Food for Thought

What’s Really In Your Favorite Candy Bars

January 15, 2016

Would it really be #ChocolateWeek without a foray into the inner makings of the chocolate bars we all know and love? I think not. That’s why I gathered everything you need to know about what’s really in your favorite candy bars! You may just be surprised by some of the recipe secrets that keep us coming back for seconds…and thirds!


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

The Butterfinger has been a long time favorite of most. It was made back in the 1920’s and is still at the top of it’s game! Most know it as a crunchy peanut butter flavored candy, covered in a “chocolatey coating. ” Not many people know that “chocolatey coating” is actually another term used for a “compound chocolate.” What a compound chocolate is, is a combination of cocoa, vegetable fat (coconut or palm kernel oil), and sweeteners. The vegetable fat replaces the cocoa butter you would find in pure chocolate and is simply more cost effective.

The crunchy peanut butter interior? That’s made by combing corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter. It’s basically a peanut butter flavored brittle that gets coated in “chocolate.”


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Whether you’re addicted to the candy bar or the catchy Kit Kat-Jingle, you’re most likely familiar with this movie theatre classic! Produced by Nestlé, the Kit Kat is a chocolate-covered wafer-biscuit-bar-creation!  If you wanted to duplicate the recipe at home, you may be surprised how it’s made! The wafer-like interior is basically made by alternating layers of butter crackers and a sugar based liquid made from dark brown sugar, milk, and granulated sugar. The cracker layers absorb/merge with the molten sugar mixture and create that crispy wafer! And then what?

Would you be surprised if I told you that Kit Kats aren’t coated in just chocolate? You won’t be from now on! The coating on Kit Kats is actually a combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch! Next time you crunch into a Kit Kat, see if you can pick up on the other flavors!


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

The Milky Way is huge in the U.S., but most other countries sell a very similar version (made by the same company)—the Mars Bar. Both are made of a chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and covered with tempered milk chocolate. You should check out my blog on tempering chocolate to really absorb what that means, but it’s basically a perfectly heated chocolate that cools to be hard to the snap and glossy looking. The chocolaty nougat is much more simple to explain! It’s a simple combo of marshmallow fluff and melted chocolate. Delicious!


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

One can argue endlessly on the right way to eat a Reese’s, but who has time for that?? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the king of all peanut treats! Though I must admit, my wife and I do love the Justin’s brand too…though back to Reese’s! They’re made by combining peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter. The ingredients are whipped together to make a more sustainable form of peanut butter.  That combo then gets scooped into a milk chocolate cup, is cooled, topped off with more milk chocolate, and is then cooled again— forming one seamless cup.



Photo Credit: Wikimedia 

Now comes the Snickers bar—A.K.A. the common cure for divas and the subject of a $2 billion industry! An obviously popular choice, the Snickers is very similar to the Milky Way, but with a peanut butter twist! It all starts with the nugget. Made by combining marshmallow fluff and peanut butter! Top that with fresh peanuts and a combo of caramel combined with heavy cream, and this bar is ready to be coated! Like the Kit Kat bar, you may be surprised to know that the chocolate exterior is actually a combination of milk chocolate and peanut butter—hitting home the overall peanut theme of the bar!


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Lastly, the Twix. A favorite of those who like to share—the Twix bar always comes with a pair! Unless you go with the minis…but go big or go home, right? It’s made of a butter cookie topped with caramel and coated with milk chocolate. The butter cookie is a simple combo of flour, butter, and sugar. Top that with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk, or as I like to call it…”caramel,” and this treat is ready to be coated in tempered milk chocolate!

Now after all of this, try not to go buy a candy bar…I dare you!

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