Candy Corn Remix

Today's post is all about candy corn. Are you wrinkling up your nose in distaste? Don't close the browser window just yet! We're not talking about plain, waxy candy corn. We're talking about candy corn remixed, and that makes all the difference. Still not convinced? Patience. All will be explained in good time.

Do you have lots of leftover Halloween candy clogging your cupboards and loitering in the back of your mind at all times, whispering "Eat me, eat me...I know you want to..."? Well, I don't. Because I've reached a horrible stage of life in which I am too old to go trick-or-treating myself and yet too young to have kids of my own to steal candy from use as an excuse to go take trick-or-treating.

I saw this on Tumblr and identified with it immediately:
#twentysomethingstrugs #mylife
To console myself, I bought a bag of candy corn and pretended it was leftover from Halloween. It sort of was - I bought it on November 1st, from a depressingly cleaned out and deserted Halloween section at Target. I think I saw a tumbleweed roll by while I was there. It was made out of strands of synthetic hair that had been shed by many a wig during the Halloween rush.

But the truth is, there's really no excuse for me to eat an entire bag of candy corn by myself, no matter how great my post-adolescent angst. I'm guessing you might feel the same way. That's why Audrey and I have come up with two fun and unexpected ways for you to get that candy corn out of your cupboard and put it to good use!

Left: Candy Corn Ice Cream, Right: No Bake Candy Corn "Butterfinger" Bars
In conceptualizing this post, we decided that we would each came up with our own recipe incorporating candy corn and would feature the two of them in the same post. For mine, I decided to test the claim I've seen crop up on Foodgawker that if you melt candy corn down with peanut butter, it will taste like Butterfinger.

Skeptical? So was I. But intrigued.

Audrey actually experimented with a faux Butterfinger candy corn last fall and I wished I had been home to try them, so I knew I wanted to try it for myself this year. I decided to get a little fancy and come up with my own recipe incorporating the basic melted candy corn + peanut butter mixture.

I...may have gotten a little carried away.


What you're looking at is a decadent 3-layer example of how my imagination often gets carried away and becomes proverbially "bigger than my stomach."


Layer 1: Captain Crunch peanut butter bar (think Special-K bar, but with Captain Crunch).
Layer 2: Candy corn "Butterfinger."
Layer 3: Chocolate ganache.
Bonus layer: Crumbled Butterfinger candybar.


If I were to make these bars again, I would do it in a 9x13 pan. The only pan I have here at school is 8x8, which caused these bars to turn out really thick. They're going to be decadent no matter what, but when you cram all that peanut butter and sugar into such a confined space...things get a little out of control. Like woah.


The amazing thing is that the melted candy corn + peanut butter situation actually tastes convincingly like Butterfinger. In fact, if I hadn't known I was biting into something made with candy corn, I would not have detected it. Which is pretty cool. It doesn't taste waxy or flavorless at all; even candy corn haters will happily munch on these bars in ignorant bliss (if you refrain from disclosing the ingredients list). In fact, if anything, it just makes me question what, exactly, Nestle is putting into their Butterfinger bars. Hm........


Verdict? I consider this experiment a success. These bars were very tasty (and rich). I would definitely make them again.

I also decided to bake with candy corn. Ever since I made Butterfinger cupcakes last year using candy corn, I have been intrigued by the combination. I've wanted to make more ever since.
So I made *drum roll*


Candy corn ice cream.

This is one of those recipes that you see and you think it sounds good. And you think, "I have to make this." But at the time you don't have the supplies. And you try to forget about it. But you can't. And eventually you make it. And it's the most wonderful thing.



Despite it being incredibly cold out, you can still enjoy this ice cream. I ate this in sweatshirt sitting by a fire, kind of shivering a little bit. But it was delicious.


As I was making this, I got worried that it was going to just taste like sugar. And when something's only flavor is "sweet" I don't like it. I played with the idea of incorporating peanut butter into the recipe, but I eventually decided to just swirl peanut butter in.

That was one of the best ides I've ever had. Because the flavor of this ice cream is most definitely not sweet. And the little pockets of peanut butter you get are lovely and taste like Butterfinger.


I'm not really sure how to describe the flavor, to be honest. It doesn't just taste like candy corn. It's like in the melting process some of the ingredients in the candy corn became more present or something. I'm not quite sure, but it's awesome so I'll just accept it.



Even if you don't like candy corn (which I completely understand, because it's kind of just sugar, and doesn't taste like much) or if you're like me and you can only stand a few pieces or if you love it, I recommend making this. It might change your outlook on candy corn forever.


And the color is wonderful. These pictures do not capture the color at all. It is a much more intense color. I probably could have showed the color if I saturated the picture, but it would look fake. So just imagine the color of your pumpkin trick-or-treat bucket, as an ice cream. This color.

- Molly & Audrey

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No Bake Candy Corn "Butterfinger" Bars

Captain Crunch base

1 heaping cup Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups Captain Crunch, lightly crushed

Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, corn syrup, sugars, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt. Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay. Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in Captain Crunch.

Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down somewhat firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top; set pan aside.

Candy Corn "Butterfinger" layer

1 cup Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful
1 ¾ cup candy corn
4 tbsp. butter

In a small sauce pan on medium to low heat** place butter and candy corn; let the candy corn melt for about one minute before adding the peanut butter. Place peanut butter into the saucepan stirring and making sure all the candy corn has melted with the peanut butter (about 3-5 minutes). Once done add the layer over the top of the Captain Crunch base and place in the freezer for about 5 minutes or until the second layer is firm.

**You can also accomplish this in the microwave. I know because I did.

Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut in slices
2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 king size Butterfinger bar, crushed

For the ganache, combine chocolate, butter, and cream in small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring with a silicone spatula until melted and smooth. Turn off heat and mix in vanilla extract. Pour evenly over bars, tilting the pan as needed to spread the ganache all the way to the pan’s edges. Sprinkle crushed Butterfinger over the surface of the ganache.

Chill bars for two hours, or until ganache is set.

Base adapted from Averie Cooks; Candy Corn layer from Savy Naturalista; Ganache from Flour Arrangements

Candy Corn Ice Cream
Adapted from Buck n' Run Ranch

14 ounces Candy Corn
3 cups heavy cream
1¼ cups milk

Add cream and the candy corn to a large heavy bottomed pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the candy corn begins to dissolve. Turn the heat down and cook on low until the candy corn is dissolved. Stir often to prevent burning. Take off heat and stir in remaining cream and milk.

Pour it directly from the cooking pot into a plastic bag. Submerge the plastic bag in an ice bath for half an hour.

When completely chilled, pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. When firm, spoon out into a Tupperware and cover the top with parchment paper. Freeze for a couple hours before eating.