Preheat oven to 200°F. Stir peanut butter and salt together in a large, heatproof bowl. Place bowl in preheated oven to keep warm.
Combine vanilla and baking soda in a small bowl and keep handy next to the stove.
Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved, attach a candy thermometer and cook until the syrup reaches 285°F.
Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla – the mixture will foam.
Carefully take peanut butter out of oven and fold in foaming syrup – fold together until the mixture is somewhat combined but there are still streaks of peanut butter throughout. The mixture will become quite stiff.
Working quickly while the mixture is still warm, divide among your silicon molds. Any molds will work, but I like these to be about 3/4″ to 1″ thick, so I don’t fill my molds all the way to the top. Any extra can be molded on parchment paper. The cooled bars don’t cut well, but you can break them up into shards which are just as tasty.
Let the butterfingers cool and harden for a couple hours or overnight. Remove from molds and dip in chocolate. Crispity crunchity.
1 cup chocolate paillettes, or mini chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cornstarch or potato starch for coating
Special equipment: candy thermometer stand mixer with whisk attachment
Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil or parchment, letting some overhang to make lifting the marshmallow out easier. Coat lightly with non-stick spray or butter.
Pour 3/4 cup cold water into bowl of stand-mixer. Sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand. Put on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment so it’s ready to go.
Combine 3 cups sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup cold water in heavy medium saucepan (with a handle preferably). Over medium-low heat, stir super gently with a heatproof spatula, or swirl the pan ever so slightly, just for the first couple minutes to dissolve the sugar, being careful not to let any sugar granules stick to the sides of the pan (if they do, wash them down with a wet pastry brush).
Once sugar had dissolved, attach a candy thermometer and never stir it again until it reaches 240º, about 8 minutes. It will boil up the pan quite a bit as it gets going- just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over, adjusting the heat accordingly.
With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin in a thin stream, running down the side of the bowl so the whisk doesn’t splash it all over. Don’t worry about the syrup that sticks to the bowl.
Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until very stiff and cooled to lukewarm – it should take 10-15 minutes.
Add peppermint and beat to blend, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of the chocolate paillettes or mini chips and JUST mix in.
Spread the marshmallow into the greased pan and smooth the top as best you can. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup paillettes or chips evenly on top. Let stand for at least 4 hours before cutting. Overnight is even better.
Sift starch and powdered sugar together and dust your work surface. Lift marshmallow out and cut into squares using a large sharp knife. Keep a pitcher of piping hot water and a dish towel nearby – dip the knife in the hot water and dry with the towel to make cutting easier. Roll in sugar/starch mixture until the sides are coated before stacking or packing.