Chicken Bones **The Candy

by Michelle on April 17, 2011

Last October and being it was close to Halloween, my Mom and I were talking candy. And my Mom mentioned that when she was a child she just loved Chicken Bones. Well, I don’t need to be told twice and I put Chicken Bones on my ToDo List.

Well, I figured out the recipe right away, peanut butter hard candy with a just a touch of molasses. I did three candy tests before I found the perfect mix of sugar, molasses and peanut butter but the timing and temperature was critical because peanut butter burns very quickly. Okay I figured out the candy and now on to the candy coating. Hummmm…what to do about the candy coating is as important as the candy center. But then I thought if I put some homemade Peanut Butter Cookies and coconut in my food processor and pulsed to a fine mince, this would work well for the coating! Hey, there’s always a way…ALWAYS! I thought about using finely ground peanuts but they are so oily and found that the peanut butter cookies worked out the best. So Problem #2 was solved!

But then I needed a heat resistant candy mold. I just needed a simple bar shape about 1/4″ wide by 6″ long and about 1/4-1/2″ deep. I didn’t think the mold would be a problem until I started looking for it. I must have scanned 10 different candy supply sites and I could not find the mold or anything even close to what I needed. But it’s very common for me to not find what I need, so I have to be creative with what I have on hand! I looked around my house for something but again NADA! Then I went to Home Depot and Office Max and walked the aisles hoping I’d find something but again NOTHING. By the way never rule out Home Depot, Lowes or Office Max for baking needs. Although the product might not be made specifically for baking or candy making does not mean it won’t work for what you need!

So I went to twitter and posted a tweet to a fellow cook and now soap maker Courtney, aka @glamah and Coco Cooks. Courtney and I have brainstormed plenty of times and we usually come up with a solution. I had thought about using Styrofoam to make the mold but being candy is 300 degrees I was afraid the Styrofoam would melt. Then Heather, aka @voodoolily and Voodoo and Sauce, popped into the conversation and then the ideas started flying back and forth. It’s so much fun brainstorming with creative people. Then Heather suggested using the green florists foam because it was mineral based and heat resistant. WOW…half the fun is figuring out how to make stuff and Heather came up with the perfect answer!!!

To Make the Mold:

Green Florist Foam Blocks (I bought a package of 6 blocks of green foam at Michaels for about $6 and I used all 6.)
1/4″ Wooden Dowel, cut 3-6″ pieces
Aluminum Foil, 6-12″ by 12″ pieces

1. Press 6″ wooden dowel into the foam to form the shape.

2. Taking the dowel in hand and with even pressure on the dowel, run it down the indentation. Repeat, until the cavity is about 1/4-1/2″ deep. Carving the foam is messy so it’s best to either do this outside or over a wastebasket. I used 6 blocks of the green florist’s foam with 3 molds per block.

3. Lay a piece of aluminum foil, 12″ by 12″, over the top of the carved foam block.

4. Starting with the center mold, take the wooden dowel and gently press it the aluminum foil into the bar mold. Be careful because you can tear the foil!! Leave the dowel in the mold to hold the pressed shape.

5. Take another 6″ dowel and press it into another indentation, again being careful to not tear the foil. Leave the dowel in the indention and repeat using another dowel in the last mold.

6. When you completed lining the individual bar molds with the aluminum foil, carefully fold the remaining foil around the block. You can reuse this mold over and over so store it in a safe place for next time. And since the foam is in a block there are 3 other sides for additional candy molds.

And my initial taste test was “Hey, this is pretty good” and Mr. Tastebuds gave it a 4 1/2 stars out of 5!

Peanut Butter Hard Candy
Recipe developed by BigBlackDog

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Karo Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2-1 tsp molasses, have this measured out and ready so you can quickly add it. **See NOTE
4 tsp creamy peanut butter, have this measured out and ready so you can quickly add it.

