The sweet, buttery, flaky, nuttiness of Butterfingers has haunted me for years. Today I finally did something about it. I started with a dark caramel made with sugar, water and liquid glucose and added warmed peanut butter to it. I used a whisk to evenly combine the caramel and peanut butter. I followed the addition of the peanut butter with 1% salt and 0.25% baking soda. I was looking to add some aeration to the mixture and hoped the acidity of the caramel would be enough to activate the baking soda. I witnessed some bubbling. More than that I witnessed a fast, really an enhanced and expedited, maillard reaction. The peanut butter caramel went from golden brown to foxy brown almost instantly with the addition of the baking soda. I quickly poured the hot mixture onto a silpat and let it cool for a few minutes.
I began to ponder Butterfingers as I watched my mixture cool. I really like the light and flaky texture of the candy. To hopefully mirror that texture I started to pull and stretch the near molten sugar. I quickly put on some gloves to insulate my hands and decided that dusting powdered sugar over the candy would allow more filaments and layers to be created. I pulled the hot mass until it cooled to a hot body temperature. During the pulling I added some additional salt. I like salty peanuts. I wanted well seasoned, read salty, Butterfingers. When the candy was moderately cool I began breaking and eating pieces of it. It had the texture I was looking for. The flavor with the caramel base was more intense and roasty than the original. The flavors were more complex.
The question now is where to take the inspiration?