molasses peanut chews
Inspired from 1881: Chocolate Caramels as seen in NYT
from vanillasugarblog.com

4 TB salted butter
About 1 TB butter to grease ceramic dish
4 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup half & half
1 cup molasses
1 cup white sugar
1 ts high quality vanilla extract
Giant pinch of sea salt
½ cup of salted, roasted peanuts

Wax paper squares for wrapping caramels
Extra butter for greasing up your knife when cutting caramels

Remember this is hot sugar, never touch the hot sugar, never be tempted to taste test, and always use oven mits.
Butter an 8-by-8-inch or 8 x 9 baking dish. Get out a candy thermometer and clip onto pot.
In a large heavy duty pot (with high sides preferably) combine the butter, chocolate, milk, molasses, sugar, and salt. Place over a medium heat and stir constantly and CONSTANTLY scraping the bottom of pan. (You will be doing this for a while). Let it boil and cook until the temperature reaches around 247 -249 (soft ball stage). Once it hits this temperature remove from heat
And add in the vanilla extract (it will make a lot of noise and sizzle, just add in and stand back then stir in)
Once mixed, pour the hot mixture into your prepared buttered baking dish.
Sprinkle the peanuts on top of the caramel. Push peanuts down into caramel using rubber spatula—do not use your hands!
In about an hour or 45 minutes you should be able to handle caramel. Gently lift if out of baking dish and transfer to a wooden board or plastic cutting board.
Using a sharp knife cut long strips about ¾ of an inch, then cut those strips into 1 or 2 inch pieces.) Wrap in wax paper.
Should make about 70 pieces; all dependant on how you cut them (what size).