Christmas Crack Candy Recipe

 
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There are a lot of things that come to mind when I think of Christmas: Jesus’ birthday, Christmas Eve church, Christmas music, Hallmark movies, Christmas trees, hot cocoa, peppermint, and my mom’s Crack Candy. Ahhh, crack candy. A Christmas treat staple in my family for as long as I can remember. The name came about because it’s so addicting, it’s hard to stop at just one. You’ll find yourself sneaking back to the fridge for another bite repeatedly.

My mom is famous for this treat; she would make it every year and give some away as gifts to neighbors, my dad’s teacher co-workers, the daycare parents, the postal workers, etc. One recipe makes a ton, so there’s always plenty to go around.

Smooth peanut-buttery-chocolate goodness underneath a maple fudge-like layer, topped with crunchy peanuts enrobed in the peanut butter chocolate. It. Is. Heavenly. Rich, indulgent, and the perfect Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dessert. It’s also the perfect hostess gift, especially when presented in a pretty Christmas tin.

Trust me, you need this crack in your life. It’s smooth, creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty; it’s perfect.

Last year I was finally able to make this recipe all-natural. I had to make one change to the original recipe, which was replacing the butterscotch chips with white chocolate chips. Butterscotch chips are impossible to find all-natural, as far as I can tell they don’t exist. I found a couple of homemade recipes online, but I don’t think they would work well for this recipe, so last year I did all semi-sweet chips but the flavor was a bit off, so this year I did 1 bag of semi-sweet and 1 bag of white chocolate, and it’s perfect!

It’s a multi-step recipe, but it's not difficult at all. The most time-consuming part is inactive, waiting for the layers to harden in between. For this recipe to be all-natural it comes down to the brands you choose to use. I’ll share which brands I used as a note after the recipe.

Without further ado…

Yield: A LOT...

Christmas Crack Candy

Chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, and a maple fudge-like layer. After you take the first bite, you'll understand the name. 😉

prep time: 40 minscook time: 5 hourtotal time: 5 hours and 40 mins

ingredients

  • 1 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 12 (or 10) oz bag of white chocolate chips

  • 1 16 oz jar of creamy peanut butter

  • 1 16 oz jar of dry roasted peanuts (or honey roasted peanuts)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter

  • 1/4 cup cook-on-the-stove vanilla pudding mix

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 lbs powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2-2 tsp maple extract

instructions

  1. Grease/butter a jelly roll pan (12x17) and line with parchment paper; leave some of the edges hanging over the sides.

  2. Melt the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and the whole jar of peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl (you could also use a double-boiler, but the microwave will be faster). Heat at 30-second intervals and stir in between.

  3. Spread half of this mixture (approximately 2 cups) on the bottom of the prepared pan, and then pop it into the freezer to harden while you do the next step.

  4. Add the whole jar of peanuts to the rest of the chocolate mixture and mix well until evenly coated. Set aside for now.

  5. In a pan on the stove, put 1 cup butter, the 1/4 cup of pudding mix, and 1/2 cup milk. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking often. Once it starts to boil, continue cooking for 1 minute. It will look gross and separated but I promise it will be okay. Remove from heat and put in a large mixing bowl (I recommend a standing mixer if you have one, but a hand mixer will work too). Gradually add the entire 2 lbs bag of powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.

  6. Add the maple extract to the pudding/powdered sugar and mix well until super smooth (scrape the sides as necessary, and taste test a little to make sure the maple flavor is to your liking).

  7. Evenly spread this mixture onto the first chocolate layer, and put into the fridge to harden for 2 hours or so. At this point, there’s nothing to do but clean the dishes and wait!

  8. Once the maple layer has hardened, soften the peanut-chocolate mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds or so, so it’s easier to spread. Spread the peanut mixture on top of the maple layer as evenly as you can. It’s a bit tedious, but keep working at it because it will be SO worth it.

  9. Let harden in the fridge for an hour or so. Once firm, lift out the candy using the edges of the parchment paper and place on a knife-safe surface. Cut into squares or rectangles; it’s pretty rich so I usually do around 1 inch. Store in an airtight container in the fridge; best kept at fridge-temps until serving as it gets soft when left out. Keeps in the fridge for 7-10 days.

  10. Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!!

NOTES:

Cook time includes cooling time.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: I used Guittard, which is a high-quality and all-natural chocolate chip company. I found my chips at Target; they’re a little pricier than some chips but definitely worth it in quality, taste, and especially being free of added junk.

White Chocolate Chips: Typically I use Ghiradelli white chocolate chips because they taste the best to me, but this time King Soopers was out so they substituted Private Selection chips. I didn’t see any objectionable ingredients in them so I was okay with using them.

Peanut Butter: I used Jif Natural Creamy peanut butter. I also like Skippy Natural or the Simple Truth Natural kinds as well. I’m not a fan of the taste of just-peanuts natural peanut butter (like Smucker’s natural peanut butter); those kinds won’t work in this recipe because they’re far too runny. You want it to be no-stir natural peanut butter, as opposed to the tons of oil on top kind.

Dry Roasted Peanuts: I use Planter’s because they were on the Feingold Diet “safe” list. Their honey roasted peanuts are (or at least were a year ago) also on the “safe” list. Also, they’re yummy. 😉

Butter: Land O’ Lakes is my jam; worth the extra cost & definitely worth stocking up on when it goes on sale at King Soopers (butter freezes very well!!).

Vanilla Pudding: Make sure it’s not instant!! Most pudding packages are instant these days, but there are still some cook on the stove varieties. I use European Gourmet Bakery Organics Vanilla pudding, which I bought at Whole Foods.

Maple Extract: I used to use imitation maple flavor, but don’t anymore because 1) it’s fake, 2) full of fake coloring, 3) not nearly as good as the real thing. So now I use Watkins Maple Extract, which is made with actual maple syrup. It’s clear, which kind of plays with your mind, but it tastes (and smells!) amazing.

I hope you give this recipe a shot, it truly is absolutely delicious. I’ve never had anyone NOT fall in love with it and beg for the recipe!

We hope that you and yours have a very blessed

and very Merry Christmas!!

 
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