Baby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch

October 28, 2015

Baby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

There were many warm and cozy moments this past weekend while visiting home in Phoenix. Warm mostly because it was eighty to ninety degrees each day we were there, and cozy because – HOME. My life so far has been split mostly between southern California and Phoenix (Arizona). With a few random years in Vancouver (Washington), and now a year here in Denver (Colorado). The ten years leading up to marrying Scott and moving back to southern California were spent in Phoenix. That is where both of our parents still live (as well as Scott’s sister, her husband, and our two nieces). It’s where I went to high school and college, plus where Scott and I met + got married + lived for our first year together. It just feels like home. The kind of home you return to for family, comfort, the feeling of safety, and so many happy memories.

Whenever we visit home Scott and I return back to kid-dom. We split up – he goes to his parent’s home, I go to mine, and that is where we spend the majority of our time. I try to make it over to his parents’ house to visit at least once, and he does the same over at my parents’. Its like we’re dating again, and it is so fun. This is how we do holidays at home too (I know, we’re so bad) but we know that once we bring little groms into this world everything will change. So for now – we split up, we return to being kids, and it is awesome. I get my old room to myself, bright yellow walls and all. I wake up early to go for my run, then shower and get back into my pjs. My mom and I sit on the couch with mugs of coffee and just talk. There is usually a cooking show or old movie on of some sorts, but we can’t keep from chatting. Slow, honest chatting. Lots of smiles and giggles, but very little movement. This is the one time I “lounge” – and only my mom can get me to do it. Many episodes of The Great British Bake Off were watched, a movie or two, and some Martha Stewart for pure therapy. There were sunrise and sunset walks, some baking, some trips to Pomegranate Cafe for lunch, and lots of bare feet + pjs. Pecos Road takes you deep into Ahwatukee Foothills where my parents live, alongside a giant indian reservation. You can watch the monsoons coming in from hundreds of miles away in the late summer, and see the most beautiful sunsets behind the Sierra Estrella mountain range every night. This place is so peaceful. Every time I go home I feel my heart slowing down a few beats. I’m more relaxed and at peace. The three days we spent here this past weekend were needed, enjoyed, and crazy appreciated.

I was helping my mom put up Halloween decorations in the front yard and it brought back memories of so many Halloweens spent at this house. Mainly in high school, when my habits went from trick or treating in hopes of scoring the most Milky Ways, to watching spooky movies and sneaking Baby Ruths from the candy bowl at the front door. I don’t know how it happened, but my disgust for nuts in chocolate dissipated in high school, and my love for them has been growing ever since. When I was thinking of a candy bar to share here this season, my thoughts immediately turned to this newer favorite. I was determined to make it wholesome, using only the highest quality ingredients sans all the processed mumbo jumbo. After my first batch I handed one over to Scott. His eyes lit up as he took his first bite and turned to me, eyebrows raised, and said, “YOU DID IT.” We both swear these are better than any store-bought version we’ve ever had. And don’t let the long instructions below discourage you, they are incredibly easy to make – I just wanted to make sure I was super detailed in order to heighten your success rate at making and enjoying these tasty morsels! I’m obsessed. And now want to make homemade candy bars every week – someone hold me back.

Baby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipeBaby Ruth Candy Bars | From Scratch by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

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Tid-bits: I dipped these here in my favorite go-to dark chocolate bar, but also discovered this chocolate bar free of processed sugar that tastes AMAZING while making a batch at my parent’s house last weekend. I highly recommend either of the two for dipping. And as for the nuts – I have made these with classic dry roasted peanuts (as done here) as well as raw cashews. Verdict? Both are incredible. If you aren’t a huge peanut fan, or have a bag of raw cashews laying around, I would highly recommend going the cashew route all the same.


