When I was a kid my grandfather use to paint models, but instead of painting model airplanes he had a collection of Mr. Peanut models. I would sit and watch him paint the rim of Mr. Peanuts’ hat and exchange my daily events with him as he focused intently on his model. Since then it is hard for me to see Mr. Peanut and not think of my grandfather who is now 89 years old.
The other day I was doing some grocery shopping for my grandfather at Target and saw a can of Planters Peanuts. I picked up the can and put it in my cart. I thought “I’ll make my grandfather some peanut brittle as a snack for his March Madness viewing.” Then I quickly remembered it might be hard for him to chew. I thought “I still want to make him something crisp, sweet, with peanuts, and something that will last for the week without going bad.” There you have it, Planters Peanuts Crispy Candy Clusters was born. When I gave the bowl to my grandpa he said to me “Do you remember how I use to paint Mr. Peanut when you were a little girl?” I smiled big, and said “Of course I remember, I’ll never forget it.”
Ingredients for Planters Peanuts Crispy Candy Clusters:
- 1 1/2 – cups Planters Peanuts
- 2 1/2 – cups cherrios
- 2 1/2 – cups Chex Cereal (corn or rice)
- 1 1/2 – cups broken pretzel stick pieces
- 1 1/2 – cups Craisins
- 12 – tablespoons butter
- 1 1/3 – cup sugar
- 1/2 – cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 – teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add peanuts, cherrios, chex,pretzels, and craisins to a big bowl.
- Mix ingredients with your hands. Set to the side.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- In a pot over a medium flame add butter, sugar and corn syrup. Mix with wooden spoon until fully melted.
- Add candy thermometer to the side of the pot and constantly mix until butter sugar mixture is bubbly and reaches 285 degrees (soft crack). It should take about 10 to 12 minutes to reach this point.
- Remove from flame and add vanilla. Mix well.
- Pour hot candy over peanut/ cereal and mix well.
- Pour entire mixture of candied peanut / cereal onto a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and stir the mixture on the baking sheet and place it back into the oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place on a long pieces of aluminum foil or several baking mats lined up. Allow to cool for 1 hour.
- Break up into clusters and add to a big bowl or place in little plastic bags to hand out to friends.
For more recipes from Nicole Presley click over to her blog: Presley’s Pantry