If you're a fan of Payday candy bars then you'll go NUTS for this fast and easy Copycat Payday Candy Bars recipe. After all, who doesn't love payday?!!
This easy-to-make candy recipe is one you'll turn to time again when you're looking for a copycat candy that tastes just like the original!
You're going to love these peanut and homemade nougat-filled candy bars!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Copycat Payday Candy Bars is available near the end of this post. OR click on the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
For delicious nuts, candy, chocolate, dried fruits, baking supplies, and gifts, Oh! Nuts is a store not to be missed!!
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- Dry Roasted Peanuts
- Mini Marshmallows
- Peanut Butter Chips
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Vanilla Extract
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- large heavy-bottom saucepan or stockpot
- wooden spoon or spatula
- measuring cups and spoons
- 13" x 9" baking dish
- plastic wrap (for storing)
In all honesty:
I've had several readers write me saying that their candy didn't set properly.
While I've never had this problem with the recipe, I have gone in and altered the amount of butter from 1 stick to 4 tablespoons after doing a bit of research on this. I hope this helps going forward.
I want you, my readers, to be successful with the recipes you'll find here, and I appreciate the honest feedback and will work hard to bring you recipes you'll be proud to make and share.
How this recipe and video came to be:
This recipe for Copycat Payday Candy Bars is a redo from the original post I shared back in 2011. It's hard to believe it's been so long since I first shared this recipe. Where does the time go?
While a lot has changed in the past 7 years, this recipe has too.
Back in 2011 if you would have told me I'd be producing my own food videos, and that I'd have my own channel on YouTube, I would have literally laughed out loud.
Fast forward 7 years, and I'm doing just that, and having a whole lot of fun in the process!
How long does take to make a copycat Payday candy bar?
From start to finish, it's roughly 10-12 minutes.
However, the candy will need to be refrigerated for up to 4 hours before slicing, so please plan accordingly.
What if I'm allergic to peanuts, can I substitute another nut?
- Sure, but then it wouldn't be a copycat Payday candy bar, would it? 😉
The easy instructions:
- Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish liberally with baking spray.
- Layer one jar of the peanuts evenly in the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt 4 T. butter over medium/low heat and stir in the peanut butter chips, and sweetened condensed milk. Stir to melt, and combine.
- Continue cooking the mixture over medium/low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the mini marshmallows, salt, and vanilla.
- Stir well to completely combine so there are no streaks of marshmallow.
- Slowly pour the marshmallow mixture in an even layer over the peanuts in the baking dish.
- Top the marshmallow mix evenly with the second jar of dry roasted peanuts.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours and then carefully slice the candy into bars before serving.
For additional homemade candy recipes, please click on the following titles for:
- Double Chocolate Graham Cracker Toffee (pictured below)
- Mega-Sized Peanut Butter Cup with Coconut and Pecans (pictured below)
- Tropical White Chocolate Candy Bites (pictured below)
Below is the printable recipe card along with the nutritional information for today’s Copycat Payday Candy Bars.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
Printable Recipe Card
Copycat Payday Candy Bars Recipe
- 2 large jars 16 ounces, each jar dry roasted peanuts
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 bag peanut butter chips
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- Spray a 13" x 9" baking dish with baking spray.
- Add one jar of the dry roasted peanuts in an even layer in the bottom of the sprayed dish. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium/low heat.
- Add the marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter chips to the saucepan and stir well.
- Continue cooking over medium/low heat (for approximately 5 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla extract. Stir well.
- Gently pour the marshmallow mix evenly over the peanut layer in the prepared pan, using a spatula to even out the marshmallow mixture if needed.
- Sprinkle the remaining dry roasted peanuts over the marshmallow mixture, pressing them lightly into the filling.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- Cut into bars, serve and enjoy!
So there you have it! No more waiting for payday. Now you can have yours whenever you want it! Priceless. 😉
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's homemade candy recipe as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
Made this recipe last night to bring to work. All of my coworkers were raving about it and I gave out this recipe to them.
I did not have any issues with the consistency that some others had while making this. It is important to make sure that the filling mixture is cooked that 5 minutes. I noticed that once removed from heat that the filling mixture began to slowly solidify, which I think may be crucial to know if it will set up properly and not be runny.
I'm so glad, Liz. Thanks for letting me know that you had success. This makes me very happy.
Thanks for the 5-star rating too. I appreciate it.
Have a wonderful day!
I made these today but when I removed them from the pan they are runny. Not sure where I went wrong.
Thank you for writing. While I've never had this problem, unfortunately, others have.
Since I want everyone to be successful with my recipes I've gone in and changed the amount of butter called for.
I've cut it pretty drastically in the hopes that this will alleviate the problem of the candy not setting properly.
I'm truly sorry that this happened and I hope you can accept my sincere apologies.
I've gone in and also added a few lines about how and why I changed the recipe as a full transparency disclosure as
I only want to be completely honest with you, my readers.
Thanks so much for your honest comment, and again, I appreciate you and hope you will come back again.
Take good care,
@Renée, did you hear back about the cornstarch or flour? I used less butter as you suggested but they are still sticky. Do you have any suggestions what to harden them with?
That was fast, RuthAnn.
I'm sad that didn't work.
I looked at other Payday recipes on the web and haven't seen any of them call for cornstarch or flour.
