These salted caramel peanut clusters are a must for gifts, parties, or special occasions! Such an easy and delicious homemade candy!
Nuts + Salted Caramel + Chocolate = YUM!
I usually share cookie recipes come Christmas, but this year I was determined to take on homemade candy.
I’ve had so much fun making these sweet treats at home and can’t wait to share them with you!
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!
How to Make Peanut Clusters
CARAMEL SAUCE. 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.
COOL. 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.
NUTS. When the caramel is thick and cold, fold in the peanuts.
FORM + CHILL. Use a standard size cookie scoop to form “clusters” and place on a lined baking sheet. Chill again.
CHOCOLATE. Grab some chocolate melting wafers (milk or dark) and heat them until they’re nice and smooth. 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 candy cups (like mini cupcake liners).
- Nuts: You can of course use other nuts like cashews or walnuts, depending on what you have on hand.
- Pre-made caramels: We like making our own caramel because we can control what goes in it. If you are pressed for time you can mix together 15-20 packaged caramels and a couple of tablespoons until it is all incorporated and smooth.
- Chocolate: We like using milk chocolate wafers, but you can use any type of chocolate wafers that you prefer.
Keep for Yourself, or Gift to a Friend!
These salted caramel peanut clusters will stay good STORED in an airtight container or freezer bag. These chocolates will last 2-3 weeks at room temperature, 2-3 months in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer.
If you want to GIFT some to friends and neighbors, we love placing these in a cellophane bag that is tied with a cute ribbon. You could even do a variety bag where some of the clusters have peanuts and others have pecans and others have cashews etc.
For more homemade candies, check out:
Salted Caramel Peanut Clusters Recipe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp coarse kosher sea salt
- 2 1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- 2 cup milk chocolate melting wafers - OR dark chocolate*
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes - optional
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.