Yes, shockingly enough, I made a recipe that involved using a candy thermometer and it worked! If there's one thing that I've had nearly zero success with, it's candy. I once tried making a nut brittle and ended up with a sugar brick. It was bad enough to have failed miserably, but to add insult to injury, there was also the annoying factor of the wasted money from all those nuts encased in the sugar brick that subsequently got thrown into the trash. Heck, I didn't even have success with making caramel apples - the caramel slid off - and I wasn't even making my own caramel!
This recipe is from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion (Yes, I still have this out from the library - I keep renewing it!) When I first decided to make this recipe, I didn't realize I'd need a candy thermometer or I likely would have chickened out. Having already started on the recipe, however, I bravely forged ahead and gave it a try. These bars are a cross between a granola bar, a Rice Krispie Treat and a s'more. Unlike a Rice Krispie Treat, they involve a little more than simply melting butter and marshmallows together and that's where the candy thermometer comes in. Sugar, butter, water and corn syrup are brought to a temperature of 250º - between the soft and hard stages - to form a sweet slightly chewy, slightly crunchy "glue" that holds the bars together.
In addition to rice cereal, these bars have toasted oats, giving the bars a added flavor and texture and also serving to keep these bars from being quite as sweet as some of these treats tend to be. To give them a s'more-like appeal, marshmallows and chocolate chips are baked onto the top. I only had 9x3-inch pans and instead of using 2 pans for these bars, as suggested by the recipe, I opted to make one pan, producing a nice, thick bar. Since I had less surface area than if I had baked them in two pans, I used less marshmallows and chocolate chips on the top.
We enjoyed these bars very much - they are nicely chewy and not overly sweet - but I couldn't help but think we should have gone the extra step and added chopped, toasted almonds, essentially turning them into Rocky Road Granola Bars.