Makes about 50-2″ pieces of candy

1. In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan add the sugar, Karo Syrup and water.
2. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer. Position your candy thermometer in the pan, making sure that the thermometer is in the syrup but not touching the bottom of the pan.
3. Line up your foam candy molds so that are adjacent to your stove top. Candy making is not difficult but you are working with 300 degree syrup so you need to work quickly and very carefully.
4. When candy thermometer is at the Soft Crack Stage, about 270 degrees add the molasses and peanut butter and very gently mix with a fork. The syrup will foam up so be careful that it does not over flow the pan.
5. The peanut butter will melt and blend with the syrup quickly and as soon as it does, remove from the heat and pour the syrup into molds. I used a small ladle.
6. Let set up until hard.

**NOTE: My Mom said she remembered the candy being only “peanut buttery” flavored. Being molasses is such a strong flavor I only used 1/2 tsp molasses but you can skip it if you just want it to be peanut butter flavored.

Chicken Bones
Recipe developed by BigBlackDog

1 recipe of Peanut Butter Hard Candy, above

Coating:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 TBL Fine Desiccated Coconut
6-2″ peanut butter cookies (You can use homemade Peanut Butter Cookies or a store brand, whichever is convenient)

1. Spray the molds with Pam.
2. Make the Peanut Butter Hard Candy and pour into molds. (See above on how to make the molds)
3. When the candy is partially set, with a butter knife score into 2″ pieces. Exact measurement is not necessary, just eyeball it. And you don’t need to cut completely through the candy, just score it and when the candy is completely hard you can just break it a part.
4. When the candy has cooled, remove from molds and set aside.
5. Break up the cookies and add them to a food processor along with 2 TBL of coconut. Pulse until finely minced. Remove from the food processor and place it on a piece of parchment paper.
6. In a small pan add the sugar and water and gently heat until sugar has completely dissolved about 5-6 minutes.
7. Pour the simple syrup into a heat proof glass measuring cup. The simple syrup will thicken as it cools, so periodically you will need to reheat it sightly in the microwave, 5-10 seconds at a time.
8. You can either dip the hardened candy into the warm simple syrup or paint it on with a small brush. Then roll the candy in the cookie/coconut mix.
9. Set aside and let dry over night.

AllRightsReserved@BigBlackDog

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Comments

  • Coco Cooks April 17, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    First… Love the new look!

    Second , that idea of the florists foam is brilliant! I need to save this idea for some future projects. Twitter is a great resource.
    I’m finding these older recipes of candy are coming back. So fun to be able to make your own. You are such a sweet daughter.

  • angelina April 18, 2011 at 12:29 am

    yes i too think your space is super snazy! thanks for the tutorial, these look to die for. xo

  • angelina April 18, 2011 at 12:37 am

    love it !

  • Kayte April 18, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Well, I had never heard of these before and this was such fun to learn about them. All this looks fun as well as delicious. And who wouldn’t just love telling people they were enjoying Chicken Bones! Kids would just think that was a riot!

  • kat April 18, 2011 at 11:24 am

    How clever are you with that mold!

  • Glennis - Can't Believe We Ate April 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I love it! What great “thinking out of the box!!” I forget how much I love those things… Arrrgh! The side effects of reading food blogs!

  • Shelby April 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    WOW, you deserve a BIG kudos for this one! I grew up with these too an they were called Chick-o-stix. LOVED them and still o!

  • Lori E April 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Leave it to you guys to figure this out. Some smart cookie.

  • natalie (the sweets life) April 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Ha I’ve never seen or heard of these before—too fun!

  • Robin Sue April 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    OK the mold is brilliant for this. I had no idea that that material was heat resistant. I have never heard of this kind of candy before now. But do like peanut butter with coconut!

  • John D. June 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    This is one of the best “nostalgia” candies ever made… and you are a GENIUS for figuring out the recipe! I’m going to make some for my mom, it was her favorite candy. You rock!!!

  • debbie p October 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    my boyfriend LOVES chick-o-stix and gets them whenever we happen to see them in our travels. i remembered that i recently saw a 3-ingredient recipe for butterfinger bars on the internet, and since the “orange stuff” inside tastes similar, i wondered if you could use those same ingredients, minus the chocolate, to make this candy. i just experimented with a tiny batch and the taste is very close! i think tweaking the proportions and cooking times/methods would give you a quick and easy recipe. the three ingredients? candy corn, peanut butter, and coconut! if you try it, please let me know! debbie

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