These Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters are deliciously salty-sweet and packed with peanuts. This recipe makes more than 6 dozen, so there’s plenty to share for the holidays.
This post was originally published 10/30/2009.
This recipe is our family favorite that I’ve been making for more than a decade. I first posted it here in October 2009, just one month into my first year of blogging. It comes from our family friend, Ms. Bobbie. She was a special lady who was well known for her confections in our home town. She would sell them during Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays.
These peanut clusters were one of her most popular sweets. They appeal to all ages. In fact, my mom just made batch this week for the children’s program at her church. They are old-fashioned and hearty – so simple to whip up for a big gathering, and one batch makes 150 small clusters, or 75 large.
Confectioners’ coating goes by many names: almond bark, candy coating, or you may recognize name brands like Candiquik. You can usually find it in 24 oz. blocks at the grocery store in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. You’ll need two packages of chocolate, and two of vanilla.
Break up the blocks of candy and place them in a large slow cooker. Turn the crockpot to low and cover with the lid. Stir occasionally until the candy is completely melted and smooth.
You may be asking – why not use real chocolate bars? I asked this same question before I made my first batch so long ago. So, I tried a batch with semisweet chocolate and the end result was just too rich and very expensive. The cocoa powder in the chocolate candy coating is just enough flavor without being aggressive. And the vanilla coating adds a creaminess. The creamy flavor is a big part of what draws you in, contrasting the salty peanuts.
When the candy is melted add the peanuts. You’ll need two 16 oz. containers of roasted, salted peanuts, and two roasted, unsalted. Now, sometimes I’ll just use what I have on hand. Which may be 3/4 salted peanuts and 1/4 unsalted. Or any ratio thereof. Do try to use at least 1/4 unsalted peanuts give these clusters balanced flavor. Some brands of roasted peanuts are very salty, indeed.
Stir until all the peanuts are coated and turn the slow cooker to WARM. Setting the temp to warm ensures the candy stays melted while you dip.
You’ll notice when you stir everything together, that the candy coating is more like a dressing for the peanuts. It’s just enough melted candy to hold all those peanuts together.
Cover a large work surface with parchment paper (or waxed paper) and – get to dippin! These days I use a cookie scoop to make uniform clusters. Two dips with this scoop make one large cluster. A standard trigger ice cream scoop makes them a little too large, unless you’re aiming for jumbo clusters.
Candy coating sets up more quickly than chocolate at room temperature (about 70F). When the clusters lose their shine and become matte, peel them off the paper and store airtight. If storing them in Tupperware, separate layers with waxed paper.
I always love revisiting this recipe. It’s easy and inexpensive considering the high yield, and everybody loves them. I hope you will too.
(Check out another of our friend Bobbie’s recipes here: Strawberry Delight)
Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters
- slow cooker large
- parchment paper
- cookie scoop optional
- 24 oz. package chocolate candy coating (chocolate almond bark)
- 24 oz. package vanilla candy coating (white almond bark)
- 32 oz. dry roasted salted peanuts two 16 oz. containers
- 32 oz. dry roasted unsalted peanuts two 16 oz. containers
- Place both chocolate and vanilla candy coating in a large slow cooker and turn to low setting. Cover with the lid.
- Stir occasionally to encourage even melting of the candies. Stir mixture until both candies are combined with no white streaks of candy remaining.
- Pour peanuts over the mixture and stir until peanuts are coated. Turn slow cooker to WARM setting.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment or wax paper. Scoop heaping tablespoons for 150 small clusters, or two heaping tablespoons for 75 large. Allow to set completely, approximately 1 hour.
- Store candies air-tight in Tupperware between sheets of waxed paper, or package in cellophane bags with twist ties or ribbon for gifting.
- Candy will keep well airtight for up to 2 weeks, or longer if refrigerated.