One of the first things I learned how to cook as a child was this candy, except my childhood version had oodles of marshmallows, more butter, and butterscotch chips. I got the recipe from a teacher whose name I cannot, unfortunately, remember. I still crave the candy of childhood, but this version suits my adult palate while keeping the spirit of the original. It is still simple enough for a kid to make (though the coconut toasting may need an adult helping hand). It is also very forgiving, so large variations in the amounts and qualities of the ingredients are just fine. —Ilex
one nine inch pie pan worth of candy
dark chocolate chips
peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, unsalted)
butter (salted or unsalted)
five spice powder
chili powder (or more to taste)
flaked or shredded coconut (unsweetened is better if you aren’t a super sweet tooth), toasted
roasted cashews (salted or unsalted, depending on salt preference)
Diced candied ginger or dried fruit, like apricots, cherries or mango (optional)
Put coconut in a nine inch pie pan (or an 8 by 10 square pan would work too) and toast it (add cashews if they also need to be roasted) in a 350 oven for about 10 minutes, but check it a few times as coconut may vary in its toasting speed. Keep the coconut spread out in the pan and let it cool. Spread cashews in with the coconut if they weren’t roasted with the coconut and add optional diced candied ginger or dried fruit.
Put all the other ingredients in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high/normal for 45 seconds. Stir. If the chocolate is lumpy stick it back in the microwave for another 45 seconds and stir again. Continue till the mix is smooth and pourable.
Pour in cooled pan over coconut and cashews (the pan needs to be cooled or it might scorch the chocolate). Stick in fridge to set. The candy can be cut into pieces after its set, if it is too hard leave it out for a bit to soften. It can also be poured over ice cream while not set or eaten with a spoon if you are impatient.