Here's what I'm going to suggest, at the stage of melting the butter, chips, sweetened milk, and marshmallows in a saucepan, rather than stopping right after they're melted and smooth, try cooking them for a few additional minutes (not on high heat as we don't want them to burn but on a low simmer), stirring frequently to bring the mixture to more of a "soft-ball" candy stage. I don't think you'll need to take it that far (the soft-ball stage is 235 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer), but just long enough to give the sugary mixture more structure for when it cools. To be totally honest, the times I've made this recipe I didn't time or take the temperature of the mixture, so perhaps just a few extra minutes on the stovetop is enough to bring the nougat to the proper consistency, and if that's the case...my bad, and I completely apologize for not having that written in the recipe.
I hope this helps. If not, I'll try and come up with something else.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I understand your frustration.
those candy bars were magnificent. i use to eat them all the time but home made are so much better. my husband said i don't like pay day candy bars i said you have to try one and he did he ate 4 of them said these are really good thank you for the great recipes.
Awww, Peggy, thank you so much for the lovely comment. I really appreciate it!!
Take good care, and thanks for being a follower of my blog!
Claudia Lamascolo says
I love these candy bars! I am so glad to find this and and printing it off right now my husband and son will go nuts over them thank Renee you're the best!
I know you're going to enjoy them, Claudia.
Take good care,
Kathy Goulden says
The pure vanilla extract makes the difference
You are a girl after my own heart, Kathy! 🙂
Great taste but horrible consistency - they never set up all the way, even with a day's refrigeration. I think I should have checked the internet for a good temperature to reach for candy bar consistency (I usually do this but trusted the just heat, blend and add directions). I tried leaving them in the pan and cutting as needed but that was a pain so I cut them apart and placed them on waxed paper on a plate after leaving them in the 'fridge but when I did that they just kind of melted into each other (yes, I did keep them refrigerated).
I'm sorry you didn't have success with this recipe. Wonder what could have gone wrong?
As you can see from my photos, I didn't have this problem. I'm confused.
Anyway, glad you enjoyed the taste. I'll bet it would taste good as an ice cream topping. 😉
@Uncommonsensesc, I had the same results, great taste but very sticky.
I'm sorry to hear. I'll update the recipe as best I can to fix this problem.
@Rosie, mine did the same. Totally stuck to the pan and just globbed together; couldn’t put in cookie tins as too sticky. Flavor was good but disappointed as that was my cookie contribution for our cookie trays.
I'm so very sorry. I'm trying hard to figure out what has happened as I've not had this problem.
I've cut the amount of the butter in the recipe (I'm sorry if that was after you'd made them) and I also
suggested this to one other reader. If you ever try to make them again, I hope you'll try this...
At the stage of melting the butter, chips, sweetened milk, and marshmallows in a saucepan, rather than stopping right after they’re melted and smooth, try cooking them for a few additional minutes (not on high heat as we don’t want them to burn but on a low simmer), stirring frequently to bring the mixture to more of a “soft-ball” candy stage. I don’t think you’ll need to take it that far (the soft-ball stage is 235 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer), but just long enough to give the sugary mixture more structure for when it cools.
To be totally honest, the times I’ve made this recipe I didn’t time or take the temperature of the mixture, so perhaps just a few extra minutes on the stovetop is enough to bring the nougat to the proper consistency, and if that’s the case…my bad, and I completely apologize for not having that written in the recipe.
I hope this helps. If not, I’ll try and come up with something else.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I understand your frustration.
My mom loves Paydays, so I'm not surprised she loved this homemade version too. So easy to make too!
Your mom is a smart woman, Krystle! 🙂
My husband loved these! Payday bars are hard to find around here (I have no idea why), but they are my husband's favorite, so being able to make them for him was amazing!
Now your husband can even make them for himself, right? They're SO easy. 😉
When do you add the sweetened condensed milk.
The sweetened condensed milk gets added with the peanut butter chips. I had that part in the photo tutorial, but in error had missed that in the recipe card. I’ve since edited the recipe. Thanks for catching my mistake.
These bars look dangerously delicious! I am glad it makes a large batch, now I just hope I can make myself share!
LOL! I know what you mean. Enjoy!
Hello. These look delish! However, in the video they look a little too lose (more like they need to STAY in the fridge). Have you tried adding a little cornstarch or flour to water and then adding it in the mixture to thicken it? I'm wondering if it will make it firm or possibly change the texture.
Thanks for your feedback.
This batch that I made for the video was a little softer than I would have liked. (That's the fun of making live video. Not!)
I have not tried using cornstarch or flour to thicken. I would be nervous that adding either of those ingredients would give the final candy an off-taste.
That said, I would be more apt to keep them in the freezer and slice them shortly before serving than anything else.
It's been a few years since I did this video so I don't quite remember the circumstances, but odds are I tried to rush the process for the sake of the video.
In any case, the flavor of the candy is ultimately what matters, and these are delicious.
If you do try the cornstarch and/or flour, please let me know how that works for you.
Take care and have a lovely day!
Aimee Shugarman says
These are my favorite candy bars!!!
Mine too!! Enjoy!
jual kacamata says
thank's for this sharing, this is very nice!
Tia the Baker says
omg i love these! is it ok if i include them in my jan 7, 2012 post for the "copycat club". see details on my blog! take care and happy new year.
Barbara Bakes says
I love it when I'm reminded of a great recipe I haven't made in a long time. Looks luscious. Wishing you a new year filled with all you favorite things.
There's a reason you found this tucked away in your recipe box. It was meant to be shared with all your nut-loving readers. Looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing Renee!
Culinary Collage says
I'll have to try this recipe! I'm guessing it's even better than the original Payday bars......yum!