Dark Chocolate Buttercrunch

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Dark Chocolate Buttercrunch

star rating (69) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This recipe requires few ingredients and little effort, but the result is superb, making it appear you slaved over a hot stove all afternoon. What’s more, this candy is so rich that a few pieces go a long way, making it ideal for holiday gift bags. Add it to an assortment of other candies, cookies, or bars, and it’s probably good for 8-10 gifts.

For those of you unfamiliar with buttercrunch, it’s a lot like a Heath Bar. And, like a Heath Bar, it’s delicious crunched up and stirred into ice cream, or mixed into whipped cream and spread between layers of a chocolate cake. Than again, you can just eat it au naturel. "I’m only going to have one piece today. Really! I mean it. Well, maybe just one piece this morning, and one this afternoon, and one after supper…"

Read our blog about this candy, with additional photos, at flourish. And if you enjoy this recipe, check out a couple of our other favorite candies: Christmas Delight, and Choco-Mallow.

1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter*
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 cups (8 ounces) diced pecans or slivered almonds, toasted
1 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (chocolate chips are an easy solution here; you’ll need about 2 2/3 cups)

*If you use unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

In a large, deep saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, water and corn syrup, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil gently over medium heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches hard-crack stage (300°F on an instant-read or candy thermometer). The syrup will bubble without seeming to change much for awhile, but be patient; all of a sudden it will darken, and at that point you need to take its temperature and see if it’s ready. (If you don’t have a thermometer, test a dollop in ice water; it should immediately harden to a brittleness sufficient that you’ll be able to snap it in two, without any bending or softness). This whole process should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Pay attention; too long on the heat, and the syrup will burn. And what a waste of good butter and sugar that would be!

While the sugar mixture is gently bubbling, spread half of the nuts, in a fairly closely packed, even single layer, on a lightly greased baking sheet (a half sheet pan works well here). Top with half the chocolate. When the syrup is ready, pour it quickly and evenly over the nuts and chocolate. Immediately top with the remaining chocolate, then the remaining nuts. Wait several minutes, then gently, using the back of a spatula, press down on the chocolate-nut layer to spread the chocolate around evenly.

While the candy is still slightly warm, use a spatula to loosen it from the baking sheet. When cool, break it into uneven chunks.
Yield: about 24 big bite-sized pieces, if you want to be scientific about it.

Nutritional information per serving (1 piece, 53g): 269 calories, 19g fat, 2g protein, 5g complex carbohydrates, 22g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 2mg sodium, 139mg potassium, 0mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 18mg calcium, 71mg phosphorus.


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  • star rating 04/15/2015
  • Laurie from DC
  • For everyone confused about how to size the baking pan, or how to contain the spreading toffee - just use a 9x9 square pan, lined with aluminum foil. Results in uniform thickness, contained the hot toffee, clean edges.
  • star rating 04/03/2015
  • Ann from Pewaukee, WI
  • I made this as a Passover dessert, but I substituted agave syrup for the corn syrup as corn products are not allowed for Passover. The buttercrunch is even better because it came out crunchy even in today's humid weather, for some reason. I used Karo light corn syrup one other time I made it (not at Passover, obviously) and the result was chewier; the toffee stuck to my teeth. I chalked it up to damp conditions. Also this time I used a ratio of 2/3 bittersweet chocolate chips and 1/3 semi-sweet chocolate chips, and I like the result better. Finally, I used a full three cups of toasted, slivered almonds as I make this on a 10X15 jelly roll pan lined with buttered parchment paper. If I want thicker buttercrunch, I make a bumper of foil to shorten the long side of the pan, then crease the parchment resulting in a custom sized pan.
  • star rating 03/27/2015
  • Nancy from Missouri
  • I have made this recipe many, many times .... everyone loves it and wants more. I have used pecans, almonds and, best of all, macadamias - plus milk, semi-sweet and dark chocolate. Thanks for such a great recipe.
  • star rating 02/23/2015
  • lizardline from KAF Community
  • I made just the toffee part (no chocolate or nuts) to use in a cookie recipe. First, the taste is great. However, the directions leave something to be desired. It says use a large pot. No, don't. If you do, you won't have enough depth of the toffee to get an accurate temperature. I almost burned it, but when I saw it was the color of dark peanut butter, I poured it into a half sheet pan... which was also too big (yes, I measured all my ingredients correctly). This would have been been better in a 9X13 or 10X15 pan. The final problem I had was that I tried to use this in place of commercial toffee bits in a cookie, and they just melted into the cookie, creating a mess (albeit a tasty one). I think maybe because the commercial toffee bits use palm oil rather than the pure butter used here. I imagine that this would be delicious as a candy (and I'll likely make it that way in the future), but while the recipe suggests you can use it in other "recipes" I would not recommend using it in baked goods. I also implore KAF to think about what size vessels it recommends, because when making a single batch, the sizes recommended in the recipe cannot possibly be correct.

    We're sorry that wasn't more clear. We suggest a wider pot so water will evaporate more quickly, but we don't want to scare people off from trying the recipe by only giving a specific size. As for the sheet pan, the toffee doesn't need to go perfectly to the edges, so almost any size pan could potentially work. And yes, your theory about by other candies don't melt is likely correct- just eat the toffee out of hand for a gustatory delight! Please give our Hotline a call at 1-855-371-2253 if you have more questions! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 01/28/2015
  • Chaille from Midland, GA
  • Super easy, but I should have paid attention to the ruler in the blog picture where the first layer is put on the baking sheet - my layer was too small, so the toffee spilled way over the sides. Thankfully, it was all on parchment paper, so now *someone* is going to have to eat all the plain toffee. ::sigh:: :-)
    What a happy accident, Chaille! Sometimes baking mistakes are the best mistakes...We hope you thoroughly enjoy this recipe. --Kye@KAF
  • star rating 01/16/2015
  • Aimee from Seattle, WA
  • Made this as gifts for the holidays - packaged in fancy Weck jars with ribbon - and it was a HUGE hit! I don't have a candy thermometer, but just kept stirring the sugar mixture until I saw it darken. I was slightly confused because the directions didn't specify a size of baking pan, so just had to wing it. Fortunately, it came out fine. I think next time I will have a single layer of toffee, and a singer layer of chocolate and nuts (I used toasted hazelnuts) for more contrast of layers. Will for sure make again...
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Lollypaul from Edgewood, WA
  • Really good, easy to make. Next time would not put any chocolate on the bottom. It is easier than my traditional recipe in that it doesn't have to be stirred, but the chocolate was too rich and overpowering. I used pecans because that is what I had most of, and dark chocolate and semisweet chips. Just coated the pan with coconut oil spray and had no problem getting it out of the pan, but the parchment paper would be a good idea.
  • star rating 12/26/2014
  • Erika from Belchertown, MA
  • This is fabulous! I've made other butter crunch recipes before and this is by far the best. Great flavor and the texture is just right -- crisp and crunchy but not so hard you worry about breaking your teeth. I'll definetly be making this again.
  • star rating 12/22/2014
  • pjmaas from KAF Community
  • oh yum..... Nuff said. This is totally killer! And couldn't be easier. Everyone else has already said it all. Not sure I will be sharing any with the visiting relatives.
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