 
BABY RUTH CANDY BARS | FROM SCRATCH
Makes 16 mini candy bars.

caramel
2 cans of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated*
1 cup pure maple syrup

2 cups dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
a good pinch of salt
about 6.4 ounces of dark chocolate, melted for dipping

*When it comes to refrigerating full fat coconut milk cans in order to get the cream to separate, I recommend a few days of chilling. If your refrigerator runs very cold (ie. the items in the back of the refrigerator freeze) chilling overnight should do. However, if you have an old refrigerator like mine that doesn’t run as chilly, I place my cans of coconut milk in the back of the fridge for 2 or more days before using.

Begin by making the caramel. Open the cans of coconut milk and scoop out the thick cream that should have separated from the water (try not to add any of the water, this will make the caramel runny). Each can should yield 1 cup of cream (so 2 cups total for this recipe). Add the thick cream to a saucepan with the maple syrup. (Get ready to stand by your stove, this caramel gets all of your attention please!) Bring to a boil, watching it carefully and whisking to mix the melted coconut cream and maple together well. Once boiling, turn down the heat to low (if using gas) or medium (if using electric) whisking constantly until it reaches a simmer. (You want to have a good, healthy simmer going on here. Not a boil, but not a weak bubbling.) Let the caramel simmer for 20 minutes, giving it a hearty whisking every 3 minutes. After 20 minutes the caramel should have reduced to half of its original volume, be much thicker, and be pulling away from the sides of the saucepan when bubbling. If it isn’t, continue to simmer and whisk every 3 minutes until it boils down enough to do so. (For those of you at sea level this can easily take 30 minutes.) Transfer the caramel to a heat proof bowl on the counter. Let it sit, uncovered, for about 20 minutes to cool a bit.

When the caramel has cooled some, stir in the 2 cups of dry roasted peanuts along with a good pinch of salt. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and pour the candy bar filling into it, smoothing out the top so that it is flat. Place the loaf pan in the freezer until the bars are firm enough to handle and cut (30 minutes to an hour). Remove the pan from the freezer when the caramel no longer sticks to your finger when touched, but is firm. Pull out the filling using the parchment, and peal away the sides of parchment (use a knife to do so smoothly if needed). Cut into 8 bars, and then slice them in half to get 16 rectangles. If they are still a bit sticky, lay them flat on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer to set for another 10 to 20 minutes.

Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler on the stove. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate once melted, and place on a heat proof pad on the counter. Using a fork, dip each frozen bar into the melted chocolate, and transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Once finished, place the sheet in the refrigerator to set. Transfer the bars to a zip lock baggie (or air tight glass container) once the chocolate has set, and keep stored in the refrigerator. As the caramel thaws it returns to its gooey, caramel-y state. Eat as you would like, and enjoy, you just made a flipping candy bar (!!!).

55 Comments

  • Reply Erin October 28, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Whoa these look delish! and PLEASE make homemade candy bars every week – no ones stopping you ;) Your pictures are lovely as well. I am so happy to have found your blog!

    • Reply Faring Well October 28, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Thanks for the weekly candy bar encouragement Erin! ;) And thank you – you are so so sweet, I’m glad you did as well! Hope you’re having a stellar week :)

  • Reply joan October 28, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Baby Ruth!! Oh Jessie, they have always been my favorite. Payday being my second choice. This recipe could work for both!
    “heart slowing down a few beats”…. I love that.

    • Reply Faring Well October 28, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Aw thank you Joan, I’m glad to have another B-Ruth lover reading this post! This recipe could totally work for both ;). And thank you for your kind words, hope you get to make some homemade treats this week! <3

  • Reply Tieghan October 28, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Your weekend sounds amazing. I love when I get to spend quality time with my family and putting up Halloween decorations is the best! :)

    But um, these bars! These bars RULE!

    • Reply Faring Well October 28, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Isn’t it the best?! LOVE IT. And goodness, thank you Tieghan! :)

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout October 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

    ohmygosh! this is super genius! I am definitely going to make these to bring to a halloween party :D I love reading about your cozy mornings with coffee and chats, it is the best <3

    • Reply Faring Well October 28, 2015 at 8:46 am

      YAY! Thanks Maya! That made me smile. Hope you make and love these too!

