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These EASY 4 ingredient Peanut Clusters are a perfect no-bake candy you can serve for the holidays. Peanut Clusters are made with chocolate chips, butterscotch, some creamy peanut butter and roasted peanuts. Sometimes referred to as crockpot candy, these candies are NO-FAIL. Package them up in some festive bags for the perfect homemade holiday gift.
Welcome to day 2 of Christmas Cookie week- today’s recipe is for these “stupid easy” 4 Ingredient Peanut Clusters.
These no-bake treats were a staple part of our Christmas Cookie collection growing up, probably because it makes a big batch, so they were great for cookie exchanges!
When my mom visited me in early November, I asked her to make a batch of her peanut clusters for my holiday cookie baskets. I shared them on Instagram and asked if you all wanted the recipe. Much to my delight, you did!
Would you call these cookies or candies? Technically I guess they’re candy, but I just always considered them to be Christmas cookies because that is when we made them. Really though, this treat can be made all year round.
3 Reasons I love Peanut Clusters
- They’re rather quick to make, they just need time to set
- The recipe makes a large batch, so they go a long way. Or it can easily be scaled for a smaller batch.
- You only need 4 ingredients!
YES, only 4 ingredients required. Chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, a couple scoops of creamy peanut butter and some peanuts.
All you need to do is melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together with the peanut butter in a saucepan and once that’s melted, stir in the peanuts. SO EASY! Right?
To make the clusters, I just use two spoons and spoon them onto cookie sheets that are lined with parchment paper or my handy silicone baking mats. Then the chocolate needs to cool and set for awhile (up to a couple hours).
I’ve seen recipes similar to this called crockpot candy made with comparable ingredients. Some recipes use different combinations of chocolate or don’t require peanut butter.
I just don’t see the point in dragging out my crockpot when I could just as easily make this on the stovetop and the cleanup is virtually the same, if not easier. I hate cleaning out my crockpot vessel.
You certainly COULD make these with a crockpot. The advantage being that you don’t have to watch over or stir the chocolate together, it’s more of a walk away and forget it for a little while scenario.
When cooking over the stovetop, you don’t want to heat it up too fast, so cook it over medium to medium-low heat. I also recommend stirring it frequently, so it doesn’t burn. Therefore, it does require a little but more attention, but if I am making cookies, I’m making cookies.
What type of peanuts can I use?
Growing up, we always made these with Spanish peanuts. Now the Spanish peanuts seem harder to find, so we just used some roasted, unsalted peanuts.
Personally, I think salted peanuts can be overwhelming, so I like to use unsalted.
You’ll need 4 cups of peanuts, which is equivalent to about 1 pound of whole peanuts.
Can I use a different type of nut?
Certainly! This would work great with almond or pecans as well. Since those nuts tend to be larger than peanuts, you might find the overall yield to be less.
Can I use something other than butterscotch?
I don’t see why not. White chocolate or peanut butter chips should work just fine. We just always made them with butterscotch.
How do I store peanut clusters?
Allow these to cool completely prior to packing them up. You can store them in an airtight container with layers of parchment or wax paper in between each layer. I like to keep them refrigerated so that the chocolate doesn’t re-melt.
Can I freeze these?
You can definitely freeze these in an airtight container; however I have experienced some discoloration or “cracking” on the surface of the peanut clusters in the past. So, I just assume keep them refrigerated.
These peanut clusters make such a yummy homemade gift. You can package them up in festive cookie tins or cellophane bags tied with pretty ribbons to give to neighbors, friends or teachers.
When I build cookie baskets, I like to have a variety of cookies, so I grab a handful of these to include.
If you are putting these in cookie tins, or shipping them, you might also find it easier to get mini cupcake liners and fill them up with the melted chocolate and peanuts. This way, you’ll have nice little cups to pack up.
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These EASY 4 ingredient Peanut Clusters are a perfect no-bake candy you can serve for the holidays. Peanut Clusters are made with chocolate chips, butterscotch, some creamy peanut butter and peanuts. Sometimes referred to as crockpot candy, these candies are NO-FAIL.
- 12 ounces chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark chocolate)
- 12 ounces butterscotch chips
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 4 cups unsalted or roasted peanuts
- In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate and butterscotch chips together with the peanut butter. Heat over medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth.
- Add the peanuts and stir together until the peanuts are well combined.
- Using 2 spoons, drop the peanuts into clusters on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Allow the chocolate to harden at room temperature (this can take a couple hours).
- Once completely set, store in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer. These can be stored at room temperature, but I prefer to store them in the refrigerator.
- Note that freezing these may cause slightly discoloration or potentially cracking of the chocolate. Therefore I recommend refrigerating them
- Total yield will depend on how large or small you make the clusters
- Substitute peanuts for almonds or pecans, but as these are larger, the yield may be smaller.
- Category: Cookies
- Method: No-Cake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cookie, Christmas Cookies, Peanut Cluster, Crockpot Candy, Candy, No-Bake Candy