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Homemade Heath Bars

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They might not be the flashiest of Hershey's candies, but Heath Bars have always been one of my favorites. Turns out they're really easy to make, too! All it takes are some basic kitchen ingredients, along with a bit of time, and you're good to go.

Not only do these bars taste delicious on their own, but also can be broken up to be used in ice cream or cookies. 
 
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Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Materials

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You will need: 
  • chocolate chips (1 or 2 bags should be fine)
  • 2 cups (1 pound, 4 sticks) of butter
  • 2 and 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
If you feel like adding a little something-something to you heath bars, feel free to incorporate chopped nuts. Another way to make your toffee richer is to add a splash of cream. I took the traditional route and didn't include these, but it's up to you!

As far as kitchen supplies go, you will need
  • 1 large pot
  • a big baking sheet with sides at least an inch tall
  • a trustworthy candy thermometer (I was able to find one at my local market for around $5)

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

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Before you get started boiling the candy, butter the pan. That way, once your toffee has cooked to just the right temperature, you'll be able to transfer it right over.

Cut the butter into small, even squares. It will melt quicker and cook more evenly.

Place the chopped butter, sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large heavy saucepan on medium heat. 

Stir until melted, and then insert the candy thermometer.  

Helpful hints:
  • Have your mitts at the ready! This toffee's about to get hot
  • As you're just starting to melt these ingredients, and the sugar is still grainy, it's apt to stick to the side of the hot pot. You don't want burnt sugar messing with your toffee's taste and texture, so have some water and a pastry brush on hand. Occasionally wipe down the edges of the pot as sugar sticks to it, and you're safe.
  • Be sure the bulb of the candy thermometer isn't touching the bottom or sides of the pan, or the temperature reading will not be accurate

Step 3: Stir!

Get out your wooden spoon and get to stirring! This step takes a long time (Thanks Vanilla Ice Pandora for helping the time fly!), and requires constant stirring and attention to the candy thermometer. You're aiming for 290-300 degrees. Right up to, but not passing, the "Hard Crack" line.

I took pictures at various stages and temperatures during this process. It rises pretty steadily from when you put in the thermometer and then hovers at 230 for awhile. After that it will rise again very quickly, so be careful

If at any point the candy appears to separate (with a layer of melted butter on top) stir it vigorously to make it come back together again.

As it reaches the proper temperature it will turn a dark, golden-amber color and smell amazing. 

Step 4: Pour (with caution)

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At this point your hot toffee is hot as lava, so put those mitts back on as you pour it into your pre-buttered cooking sheet. Don't bother to scrape out the remaining candy clinging to the sides and bottom of the pan, because it's probably overcooked. 

The surface of your toffee will look rough at first, but that will settle out as it cools.

I used a fairly small pan, and so didn't need to spread my toffee out to reach an even thickness. If your pan is bigger than mine, then get out a spatula and spread your toffee out to the edges right after you pour. 

Step 5: Score

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Allow the toffee to set for a minute or two (or a half hour if your toffee is as thick as mine). 

Prep your knife with some butter and score the toffee into small squares or rectangles, firmly cutting through to the bottom of the pan. If the toffee fills in your cuts, it's still too hot and you need to wait a bit more.

Allow the toffee to cool completely.

Step 6: Break up the toffee

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Once the toffee is cool, carefully break it apart on the scored lines into small squares. I used one of my smaller spatulas and it came apart easily.

At this point, the toffee is finished and can be served plain. But we're making Heath Bars, so now come the chocolate.

Step 7: Dip

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Pour some of your chocolate chips into a (microwave-safe) bowl and heat it up for about 30 seconds. You don't want to overcook your chocolate (eww) so it's not melted by 30 seconds, give it another 30, and so on.

Now take a fork and dunk each toffee square into the melted chocolate. Once it's completely covered, place on wax paper or another kind of non-stick surface.

If you end up like me and have a bowl of leftover melted chocolate, feel free to drizzle some over your bars 

Step 8: Eat!

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Once the chocolate has cooled completely (1-2 hours) the Heath Bars are done!

Enjoy!
Alessak3u2 months ago

Thank you! ~^.^~

anickh3 years ago
ya wtf? why are some of you guys calling these "HEALTH" bars. Seriously, go get an education. 1st off the title clearly says "heath," not "heaLth" 2nd, theres nothing healthy about these.
johng12 anickh8 months ago

sorry for your "lack of reading" correct ability. But the title obviously reads "Heath" not health.

steveturri1 year ago
I made these a few months ago and they did not turn out. The temp on my themometer said it was at the right point, I even let it go like 15 over that, but it never changed to that dark color. When I poured it into a 9x13 baking pan it ended up really thick maybe 1/2 inch. It was very crumbly. It tasted like grainy sugar. Not sure if it was heating issue or putting it in a pan that was too small and needed to thin out more. The corners and tops seemed close to working correctly. I would love some tips on what may fix it. Thanks
siegeking2 years ago
kewl
So I could feasibly make these with DARK Chocolate. The way they ought to be made. IMHO.
hjennings232 years ago
These look so good! My mom loves Heath bars and her birthday is coming up, so I'm pretty sure I know what I'll be giving her this year!
SOOOOOOO making this thanks so much
I literally cried out in joy when i saw this :D I could live my life just eating toffee
barri_kid4 years ago
I see health bars in the comments... but I see 4 sticks of butter as the first ingredient.

