Hershey PayDay Candy Bar recipe

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In December of 1996, Hershey Foods snagged the U.S. operations
of Leaf Brands for a pretty penny. This added several well
known candies to Hershey’s already impressive roster, including
Good & Plenty, Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers, Heath, and
this delicious peanut roll, which we can finally clone at home.
The center is sort of a white fudge that we can make by combining
a few ingredients on the stove, then getting the mixture up to
just the right temperature using a candy thermometer (you’ve got
one, right?). Once cool, this candy center is coated with a thin
layer of caramel, then quickly pressed onto roasted peanuts.
Looks just like the real thing! This recipe will make eight
candy bars. But it’s up to you to make the dental appointment.

Centers
1/4 cup whole milk
5 unwrapped caramels
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

20 unwrapped caramels
1 1/2 teaspoons water
2 cups dry roasted peanuts

1. Combine all ingredients for the centers, except the powdered
sugar, in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir often as the
caramel slowly melts. When the mixture is smooth, add 3/4 cup of
powdered sugar. Stir. Save the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
for later.

2. Use a candy thermometer to bring the mixture to exactly 230
degrees, stirring often, then turn off the heat.

3. When the temperature of the candy begins to drop, add the
remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar to the pan, then use a hand mixer
on high speed to combine. Keep mixing until the candy cools and
thickens and can no longer be mixed. That should take a minute or
two.

4. Let the candy cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it
can be touched. Don’t let it sit too long – you want the candy to
still be warm and pliable when you shape it. Take a tablespoon-size
portion and roll it between your palms or on a countertop until it
forms a roll the width of your index finger, and measuring about
4 1/2 inches long. Repeat with the remaining center candy mixture
and place the rolls on wax paper. You should have 8 rolls. Let the
center rolls sit out for an hour or two to firm up.

5. Combine the 20 caramels with the 1 1/2 teaspoons of water in a
small saucepan over low heat. Stir often until the caramels melt
completely, then turn off the heat. If you work fast this caramel
will stay warm while you make the candy bars.

6. Pour the peanuts onto a baking sheet or other flat surface.
Using a basting brush and working quickly, “paint” a coating of
caramel onto one side of a center roll. Quickly turn the center
over, caramel-side-down, onto the peanuts and press gently so that
the peanuts stick to the surface of the candy. Paint more caramel
onto the other side of the roll and press it down onto the peanuts.
The candy should have a solid layer of peanuts covering all sides.
If needed, brush additional caramel onto the roll, then turn it
onto the peanuts to coat the roll completely. Place the candy bar
onto wax paper, and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Eat
when completely cool.

Makes 8 candy bars.

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