Joe Gattis’ interest in recipe development began in 1964 after returning from a family vacation to Costa Rica. He experienced a life-changing coffee syrup that was poured over ice cream and wanted to recreate it. With a little help from his mother, Joe nailed a duplicate recipe that drew repeat requests. Dazzling friends and family with delicious food became a big part of Joe’s life. Those lucky enough to be in Joe’s inner circle enjoy treats like giant Challah, country style cinnamon rolls, and caramel pecan spice cake.
Joe lived in several exciting places, including the Panama Canal Zone and Atlanta. In 2009, Joe made South Korea his new home found culinary comraderie through an expat cooking group on Facebook. Joe and his fellow members exchange tips, recipes, and resources. In 2017, a few of those members were invited to be part of a major desserts and sweets show in Seoul.
Always an innovator, Joe decided to stand out in a sea of cakes, pies, and muffins. He arrived to the show stocked with peanut butter fudge, divinity, rum caramel sauce, peach cobbler, brownies, and wine gum drops. It’s no wonder he was swarmed with customers from show open to end. The continous crowds of customers made Joe realize he and his friends were on to something.
After lots of research, equipment procurement, and recipe development, Gwaja Bar (Sweets Bar, Korean) was born. Joe and his crew decided to go with a vintage theme for Gwaja Bar, using artwork, recipes, and packaging from the years 1890-1920. Their top-sellers include Biscoff Crunch, Oh! My! Bars, Almond Buttercrunch Toffee, Toasted Coconut Toffee, and Praline Pecans.
Being a part of the expat community, Joe often hears from customers who miss certain favorites from back home. Living in South Korea makes getting certain ingredients a bit of a challenge, but Joe makes it happen. One of his latest victories is a 3 Musketeers copy cat. It took over 3 years to perfect, but we can confirm, this recipe is a winner! To recreate your own bars of chocolatey, whipped nougat delight, Joe’s recipe is at the end of the post!
The holidays are coming, and Gwaja Bar is more than ready. Gingerbread crispy treats, candy cane bark, and filled pretzels are just a few of the fabulous treats on the menu. For the second year, Gwaja Bar will be handmaking beautiful Advent calendars filled with their delicious chocolates. Check out Gwaja Bars Facebook page and Instagram to see more amazing, festive creations.
If you are a member of our Facebook community, you have seen Joe bring his mouthwatering, whimsical ideas to life, like his Blobz from Outer Space! Joe is a wealth of knowledge and is always more than happy to assist his fellow community members with technical advice, inspiration, and flavor pairings. Joe’s enthusiasm for his craft comes through in each of his posts and inspires others to use their imagination. Joe’s expert advice, “never stop trying, never stop learning, and never stop innovating. Always give a little extra.”
3 Musketeers Copy Cat Recipe
2 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs dark cocoa powder
1 Tbs malted milk powder
1lb milk chocolate coating, for dipping
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
- Measure the vanilla into pinch bowl, set aside.
- Measure cocoa powder and malted milk powder into a small bowl, set aside.
- In a 2 quart saucepan over low heat, add sugar, corn syrup, and water (use 1 less Tbs of water on humid days), stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
- When syrup begins to boil, stop stirring and cover with lid for 1 minute to wash down sides of pot. Clip in candy thermometer, making sure the tip is not touching the bottom of the pan.
- Without stirring, continue cooking until the temperature reaches 260 degrees F, or hard ball stage.
- When syrup gets close to 260 F, using stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Reduce speed to medium and continue beating eggs while carefully pouring the hot syrup in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Mixture will be quite thick, so a stand mixer will work much better than a hand mixer.
- Once mixture loses its gloss, immediately add the vanilla and powder mixture. Beat a few more seconds until it is incorporated.
- Immediataly turn off mixer, remove bowl and whisk. Quickly shake off whisk and pour mixture into prepared pan. Smooth top as much as you can.
- Allow to cool in pan until barely warm to the touch.
- Remove candy from pan using the parchment paper and place on cutting surface. Cut into desired shapes.
- When completely cool, place into refrigerator for about an hour before dipping into milk chocolate.
- Prepare baking sheet with wax paper or dipping paper.
- In microwave-safe bowl add chocolate and heat at 15 second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted.
- Working one at a time using a dipping fork, place each piece of nougat into chocolate, making sure all side are coated. Carefully tap the fork to remove the excess and place coated candy on prepared tray. Repeat until all nougat is coated with chocolate.
- Allow to set for several hours until chocolate is completely set.
- Store finished candy bars in an airtight container at room temperature.
Candy bars should stay good for a minimum of two weeks at room temperature. In the refigerator, close to four weeks. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.