If they aren't healthy, I bet their tasty!
Title says heath bar. No L. Of course candy in general is unhealthy, but oh so tasty :p
mrszink024 years ago
I am about to make these right now!!!! I will report back when they are done! :) I added a splash of milk!
Ok, I made them. they taste GREAT, time consuming on the choclate dipping, but I have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old running around...who wanted to help..so it took forever and got messy!!! BUT they do taste great... only my toffee...even after being refridgerated over night ended up chewey....I bit into it and it was hard, and perfect, as I was chewing towards the end it gave off a carmel consistency?? did I do something wrong or is that just how it is ??Not complaining, it was GREAT!!! :) Thanks!
Two things, calibrate your thermometer and adjust your temperature if you are above sea level.

From: http://allrecipes.com//HowTo/candy-making-tips/Detail.aspx

"Test your thermometer to make sure it is accurate. (You will need to do this every time you make candy.) Immerse it in a pan of water, and bring the water to a boil. The temperature should read 212 degrees F (100 degrees C). If it does not, you will need to adjust your recipe to reflect this. For example, if your thermometer reads 215 degrees F (102 degrees C) in boiling water, and the recipe requires that you cook the candy to 250 degrees F (121 degrees C), you will need to cook the mixture to 253 degrees F (123 degrees C)."

and

"For every 500 feet above sea level, decrease the temperature by one degree. If you live at an altitude of 3500 feet and the recipe calls for cooking to 234 degrees F (112 degrees C), cook it to 227 degrees F (108 degrees C)."
kazmataz (author)  mrszink024 years ago
Hmmm...no, this didn't happen for me. I'm still pretty new to candy making, so below are my two best guesses. Glad to hear your heath bars were tasty!


I suggested aiming for 290 degrees when cooking the toffee. This is right below the "hard crack" line on most candy thermometers. I assume that once the toffee hits this mark it should have the crunchy-texture the whole time you're chewing. I suggested a temperature shy of "hard crack" knowing the toffee will keep cooking for a bit even after removing from heat.


Another thing that might have happened is the toffee got a little stale. I allowed mine to cool for the afternoon, but then covered in chocolate as soon as possilbe so the toffee would stay fresh in it's chocolate-y envelope. Perhaps if your "undunked" toffee was not wrapped before being put in the fridge then it got stale?

I've never made toffee (Hope to use your recipe soon!) However I have been making peanut brittle for the last 7-8 years. I don't know that you want toffee to be as crunchy as peanut brittle is - But for peanut brittle I bring the temperature to about 305 and take it off. For me it only climbs about 5 degrees after removing it from the heat
kazmataz (author)  mojobo14 years ago
Thanks for the input mojobo1 and mrszink02! I've edited my instructable to make that step a bit clearer.
Kaz I think your steps were VERY clear....my candy thermometer might be off (it's old!) again, not complaining whatsoever, it still tasted great!!!! I will just try cooking to a higher temp next time!! It didn't stop any of us from eating it all either!!! :)
Jeffois4 years ago
I think there are a number of people mis-reading HEATH bars as HEALTH bars? I did the same off the news letter, but then realised they are a homemade version of a commercially available candy bar. They look awesome BTW!
Jules09884 years ago
I made these tonight and they turned out perfect ! My candy thermometer absolutely just quit working during the cooking but due to the great and thorough instructions I was able to carry out the rest of the cooking and took it off the heat at the correct time. My Dad loved Heath Candy Bars and since he is no longer with us it makes it that much sweeter to eat one. Thank you for a great recipe- I will be making these again and again.
gloflyer4 years ago
You do not need a candy thermometer to make this. Just cook it until it is the "right" color. You are actually 'burning' the sugar. That is what gives it the taste. Some prefer it darker, some lighter. If you want to add nuts, i.e. almonds, break them up and add them at the end. They will toast nicely. All you really need is one pound of butter and one pound of sugar. Try this it works. Do some research! Thoroughly taste (eat) it made both ways! It is all for the sake of science right? The lazy way to put the chocolate on is to put the chips on top after pouring it into the pan.

GLO
Wepwopper4 years ago
OMG! That looks so good. But you know what would make it perfect? I will make mine with dark unsweetened chocolate and then double dip it. :D (yeah, like i need to add more sugar to candy, ha)

BTW Corn Syrup is not necessary to make this kind of candy. Just measure out tightly packed brown sugar instead. It also gives it more of a break away crunch when you bite it off instead of breaking like glass. =o

I don't think you will need any water if using the brown sugar instead. I make toffee like this all the time. (well, used to before the diet. lol) I'll make this as soon as my will wears down a bit more. ;)
mojobo14 years ago
I made them!! Very good, a few friends of mine even said "They taste like Heath bars" without me mentioning it before hand. However I do have a question, how hard are they supposed to be? I took it off the heat at 300 degrees, and they were basically the hardness I would expect from peanut brittle. Are they supposed to be ever so slightly chewy? Or is this what it's supposed to be? Thanks :) Loved the recipe, sprinkled some chopped pecans over some of them!
kazmataz (author)  mojobo14 years ago
Oh there is nothing healthy about these heath bars - but that's what makes them so scrumptious.
They look scrumptious. I'm wondering about your title? Are they "health bars" or perhaps really awsome candy? You put together an excellent Instructable.
kazmataz (author)  porcupinemamma4 years ago
Oh there is nothing healthy about these heath bars - but that's what makes them so scrumptious.
Applebohn4 years ago
Great recipe and 'ible!!! I just made them and their delicious :)
mikelike4 years ago
These do look so very delicious.Maybe I can get my girlfriend to make me a couple of these bars.
angelabchua4 years ago
uhmmm why are these not in my mouth? these looked amazing when you brought them into the lab, and i WISH i could have had one. Man, all that butter gets me all excited! haha
dfreeman64 years ago
This'll be great with dark chocolate. Thanks!
ChrysN4 years ago
Yum!