Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nougat...Big Hunk Copycat Candy

November and December have flown by...fast.

I did make some deliciously chewy and retro candy.  Did you eat Big Hunk candy as a child?  It was my favorite. If we were at a movie theater, it was the chosen treat.  Forget popcorn.  I could have that at home any time but a Big Hunk could be made to last the entire movie and then some.
I told my Mother I wanted to make it when I was about 10 years old.  I was convinced that all I needed was some flour and shortening right?  It was white after all.  Mom told me I couldn't make it but I was certain I could and bless her heart....she stood by and let me try.  Yeah...it didn't turn out so well.

Flash forward a few years years later to this week.  I got this great recipe from my daughter and made a batch of Big Hunk, or nougat, which is the correct name for this delightful candy from my childhood.
And it is delicious and surprisingly easy!  You'll need a candy thermometer to get just the right "chew".  And who would have guessed that it is actually made with marshmallow creme from a jar.
One batch made many, many pieces; which is good, because no one missed a few while they were being wrapped and there were still more than enough to go into the treat bags for the neighbor gifts.
So if you need a quick last minute treat before Christmas... make sure you have some MARSHMALLOW CREME on hand.  Shortening just won't work.  But then you knew that already.

Big Hunk Nougat

3 cups of dry roasted peanuts (about 18 oz.)                      
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla
3 jars (7 oz. each) of marshmallow cream                        
6 tablespoons of butter
2 1/4 cups of light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 1/4 cups of sugar

Spray an 11 x 17-inch baking sheet (a half sheet tray) with non-stick spray; sprinkle it evenly with the peanuts and set aside.  Take a bit of the butter and grease a large bowl.  Place the marshmallow cream in the mixing bowl and set aside.  Combine the corn syrup and sugar in a saucepan and place over it over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
Place a lid on the pan and leave it for 2 to 3 minutes to wash any sugar crystals down into the pan. Remove the lid and add a candy thermometer to the pan.  Bring the syrup to a rolling boil and cook it
to 280 degrees (at sea level).  The syrup will make a soft crack sound when dropped into cold water and it should be firm but pliable when picked up with the fingers.  Adjust the temperature for your altitude.  At my altitude water boils at 202 degrees F. so I cook this syrup just until it reaches 270 degrees F.  Remove syrup from heat and allow to cool 2 minutes in the pan.  Pour the sugar syrup over the marshmallow cream.  Do not scrape the pan.
Add butter, vanilla and salt.  Fold all the ingredients together using a wooden spoon.  Pour the mixture over the peanuts and spread evenly on the prepared sheet.  
Allow nougat to stand at room temperature for 3 hours or until firm.  
Cut into bite-size pieces and wrap in wax paper or cellophane wrappers immediately.  If you let the candy sit without wrapping it may flatten and stick to the adjacent pieces.


  1. Sounds yummy! Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Bonnie!.

  2. OHMYGOSH!!!!! I KNEW we were separated at birth - Big Hunks are my VERY favorite candy!!!! But, how could you do this to me? I'm not near my kitchen for several days - how will I survive??? This is a MUST make for me - THANK YOU!!! And have a VERY VERY Merry Christmas my friend - I trust Santa made good on all the socks. (the hats were a huge hit!)