No-Butter Butterfinger Bars

Butterfinger bars were my absolute favorite candy bars, but, alas, they aren’t vegan friendly. So, instead of sinking into candy-less sadness, I headed to my kitchen and played around with some food science.

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Butterfinger bars have a crispy, crunchy center that is flaky and distinctly sticks to your teeth. To get the same result with minimal and common ingredients I heated maple syrup to the Hard Crack stage and mixed in natural peanut butter. The combination is shockingly similar to my favorite candy bar! Don’t have a candy thermometer? No worries, because neither do I after I dropped mine and keep forgetting to replace it. So the recipe below doesn’t use one. If you have one though you can use it.

The goal is to heat the maple syrup to 300 F, but if you follow the directions in the recipe and keep a close eye you won’t need to use a thermometer. That’s why I included pictures to show the stages. I learned the hard way my first attempt and burned my maple syrup, so make sure to not have lots of other things going on while you’re making this recipe. The entire process takes only 15 minutes and minimal work and no fancy equipment.

When you make this make sure to let me know! You can find even more recipes on my Instagram page. If you’re a fellow “grammer” make sure to tag me in your post so I can shout you out!

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No-Butter Butterfinger Bars

Simple, delicious, and just like my favorite candy bar! With just a couple of common ingredients you too can enjoy this vegan treat. Eat it as a candy bar or chop them up for a cookie addition or nice cream topping.
Servings – 16 Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup real maple syrup ((This won't work with artificial))
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup natural, smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt ((Or table salt))
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate ((I use Enjoy Life))

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium sauce pot, mix together the maple syrup and cream of tartar. Heat over high heat while mixing until it begins to boil throughout the entire surface. About 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and don't stir anymore. You will be cooking the mixture for a total of 8-12 minutes. The goal is 300 F, but if you follow the directions you won't need to check the temperature
  • While your mixture is cooking mix together the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  • After 5 minutes of your mixture simmering drag a heavy spoon around the side of the pot to check the consistency. You should see that there is a small void as the spoon goes through the hot mixture. Continue to cook without stirring.
  • Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. These are the minutes that you need to pay attention to because your maple syrup can burn quickly if you're not careful. Every minute drag the spoon around the edge until you see a large void form as your spoon drags. Turn heat off as soon as that large void forms.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients into the hot maple syrup. This does take a little effort, because it gets very thick as it mixes. Immediate transfer to the parchment paper. Your bars should be between 1/4"-1/2" thick.
  • After your mixture cools on the pan for 2 minutes, use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Should make roughly 16 bars depending on the thickness you made them. You don't need to cut fully through because this score line will allow you crack bars off once they are fully cooled. .
  • Transfer cooling bars to the freezer for 10 minutes. Break along the score lines.
  • Using your microwave, double boiler, or even directly in a pan, heat your chocolate chips to melted and smooth. You can add 1 tsp of a neutral oil to your chocolate to help get the chocolate smooth. Cover the bars with chocolate. You can just coat the top, or allow the chocolate harden then flip to coat the other side.
  • Once your bars are coated in chocolate store them in the freezer until they are ready to be eaten.

Notes

It is important that you pay close attention to the cooking maple syrup. You don’t need to stir, but you need to check regularly so that it doesn’t burn. Trust me. I’ve burned a batch because I was distracted. If you have a candy thermometer bring the maple syrup to the Hard Crack state: 295-305. 

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6 thoughts on “No-Butter Butterfinger Bars

    1. You could definitely try it. Basically you’re just bringing a liquid sugar to hard crack stage but with the addition of cream of tartar it won’t go crystaline like a peanut brittle. You could also play around with granulated sugar and water. I can’t vouch for it but my guess would be 1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water would replace. It’s just a guess though.

  1. Yummy! Thanks for your work in testing this recipe. Last year on Halloween there was some survey that listed each state’s favorite candy and Wisconsin’s was Butterfinger. We have good taste here!

    1. No idea! But that sounds great! I know the peanut butter adds flavor but it also adds the natural peanut oil. Almonds are typically less oil but I’m curious. The flavor I’m sure would be great!!!! Nice idea.

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