Buttercrunch Candy (Peanut Butter and Chocolate)

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Homemade peanut butter and chocolate Buttercrunch Candy is sweet, crunchy, and crispy peanut candy with a chocolate topping.

We’re obsessed with making candy — try our popular Toffee recipe, this Honeycomb Candy, or Homemade Marshmallows next!

View of several pieces of Buttercrunch Candy stacked on a board.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buttercrunch Candy

This is my favorite treat I’ve shared this holiday season and there have been a lot of contenders (like this Sugar Cookie Snack Mix or Chocolate Covered Oreo Fudge!) Texturally, it is similar to a Butterfinger® candy bar. This candy starts with an unbelievably delicious crunchy and crispy base and is topped with a smooth chocolate topping. The combo of peanut butter and chocolate is divine in this candy and it’s hard to stop at just one piece!

I will start by saying though, while this candy is simple to make, it really is only simple with a candy thermometer. If you want to make the perfect Buttercrunch Candy, you do need a good candy thermometer. I would never recommend making this candy without one; it is too difficult to judge when it’s ready to be pulled off the stove and will likely result in a frustrating waste of ingredients.

Here is the candy thermometer I use and would highly recommend adding to your kitchen. And with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about all things Buttercrunch!

Process shots: sift soda and set aside; mix peanut butter, butter and salt' microwave and stir; add in vanilla; transfer to a large bowl.

What peanut butter to use in this recipe

I’ve tried several different types of peanut butter in this buttercrunch candy recipe and the favorite (by far) has been Skippy’s® Super Chunk Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter (not sponsored). It’s got an amazing flavor and lots of chunks of peanuts.

Whatever peanut butter you choose to use, I recommend using peanut butter that you enjoy straight from the jar. You’ll also need to play around with salt addition — if the brand of peanut butter you use isn’t salted, you’ll want to add a bit more. The Skippy peanut butter I use is pretty salty as is, so we don’t add in much.

Now, Let’s talk candy thermometers

As mentioned earlier, if you want to make a perfect batch of Buttercrunch Candy, you need a good candy thermometer. The thermometer takes out the guesswork and ensures you get the sugar mixture to the perfect temperature that will create that classic crispy and crunchy texture Buttercrunch Candy is known for.

If you have a candy thermometer, you’ll also want to make sure it’s accurate. Candy thermometers should be regularly tested for accuracy to ensure you are getting your mixture to the right temperature. 

How do I make sure my candy thermometer is accurate?

Just a couple of degrees can be the difference between delicious candy and a burnt mess. 

To test your thermometer: Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and then insert the thermometer and leave it in for several minutes to get an accurate reading. The bulb should be completely immersed in the water but should not touch the bottom of the pan. At sea level, the thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. If your thermometer reads above or below this, you will need to adjust for that amount when preparing the buttercrunch candy! For example, if the thermometer reads 202 degrees, you would wait until the candy reaches 285 degrees, rather than 295 degrees.

I recommend a regular check for thermometer accuracy and adjust your measurements accordingly!

QUICK TIP

If you live in a high-altitude area (over 3,000 ft in elevation) the change in air pressure means water reaches boiling at 208 degrees. Read more about high-altitude cooking here, so you’re not surprised!

Process shots: Bring sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil; when temperature reaches 285 degrees, whisk in baking soda; pour over peanut butter mixture and fold in with a spatula.

How to make Buttercrunch Candy (tips)

  • Practice helps. As with all things — practice makes perfect and candy making is no different. It takes some practice (and many times a failed batch or two) to get the hang of it. Be patient if you’re new to candy making. And because of the learning curve, try a few practice batches before you go public!
  • Prep all your ingredients before beginning. As with most candy recipes, the boiling process requires your full attention. Candy can go from the perfect stage to burned and ruined in a matter of seconds. With all the ingredients set out and prepped before beginning, it will make the process seamless.
  • Watch carefully. It can seem like the candy thermometer is barely budging, and then all of a sudden it will be at temperature or above so be sure to watch carefully, even if it seems tedious for a bit.
  • Line the pan. Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the candy once it’s hardened. Process shots: transfer candy to a pan and smooth into a layer; coarsely chop chocolate; combine with coconut oil; melt and spread over the candy.

Buttercrunch Candy FAQs

1Why is my Buttercrunch so chewy?

A humid environment is most likely to blame; I wouldn’t recommend making candy on a rainy or when it’s very humid. Another culprit could be an incorrect candy thermometer reading (or not using a candy thermometer). With candy, there are different stages. If the candy doesn’t get to the correct stage, it will be overly chewy instead of crispy.

2Can you make Buttercrunch Candy with baking powder?

Unfortunately, no, the two aren’t interchangeable. Baking soda is a must-have for this recipe.

3How long does it take for Buttercrunch Candy to set?

Even though it looks like the candy sets up pretty quickly, it typically needs 3-5 hours to fully firm up and finish setting up.

4How do I clean my pot?

If you’ve ever made candy before you know it can leave the pot a bit messy. Here’s how to clean it quickly in three easy steps:

  1. Let the pan cool completely first.  Once cooled, fill it just over halfway with water.
  2. Place the pan back on the stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, the candy will begin to melt off the sides.
  3. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and scrape off any stubborn candy. Pour it all down the disposal and let the pan cool before doing a final clean with soap and water.

5How do you keep Buttercrunch Candy fresh?

It depends on the humidity. With high levels of humidity, this candy will absorb the moisture from the air and become sticky, so it may only last 1 or 2 days. In dry environments, it can last up to a week stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not refrigerate the candy!

Image of a stack of Buttercrunch Candy squares.

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Buttercrunch Candy

5 from 2 votes
Homemade peanut butter and chocolate Buttercrunch Candy is sweet, crunchy, and crispy peanut candy with a chocolate topping.
Print Recipe

Buttercrunch Candy

5 from 2 votes
Homemade peanut butter and chocolate Buttercrunch Candy is sweet, crunchy, and crispy peanut candy with a chocolate topping.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword buttercrunch candy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Setting Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 229kcal
Cost $4.97

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (372g) peanut butter I recommend Skippy's Super Chunk Extra Crunchy
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (See Note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (195g) white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (225g) light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (26g) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (3.5 oz. 100g) dark chocolate bar (I love Lindt Dark with Sea Salt)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or shortening

Instructions

  • PREP: Line a 9x9-inch (or 8x8-inch) pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal later. Assemble all the ingredients. In a small bowl, press the baking soda through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Set out a heat-resistant silicone spatula and whisk near the stovetop.
  • PEANUT BUTTER: Add the peanut butter, butter, and salt to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and microwave again for another 20 seconds. Continue to microwave in bursts until the peanut butter is melted. We're looking for it to become soft and somewhat pourable. Stir in the vanilla extract. Use a spatula to scrape this mixture into a very large bowl. Keep this large bowl close to the stovetop.
  • SUGAR MIXTURE: Combine the white sugar, corn syrup, and water in a nonstick, heavy-bottomed, medium-sized pot. Stir until the sugar is moistened with the water, being careful to not get sugar on the sides of the pot. Place the pot on the stovetop over high heat. Place the candy thermometer on the side of the pan and then cook this mixture, without stirring, until the sugar syrup reaches 285 degrees F. Watch carefully-- it can shoot up quickly!
  • COMBINE SUGAR MIXTURE and PEANUT BUTTER: As soon as the syrup heats 285 degrees F, remove it from the heat and immediately whisk in the baking soda. Whisk vigorously-- the syrup will grow and turn foamy. Immediately pour this mixture into the large bowl with the peanut butter mixture.
  • FINISH CANDY: Switch to the spatula and very quickly fold the peanut butter mixture into the foamy syrup. Work very quickly here, it will start to turn to a solid mass and look like a thick brown stringy taffy. Quickly scrape this mixture out into the prepared 9x9-inch pan and spread it with the spatula to be about an inch thick. It's okay if it doesn't entirely fill the pan. Let cool at room temperature for 3-5 hours or until completely cooled.
  • TOP WITH CHOCOLATE: When the candy is fully cooled, finely chop the chocolate. Add about 2/3 of the chocolate (just eyeball it) to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir for 30 seconds, and repeat this process until the chocolate is melted. Once it's fully melted, add in the remaining chopped chocolate and mix until that chocolate is melted. This should bring the temperature of the chocolate to right under body temperature. (We introduce unmelted chocolate and keep stirring to cool down the chocolate; this helps it to be tempered so it won't turn streaky.)
  • ENJOY: Spread the chocolate evenly across the top of the buttercrunch candy. Let buttercrunch stand at room temperature for 1 hour or until set. Remove the bars using the parchment paper overhang and cut into squares with a very sharp chef's knife. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If using a different brand of peanut butter, scale the salt up to 1/2 or even 3/4 teaspoon. Skippy peanut butter is pretty salty as is, so we don't add too much.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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