Caramel peanut balls are a no bake candy that taste kind of like a Snickers but look kind of like a buckeye. These fun treats only take 4 ingredients to make and are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
These little balls of delight feature bits of roasted peanuts, gooey caramel goodness, and a chocolate shell. They taste great and are easy to make, too.
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As far as I am concerned, that is the perfect combination. Make some to add to your Christmas treats, or make some just because.
There really is no wrong time for homemade candies. So keep the ingredients on hand and make them throughout the year.
What are caramel peanut balls?
These candies are basically a combination of some of our favorite treats. The cooking process is very similar to a brigadeiro, but the flavor is much different.
The appearance is very similar to a crunchy buckeye with the peanut-y center peaking through the chocolate shell. However, the texture and flavor are again quite a bit different.
I think the flavor is very reminiscent of a Snickers or a Baby Ruth. They are caramelly and gooey with rich peanuts, vanilla, and chocolate.
The centers are nice and soft, not too chewy or hard to eat. Yet they hold their shape well.
Honestly, they might just be one of my new favorite candy recipes. But don’t tell the other candies, I don’t want to hurt their feelings.
Making the Candies
Basically, you start by finely chopping some dry roasted peanuts. I find that a food processor is the easiest way to do that, but if you have a slap chopper or something similar, that would work, too.
You will need three cups of chopped peanuts, which is just a little less than a 16-ounce jar. I went ahead and chopped the whole jar and will use the extras on caramel apples.
From there, you just cook the peanuts down with a can of condensed milk. The mixture will get darker in color and thicker.
Once it thickens to the point that it starts to kind of stay put while you are stirring it, remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and let it cool.
Scoop the cooled caramel centers onto wax paper or parchment. Chill the balls for 5 minutes, then roll each ball between your palms to smooth it out and form it into a ball.
Chill them again while you melt the chocolate. Use a toothpick to dip the centers in melted chocolate.
You can leave a circle on top like I did or dip them fully. You could even just dunk the bottom if you like less chocolate.
That’s it! Store them at room temperature for up to a week, or refrigerate them for longer storage.
More Easy Candy Recipes
If you like making your own candy, microwave peanut brittle is a fun one. It is easy to make and has a fabulous crunch.
Or try making some bear claw candy. They feature a cute paw shape and rich caramel, cashews, and chocolate.
And I think adapting this recipe to use pecans and coconut would make some fabulous German chocolate candies. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list!
If you beat me to it, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
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Caramel Peanut Balls
- 3 cups dry roasted peanuts finely chopped
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces dipping chocolate
- In a medium pan, stir together finely chopped peanuts and sweetened condensed milk.3 cups dry roasted peanuts, 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes. The mixture should deepen in color and get thicker as well. It is done when it starts for form a ball around the spoon, or leaves a clear track behind the spoon when you are stirring.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cool the mixture for about 10 minutes. Scoop onto wax paper. The mixture is rich, so just under a Tablespoon is a good size. However, you can make them as large or small as you would like.
- Chill the mixture for about 5 minutes. Roll each ball between the palms of your hands to smooth it out and shape it. Pop the balls back into the refrigerator for about 5 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. Use a toothpick to dip each ball into the melted chocolate and then place back on the wax paper to set up.8 ounces dipping chocolate
- Store at room temperature for up to a week, or refrigerate for longer storage.
Adapted from Classic Desserts by Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk