 cup heavy cream

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

• 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1/4 cup water

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

• 1 tablespoon coconut oil

How to Do it:

1. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment, using a large enough sheet so that some excess paper hangs over the edges. Spray the parchment and the sides of the pan with nonstick spray.

2. Spread the shortbread fingers in an even layer in prepared pan, nestling them as close together as possible. Set aside.

3. Make the caramel: Over medium heat, warm the cream, butter, and salt in a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan until the butter is completely melted. Remove from heat, keep the pan close by.

4. In the separate (larger) saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and water. Stir until the sugar is evenly moistened and has formed a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the pan with a damp spatula so there are no sugar crystals above the surface of the sugar mixture. Do not stir the sugar after this point.

5. Place pan over medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil - do not stir! But do watch closely. At first you will see tiny bubbles forming around the edge of the pan, those will gradually move inward and then the mixture will come to a rapid boil.

6. Once the mixture darkens and begins to smell like caramel, keep a very close eye on it. I recommend pulling it off the heat 30 seconds after it darkens into that deep amber color. If you're using a candy thermometer, you can/should remove from heat anywhere between 275 and 320 degrees (F).

7. Slowly pour the warm cream and butter mixture into the sugar syrup while whisking the sugar syrup gently. The sugar syrup will bubble up and triple in size. Continue whisking until all the milk and butter mixture has been added.

8. Return the pan to medium heat and once again allow the caramel come to a boil without stirring. It will eventually darken to reddish-brown caramel color. You should remove the pan from heat when the caramel reaches 245°F to 250° (F). If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can just eyeball this and remove it when it reaches that deep color. Just be sure to never leave the pan unattended. Things move fast with caramel!

9. Once pan is removed from heat, quickly whisk in vanilla.

10. Pour the caramel sauce into the prepared pan, being sure it covers all of the shortbread cookies, and spreading quickly if need be.

11. Let the caramel set. Set the caramel pan somewhere cool for at least four hours or overnight.

12. When the caramel has set, lift them out of the pan by the parchment paper flaps and onto a cutting board. Flip the cookie/caramel combination over, so the cookies face up. This makes it easier to cut into perfect bars. Cut along the edges of each cookie with a very sharp knife. If the caramels stick to your knife, spray your knife with nonstick cooking spray. Place cut cookies onto a cooling wrack and set aside.

12. Melt chocolate and oil in a large bowl (I do this in the microwave) until chocolate can be whisked completely smooth. Let cool 2 minutes, whisk again - just to be sure it's still smooth - and get ready to dunk! To keep things clean, I suggest laying out a large sheet of parchment paper and doing your dipping over that.

13. Place one cookie on a fork, then emerge it into the melted chocolate, keeping it under until it's completely coated. Transfer to parchment paper, and continue process until all bars have been dunked. Place chocolate coated bars in a cool area to "set". Then eat!!!

 

4. Homemade Reese’s Cups from One Good Thing by Jillee

Homemade Reese's Cups

What You’ll Need:

• 1 16-oz jar if creamy Natural Jif peanut butter (or use whatever you have)

• 1 2-lb bag (or 2 1-lb bags) of high quality chocolate chips, milk or dark (we’re a MILK chocolate sorta family)

• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

• 4-6 Tablespoons melted butter

• Cooking Spray

• Mini Cupcake Papers

How to Do it:

1. Melt butter in microwave. Empty the peanut butter into a bowl and stir in the powdered sugar. Mix in 4 Tablespoons of melted butter. If it seems a little dry and crumbly, add another 1 to 2 Tablespoons of melted butter. Just enough to make into a thick, smooth filling. Set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or the microwave), stirring often until it becomes smooth and velvety.

3. Arrange your cupcake papers onto a baking sheet and lightly mist with cooking spray.

4. Spoon the melted chocolate into the cupcake papers, coating the bottoms and sides entirely. I had to use one finger to "coax" the chocolate up the sides of the cupcake wrapper. Set the extra chocolate aside.

5. Once all cupcake papers are coated, place the tray in the refrigerator to cool for about five to ten minutes.

6. Pipe or spoon the peanut butter mixture into the cooled chocolate cups. I used a Ziploc bag to pipe the mixture into the cups...SO fast and easy that way!

7. When all the chocolate cups are filled, dip one finger into some water and then press down on each glob of filling to flatten a bit. Then spoon the remaining melted chocolate over the top of the peanut butter and place the tray back in the refrigerator for another 30-minutes to set completely. Recipe should yield about 55 mini peanut butter cups.

 

5. DIY Take 5 Bars from Completely Delicious

DIY Take 5 Bars

What You’ll Need:

Bottom Chocolate Layer:

• 1 1/4 cup (255 grams) milk chocolate chips

• 1/4 cup (70 grams) smooth peanut butter

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Layers:

• 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1 cup (240 grams) smooth or crunchy peanut butter

• 2 cups (500 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

• 2 cups (65 grams) mini pretzels

Caramel & Peanut Layers:

• 1 14-oz bag (400 grams) caramels, unwrapped

• 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream

• 1 cup (140 grams) salted peanuts

Top Chocolate Layer:

• 1 1/4 cup (255 grams) milk chocolate chips

• 1/4 cup (70 grams) smooth peanut butter

How to Do it:

1. To make the bottom layer, set a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Melt the milk chocolate and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and spread into a 9x13-inch pan lined with greased foil. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

2. To make the peanut butter layer, beat the butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar in a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread over the bottom chocolate layer. Cover with the pretzels.

3. To make the caramel layer, place the caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan and set over medium low heat. Heat until caramels melt and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently. Immediately spread on top of the pretzels, then top with the peanuts. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4. To make the top chocolate layer, set a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Melt the milk chocolate and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Pour on top of the bars and return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

5. Bars will become soft if left at room temperature, store in the fridge.

 

Which recipe is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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