While I was growing up, my family’s Christmas Cookie list tended to rotate, but a few treats made the list time and time again: sugar cookies, my sister’s “Nieman Marcus” chocolate chip cookies, chocolate peanut butter no-bakes, and PEANUT CLUSTERS like these!
The classic recipe was from a family friend and was a combo of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and peanuts! I decided to put my own spin on the recipe this year, using real peanut butter in the mix along with coconut oil and a sprinkle of sea salt! The peanut butter and coconut oil mixed in with the chocolate give these the ultimate “meltaway” quality. And if you’re thinking… “What’s the big deal? Chocolate with peanuts in it?,” then you’re not getting it! The combo of the chocolate with peanut butter AND peanuts takes this homemade candy to another level. And the sprinkle of salt on top seals the deal.
Give these a shot for last minute Christmas gifts or everyone’s favorite addition to cookie trays!
We LOVE these peanut clusters because they are:
The best combo ever - chocolate and peanut butter, hellooo!
Made with only 5 ingredients and require no baking! In fact, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave!
Super easy to make and they store REALLY well (make them ahead, no problem).
A few notes before you dive in:
I used a combo of milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips, but you can use whatever kind of chocolate you like!
My favorite peanut butter is Crazy Richard’s! The only ingredients are peanuts and salt, and I can usually find it at my grocery story for $3 a jar.
I used three 7oz cans of peanuts that I bought at Dollar Tree, but you can use whatever kind you like or whatever you can get on sale! My mom always recommended the ones from Dollar General because they are small. Planters cocktail peanuts also work well. If you have extras, just throw ‘em in.
I added coconut oil to make them super creamy and melty. Due to this meltaway factor, you’ll want to store them in the refrigerator or in the freezer!
You can do these as cups (with liners) or as clusters! Scoop the chocolate/peanut butter/peanut mix into mini cupcake liners OR scoop right onto waxed paper lined cookie sheets to make free-form cluster shapes.
For gift giving, buy cute little Christmas tins at the dollar tree and package them up for the chocolate peanut butter lovers in your life!
Peanut Cluster Meltaways
1 12oz bag milk chocolate chips (or 10-12 oz milk chocolate, chopped)
1 10 oz bag dark chocolate chips (or 10-12 oz dark chocolate, chopped)
3/4 cup Crazy Richard’s creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
3 7oz cans of roasted, salted peanuts (shoot for 20-30oz total, depending on the packages you buy!)
sea salt or kosher salt (for sprinkling)
Line mini muffin tins with mini cupcake liners OR line several cookie sheets with waxed paper.
Add chocolate chips to a large bowl. Microwave in 1 minute increments (at 60% power), stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Add in peanut butter and coconut oil, then microwave for one more minute (at 60% power), then stir to combine (making sure the coconut oil is fully melted and mixed in).
Add in all three cans of peanuts and stir to distribute them evenly.
TIP: If your cans of peanuts are bigger than mine, it should be fine! A few extra peanuts won’t hurt anything. Shoot for 21-30 ounces of peanuts for this amount of chocolate and peanut butter.
Use a small cookie scooper or a tea spoon to scoop into paper liners OR into little clusters on the waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle the candy lightly with course kosher salt or sea salt.
Freeze or chill for about an hour. Once the chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.