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan October 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Oh your time at home sounds lovely! I do love my husband to be, but I also cherish those times when we both go home and spend quality time just being with family. Cheers to Halloween with these beauties!

    • Reply Faring Well October 28, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Thank you so so much Abby, you’re the best. Cheers to you too! I know you will have something delicious coming out of your kitchen this week, you always do!! xo

  • Reply Rebeca October 28, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I’ve never had the original, but these look amazing! I’m going to try them with a couple tweaks. How long do they last? If they aren’t eaten on the first day, that is. ;)

    • Reply Faring Well October 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Oh I’m so glad these will be your first! I think they are best the day of, but of course they are amazing within the week as well :)

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full October 28, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Oh Jessie your time at home just sounds magical!! Your description of chit-chatting with your mom over cups of coffee on the couch sounds just like what I do with my mom! But we always end up talking about our pups because we’re both crazy dog ladies ;) It’s too funny that you and Scott “split up” and go to your respective parents’ houses! But that is so cute and I bet it does feel like you’re dating again! You two are the cutest. Honestly every time I read these posts I’m just like, #relationshipgoals. And these homemade baby ruth bars?? Perfection. :D

    • Reply Faring Well October 29, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Aw that is so awesome you have such a similar relationship with your momma! They are just the best. And I know we are so a-typical but it totally works for us! You are too sweet, he and I do have fun and thats the most important right?! ;)

  • Reply Caitlin October 28, 2015 at 7:47 am

    i honestly think that i never had a baby ruth bar growing up which is ridiculous because peanuts+chocolate+caramel=everything i love in life. i love your description of home and being with your mom- i have a very similar relationship with mine. and after checking out the pomegranate menu, i’m super jealous and wish i could go there for lunch!

    • Reply Faring Well October 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      I kinda understand – there are so many amazing candy bars out there its easy to get stuck on just a few – especially as a kid! I think you would love this rendition here now though :) and that is so awesome about you and your momma too! Maybe you two can take a girls weekend to PHX one day and go to Pomegranate – its seriously next level for delicious, healthy eats! xo

  • Reply Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist October 28, 2015 at 8:09 am

    As you know, I am into all things made from scratch so these bars are calling me. The texture of the filling looks perfect. Just like a Baby Ruth. YUM! Your time with your mom and family sounds so restorative.

    • Reply Faring Well October 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Aw yay thank you Kathryn! They are so good. Like silly good. And our time at home (and with my momma) so so was. Hope there is some restoration in your week/weekend too!

  • Reply Loran | Old World Living October 28, 2015 at 8:09 am

    I absolutely loved reading about your visit back to see your parents! And these candy bars (enter heart eyes emoji)!! These look SO good! My mom would love these. Maybe we will try them for Christmas? Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Aw yay! I hope you do and love them too Loran! Thank you thank you <3

  • Reply Emily | Gather & Dine October 28, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Jumped right on here after seeing your IG post because I was so curious as to how you conquered these Jessie-style. :) I cannot wait to try making caramel with coconut milk and maple syrup! I thought I didn’t even like candy bars anymore, but I think these look so so stunning. :)
    Your weekend at home sounded wonderful- I love hearing about the things you do to slow down and savor life!

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      Um, you are THE sweetest – thank you Emily! If you do give these a go I hope you love them too :). Slowing down the other weekend with fam was just what we needed :) thank you for your kind words friend xo

  • Reply Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow October 28, 2015 at 9:36 am

    For what it’s worth, I would not hold you back from making homemade candy bars every week (using good wholesome ingredients, of course.) Go ahead, I give you full permission on behalf of…the world ;) These look amazing, Jessie!

    And I love how you write about home. So much of it is similar to my experience (being calmed by my mother; watching old movies with her; long walks along the bayou–okay the bayou part is probably a little different.) Beautiful, all around, lady!

    PS: When did you live in Washington?!

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Hehe thank you for your permission (and encouragement!) Brooke! So wonderful that you have the same warm fuzzy feelings about home too <3 - and we lived in WA from 1998-2001 - a random three years from when I was 10 to 13 ;) love love loved it there!

