Based on a recipe in Peter Greweling's Chocolates and Confections (Wiley, 2010), these candies taste best with a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups light corn syrup
- 1⁄2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 3⁄4 cup dry powdered milk
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 lb. semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- Sea salt, to garnish
Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Combine sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, molasses, and 3⁄4 cup water in a 6-qt. saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 250°. Meanwhile, put remaining corn syrup, vanilla, and egg white into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk.
In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, powdered milk, and confectioners' sugar and stir until smooth; set peanut butter mixture aside. When syrup reaches 235°, begin to whip egg white mixture on high speed. Once the syrup reaches 250°, remove pan from heat and let sit 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to medium and carefully pour hot syrup into the center of the egg whites in a slow, steady stream. After all the syrup is added, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 4 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in peanut butter mixture gently but quickly until well combined. Transfer to prepared baking pan and smooth with a rubber spatula; let cool to room temperature.
Remove nougat from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 1" squares and set aside. Combine chocolate and shortening in a medium heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, stirring often, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from pot and let chocolate cool until an instant-read thermometer reads 89°.
Using two toothpicks or a candy dipping fork, dip a square of nougat into the chocolate, shake off excess coating, and place candy on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Sprinkle squares with a small pinch of sea salt while chocolate is still liquid; repeat with remaining nougat squares, chocolate, and sea salt. If chocolate cools below 86°, set the bowl over the pot of simmering water and heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to 89°, then continue coating nougat squares. Let chocolate cool to room temperature and set before serving.