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From this Wikipedia page:

PayDay is a candy bar consisting of salted peanuts rolled in caramel surrounding a firm nougat-like center.

For those unfamiliar with it, you can see a picture of it on the Wikipedia page, as well.

From the picture, it looks like the majority is peanuts and it may warrant saying ha'adamah. However, I'm not sure if the peanuts are ikar or tafel, here, as it seems that it's main "purpose" is as a candy bar and the peanuts might be considered "topping". The caramel would get shehakol. Offhand, it seems similar to peanut brittle where peanuts are stuck together by a sweet concoction.

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The brachot site mentions three important rules in defining ikar / tafel that seem to be relevant to the PayDay bar:

I. Tofel by Function (Serving Tofel or Tofeil HaMeshameshet)

Definition: is when you have two separate food items and one item serves the other item. The Tofel is not eaten for its own enjoyment, but only for the sake of the Ikar, in that sense we say the tofel serves the Ikar. Simply put: had you not eaten the Ikar, then you wouldn't eat the Tofel either.

Most people eat a Payday because of the peanuts. The peanuts are also on the outside and the caramel is a "binder".

An alternate possibility applicable to Payday is:

III. Tofel by Form (Mixtures)

Definition: If the ingredients are cooked or baked together and both ingredients are typically eaten on one spoonful it is considered a single entity. Also if the ingredients are mixed or blended so that one spoonful contains both foods it is considered a single entity. In such cases, only one bracha is made and it is upon the ikar component within the mixture.

I doubt that the peanuts and caramel are baked together. But, they are eaten together, typically. (If one intentionally ate the peanuts first and then the caramel and intended to enjoy both, there are some opinions stating that he should make separate brachot.)

Lastly, even if one were to question if the caramel enhances the peanuts or the vice versa, we would follow this rule:

If neither ingredient enhances the other the majority item is ikar

Ingredients are listed in reverse quantity order. This site confirms that peanuts are the majority ingredient.

based on all the above, I would infer that the bracha should be Ho'adamah.

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  • I would definitely make (at least) HaAdama on this, primarily because peanuts are what you see, and there may be an issue making a bracha on a part of the food you cannot see. But I'm not 100% sure this is correct, and maybe the best advice is to make shehakol, or not eat it. As for your majority-ingredient thing: I confess I've used this technique too, but I'm pretty sure the FDA lists by weight, whereas we assess majority by volume. Would be very interested in the halachic implications of this. Until then, I am not sure we can use the label's info – SAH Jun 6 '18 at 0:29
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    @SAH Read at least the linked page as well as some other items on the brachot site. In particular, the page that I linked to says that mezonot has the highest priority for brachot even if it is not the majority. See the special section regarding granola / health bars. Sometimes cakes and granola bars have fruits and nuts that are visible, but the bracha may still be mezonot. The point is, that brachot don't necessarily follow what's visible. Re - "I am not sure we can use the label's info" - see the page about granola bars on the brachot site. According to them, it's exactly what u should do. – DanF Jun 6 '18 at 2:10
  • Ok, but you never said your item had mezonos in it. Obviously, mezonos changes everything. Also, I didn't mean to suggest that everything visible entails a bracha; rather, the inverse: that a bracha on something invisible might be problematic. Finally, that brachos page is good, but its opinions are not universal. For example, I understand that some hold that if 1/6 of a kezayis of the ikar is eaten, the bracha acharona on the ikar is still made, which is not the opinion of your page. – SAH Jun 6 '18 at 2:16
  • As for reading a lot of that brachos site: I did so at one time, but it's extremely taxing reading/learning. My excuse for not attempting more at this time is that some of these questions are so nuanced and debated that I think it might be best to focus one's energy on rulings issued by one's own community or rov, at least as far as the practicalities go. – SAH Jun 6 '18 at 2:19
  • @SAH Can't argue with most of what you've said. Brachot, in general, are one of the more confusing areas of halacha. (I won't delve into the rules of pat haba bekisnin - things such as pies, cannolis, pizza). But, the brachot site is decent for giving an overview of the rules. – DanF Jun 6 '18 at 2:23

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