  • Reply Dani Mendocha | Styled Variety October 28, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I love homemade candy – these bars sounds delicious! :) Baby Ruth is one of my favorites!

    Dani | http://www.styledvariety.com

  • Reply Kathryn October 28, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Um, want!!! Seriously girl, these are everything that I dream about in a candy bar and I can’t wait to try making these myself.

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Eeeeep! You’re the sweetest thank you Kathryn! I hope your wedding this past weekend was extra super magical – SO incredibly happy for you friend! <3

  • Reply Michelle @ Hummingbird High October 28, 2015 at 10:52 am

    LOVE THESE.

    And your writing is so perfect! Reading about your homecoming made me miss my parents and my childhood home :-)

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      You’re making me blush – thank you Michelle! Glad you loved the recipe and post in all :) hugs xo

  • Reply Bethany @ Athletic Avocado October 28, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Oh my, baby ruths are my dad’s absolute favorite candy bar! He will go nuts if I make this healthy version for him!!

    • Reply Faring Well November 3, 2015 at 7:23 am

      That is so awesome! I would feel so honored if you did :) thanks Bethany!

  • Reply Sydney | Modern Granola October 28, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Oh my goodness these look so amazing! At first I didn’t know what to do with myself, the photos were so beautiful. I’ll definitely be making these high vibe gorgeous bars this season. Yum!
    xx Sydney

    • Reply Faring Well November 3, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Goodness Sydney! Thank you <3 you are way too kind. I hope you get to make and enjoy these too! Happy fall friend! <3

  • Reply Amanda Paa October 28, 2015 at 11:32 am

    you are speaking my real food, candy bar love language! cannot wait to make these baby ruth’s, and the coconut milk caramel for that matter.

    sounds like you had a fun visit home – i’ve been watching old episodes of martha stewart too! how is she so nostalgic and always so good?

    • Reply Faring Well November 3, 2015 at 7:25 am

      Aw thank you Amanda! That means a ton coming from you. And I know right?! Martha is pure medicine for the soul. Always so soothing <3

  • Reply Lade' | Take It Easy Tiger October 28, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Oh man, Beast mode, beast mode! Look at this here! lol. Wow, I definitely didn’t like Babe Ruth’s growing up I was always a Snicker or Twix kind of guy. I can relate to the Milky Way because that is all I received when I was younger. However this is worth a try! Imagine adding fruit giving is classic candy a different twist. It’s always good to see how great memories can inspire you to create something new. Job well done!

  • Reply Sarah October 28, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve never had a baby ruth but I wanna eat these so bad!!

  • Reply Amber | Loves Food, Loves to Eat October 28, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I love this post! My husband and I have been together since our freshman year in college in 2003, and just started spending holidays together about 2 years ago. Everyone thought we were so weird because of it, but we figured we have our own little unit every single day, and only get to spend time with our parents a few times a year. I don’t regret it at all, especially now that my dad has passed away. And that you get to do that in the same town is adorable! Also, I’m definitely making these candy bars!

  • Reply Amanda | Pickles & Honey October 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    “You did it!” From the looks of these photos, I would have to agree! And the super short ingredient list is so awesome, Jessie. Isn’t it the BEST feeling when that happens?!

    I really enjoyed reading about your home in Phoenix. You have such a lovely ritual there. XO

  • Reply Sophie | The Green Life October 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Ah Jessie, you have such a gift for words. I loved reading about your time back home. It looks like you had a lovely weekend. I’m so happy you got the chance to slow down and relax. Those moments are the best. I get the same feeling every time I head back home and it always makes it so hard to leave. Girl, these bars look AMAZING. I don’t know what Baby Ruth’s are… Not sure we had those in Quebec growing up (!?). I was a huge chocolate bar eater as a child (guh!) so obviously I would have known about them. This version looks beyond delicious and perfectly wholesome. I would never have thought of making caramel with coconut cream. It’s such a brilliant idea! You outdid yourself again friend! Mind-blown.

  • Reply Liora @ Allthingsloveli October 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    These look so much better than the original Babe Ruths! They look amazing!

