Salted Caramel Peanut Clusters

These salted caramel peanut clusters are a must for gifts, parties, or special occasions! Such an easy and delicious homemade candy!

Salted Caramel Peanut Clusters | lifemadesimplebakes.com

I usually share cookie recipes come Christmas, but this year I was determined to take on homemade candy. I know I haven’t posted very many of my successes, just know they’re coming next holiday season! Today’s recipe is one of my favorites. It’s not traditional like toffee, brittle or caramels. It’s a combination of my three favorite things: salted caramel, peanuts and dark chocolate. No candy thermometer required, no special tools, and no fancy ingredients. These clusters are easy AND delicious!

Salted Caramel Peanut Clusters | lifemadesimplebakes.com

To make the clusters you’ll need to start by making the caramel sauce. It’s pretty straightforward. You don’t need a candy thermometer, just a little bit of patience. It comes together in less than 10 minutes. Let it cool completely before you use it. The key to getting these clusters to be thick instead of flat and thin is a cold filling. I like to make caramel several hours (or even days) in advance and keep in in the fridge for when I need it. When the caramel is thick and cold, fold in the peanuts. Use a standard size cookie scoop to form “clusters” and place on a lined baking sheet. Chill again. Grab some chocolate melting wafers (milk or dark) and heat them until they’re nice and smooth.

Salted Caramel Peanut Clusters | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Dip the clusters in using a fork, then shake to remove any excess chocolate. I sprinkle the tops of ours with a few flecks of Maldon sea salt. Totally optional but really takes these to the next level. Let the chocolate set in the fridge, then toss them in cute little cups. These salted caramel peanut clusters will stay good in the fridge for up to a week… that is if they last that long!

Salted Caramel Peanut Clusters

These salted caramel peanut clusters are a must for gifts, parties, or special occasions! Such an easy and delicious homemade candy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 2 1/4 c. unsalted dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 c. milk or dark chocolate melting wafers*
  • 1 tsp. sea salt flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The sugar will begin to form clumps and will eventually melt and turn brown. Once the sugar has melted completely, add the butter. The mixture will bubble, continue stirring for 1-2 minutes or until the butter has completely melted, then add the cream. Boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat and add the salt. Allow the caramel cool completely before using (about 20 minutes at room temperature + 1 hour in the refrigerator).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the salted caramel and peanuts. Using a standard size cookie scoop, scoop mounds of peanuts and caramel onto a lined baking sheet (you can use wax, parchment or a silicone baking mat). Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
  3. Using a double boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate until smooth. Using a fork, dip each cluster into the chocolate, then return to the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Repeat until all of the clusters have been dipped. Place in the refrigerator to set for 15-20 minutes.

* I prefer using Ghirardelli melting wafers because of their availability, however, Callebaut, Guittard and Merckens are also excellent options.

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