Homemade Butterfingers

Homemade Butterfingers
These are some of the most amazingly delicious homemade candies I’ve ever had. Ever. I am not a huge fan of the traditional Butterfinger candy bars and will never eat another again now that I’ve tasted these. C and a good friend of hers made these and the recipe is theirs. It’s probably best that I still think these are super complicated or else I might only eat Butterfingers for the rest of the time candy corn is available in the stores.

Ingredients:
Equal amount of candy corn and peanut butter (You’ll want to use slightly more candy corn than PB). Get the honey flavored Brach’s candy corn. It’s the best.
1 or 2 packages of Chocolate flavored Almond Bark.

Directions:
Melt candy corn in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir until it’s melted. Stir in peanut butter with melted candy corn. Spread it out on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Try to be even. Refrigerate or freeze it for 10 to 30 minutes. (Longer is better!) Take the baby poop looking cold candy corn/ peanut butter mixture and cut it into squares. Follow package directions to melt Almond Bark and pour it over the cut pieces. You can do this on a new sheet of wax and refrigerate again. Keep the bars cold, trust me, they are better that way. Plus, it keeps the candy corn and peanut better from melting a little and making a mess on your fingers.

My opinion:
Other than what I said above, just take this fair warning: you’ll never want to eat store-bought Butterfingers again. Ever.

Easy Butterfingers

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Homemade Butterfingers
Servings
Servings
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Homemade Turtle Bay Granola


J fell in love with the granola at Turtle Bay when we visited Hawaii. A recent note from the general manager reminded me to try to get the recipe because while travelling to Honolulu every time J wants the granola sounds lovely, that is absolutely not going to happen. Luckily for me, Danna is super nice and got me in touch with Ceci in the Food and Beverage Department. Ceci sent the ingredients and from there I was able to cobble together the recipe below.

Ingredients:
3 cup oats (we used Quaker)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds (we went with the ones from the bulk food section)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
about 3 cups tropical fruit trail mix (We used HyVee brand with papaya, pineapple, coconut, raisins and bananas, but left out the bananas)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats and nuts. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and honey. Combine both mixtures and pour onto a sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color and keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom (you may want to consider spraying the pan with your favorite cooking spray, just in case).

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add fruit and mix until evenly distributed.

My Opinion:
Somehow I was more obsessed with the fresh fruit in Hawaii and missed this granola completely, but it is amazing. Good with milk as a cereal, good on yogurt, ice cream and just out of the container.

Homemade Chick Fil A


Before the current big hullabaloo over this restaurant, J and I decided to figure out how to recreate our favorite chicken sandwich at home. Mostly because the nearest restaurant to us is more than an hour and a half away. This recipe is so close! With a bag of Oreda waffle fries, it’s almost like you’re there.

Ingredients:
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Dill Pickle Juice (we bought the hamburger slices and just used the juice)
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 Egg
1/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Flour
1 tablespoon Powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Celery salt
1/4 teaspoon Dried basil

Directions:
Wrap the chicken loosely between plastic wrap and pound gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/2 inch thick all around. Cut into four pieces, as even as possible. Marinate in the pickle juice and Tabasco Sauce for 30 minutes. Beat the egg with the milk in a bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, and spices in a zip lock bag. Dip the chicken pieces each into the egg on both sides, then place in the bag and shake. Heat the oil in a skillet (1/2 inch deep) to about 345-350, or use a deep fryer (that’s what we did). Remove the chicken from the flour mixture and tap off the excess. Place in the oil. Fry each cutlet for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through. If using a fryer, it takes about 5 minutes total. Be sure to check the first couple to make sure they are cooked all the way through. Blot on paper and serve on toasted buns with pickle slices.

My Opinion:
So good. It’s very, very close to the original. It just needed to be a touch sweeter, so next time we’ll use a bit more powdered sugar and a touch less pickle juice.

Homemade Gray’s Papaya Hot Dogs

On our recent trip to NYC, J and I had a culinary tour of the city fueled by recommendations by forum community members on ChowHound. One of the recommendations was for Gray’s Papaya and didn’t let us down. In fact, we liked it so much, we scoured the internet when we got home to find a recipe for the onion sauce. After a few trial and errors, we found this one on noshcookbook.com. It’s practically perfect!

Ingredients:
1-2 Vidalia onions, sliced (we used a mandolin)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons butter for sauteing onions.
1/4 cup of white vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon lite corn syrup
1 teaspoon cornstarch
few dashes of salt
1/4 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika
couple of turns of fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic

Directions:
In a frying pan over medium-high heat melt butter and saute’ onions and garlic with a few dashes of salt and turns of fresh ground black pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Once caramelized, add the rest of the ingredients and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened.

My opinion:
The ideal hot dog to use is Nathan’s, but living in the Midwest, they are hard to come by. A really, really close option is Oscar Mayer New York Style hot dogs. With the onion sauce, it’s so close to the original that if I close my eyes, I could be in NYC.