  • Reply Becca | Spices and Spatulas October 29, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Baby Ruth’s are the BEST!! I wonder how they would taste with almonds.. xo

  • Reply Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet October 29, 2015 at 9:51 am

    These bars are going to be the DEATH of me! But it will be a delicious death that’s for sure! I don’t know why I’ve never thought of making my own candy bars at home but you’ve convinced me to start doing it! :)

  • Reply Christine October 29, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Your consistently candid voice has led me to anticipate your routine as I would a friend’s: When you wrote in your post on Saturday that you would be waking up at your parents’ house to sit on the couch and sip coffee, I thought, ‘That doesn’t sound like Jessie; I thought that she went for a run every morning upon waking.’ This post, with its more detailed imagery about your morning at home, confirms that my thought was correct. (And I go for a run every morning upon waking, too, so knowing that about you makes me think that we’re friends.) Haha.

    I made this recipe last night, but it didn’t turn out. I’m so disappointed that I messed it up because it sounds like the easiest recipe imaginable. I guess that I can attribute the runny caramel to an imperfect separation of the coconut cream and coconut water. I’ll try it again at some time soon and will let you know how it goes!

    • Reply Faring Well November 2, 2015 at 7:30 am

      That is too funny! You know me too well ;). We are so similar, aren’t we? And I’m so bummer about your caramel. Getting the proper separation is really so key, but I also just added a note to my directions for those of you at sea level regarding boiling time. It occurred to me that liquids evaporate much quicker up here at higher elevation – so it could easily take 30 minutes for your caramel to boil down to a nice, thick consistency. I’m so sorry about your attempt, hopefully it works out better next time (and that you still enjoyed some yummy, gooey caramel this past week!) xo

  • Reply Claudia | The Brick Kitchen October 30, 2015 at 3:19 am

    These look incredible! I have never heard of Baby Ruths (don’t think we have them in NZ!) but they sound awesome, and I love your healthy version with the coconut caramel and dark chocolate dip. Such gorgeous photos too! Your time back in Phoenix sounded like so much fun as well and such a lovely way to revisit growing up and all the memories that go with it. Even though I only moved out 2 years ago, every time I walk back through the front doors of our family house it is like I have never left and it really does have that feeling of safety and comfort that you mentioned. Thanks for sharing that with us! <3

  • Reply Alana October 30, 2015 at 9:47 am

    OMG OMG OMG. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! And your Halloween’s growing up must have been epic. Also, hurry up and give us some groms!! Heheh. xoxoxo

  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude & greens November 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

    This is the part where I confess I have never had a baby ruth candy bar in my life, but I really don’t think I need to try a store bought one now that I have a recipe for amazing homemade ones! That coconut caramel sounds absolutely divine <3

  • Reply Julia Roberts November 6, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Oh! this bar looks perfect. I just can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply Kathy November 7, 2015 at 7:49 am

    I just discovered your beautiful site the other day when I posted a pic of my new Chalk Lots placemats. I was so intrigued that between last night and this morning, I read your entire blog. :) And today, I’m going to make these Baby Ruth cuties. I truly love your space and your philosophy, and your honesty, and your recipes. Wishing you a beautiful Saturday from all the way over here in Pittsburgh!
    ~Kathy

    • Reply Kathy November 7, 2015 at 7:51 am

      I was diagnosed with celiac back in April and starting cataloging my journey. I’m just a guppy in vast ocean of bloggers, but spaces like yours give me hope & encouragement to keep going. Thank you. <3

      http://www.journeyintofunctionalliving.wordpress.com

      • Reply Faring Well November 10, 2015 at 10:12 pm

        You are the sweetest, thank you Kathy! So glad to know you are enjoying the space and recipes. Hope you are having just the loveliest week ever <3

  • Reply Anna June 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Love how simple and delicious these look! Beautiful! For a slightly less sweet version, do you think the caramel would still form if you reduced the amount of maple syrup by 1/4 or so? Or would that prevent the candy from thickening? I need my food science degree… :)

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