When it comes to snacks, I usually prefer salty popcorn over sweet ice cream. In fact, I try not to buy good chips because I would eat the entire bag within 48 hours! However, when making homemade candy bars, one of my teeth suddenly prefers sweet and wants to bit into chewy candy goodness. These guys are delicious and unlike store bought bars, they don’t have any preservatives or artificial fillers. They’re made simply with club crackers, homemade caramel, peanut butter and chocolate. Want healthier? Use whole grain club crackers, no-sugar added peanut butter and dark chocolate. Homemade candy bars are also less expensive than store bought candy bars. Take a look below. 40 is our number because that’s how many bars you make in one batch!
40 store-bought Snickers bars = $30.80 or $.77 per bar (on average)
40 homemade candy bars =
- 1-18 oz. box Kroger brand club crackers = $2.99
- 2 sticks Aldi butter = $1.34
- 1 cup granulated sugar = $.40
- 1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar = $.75
- 2/3 cup Aldi heavy whipping cream = $.66
- 1 -15 oz jar of Kroger branch crunchy peanut butter = $2.39
- 2 cups Kroger brand semi-sweet chocolate chips = $1.79
= $10.32 or $.25 per bar
- Keep in mind that I did not count in any sale prices; so most likely, your total would be less than $10.32 for one batch.
- Each homemade candy bar is slightly smaller than a Snickers bar. However, even if we counted 1 Snickers bar for every 2 homemade, the homemade bars still win!
- These candy bars can be frozen, made the day before or whipped up for an event in 30 minutes.
Feel that tooth a’callin yet? Come on in to my kitchen!
Here are the ingredients again…club crackers, peanut butter and chocolate chips in their whole form. The butter, sugar and cream will be used to make a quick 5-minute homemade caramel.
Start off by cutting-to-fit a sheet of wax paper, parchment paper or sprayed foil onto a large jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides. Lay your club crackers right side up next to one another on the paper or foil. We want all cracker and no pan. If you have to, break them apart and fit them like a puzzle. By the way, the ratios in this recipe work perfectly for a 13 x 18 pan, creating 40 candy bars. However, you can adjust! An 8 x 12 pan would work fine if you halve the ingredients.
Next, get your caramel on! For 40 bars, put 2 sticks salted butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 cups light or dark brown sugar and 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream into a saucepan on the stove.
Turn the heat to medium and with a whisk, melt it down until it looks like this.
Now turn up the heat a little until you get a nice boil. Set your timer for 5 minutes. You want the caramel to boil rapidly for the entire 5 minutes. No need to stir as its boiling, just make sure the heat isn’t too high. We don’t want boiling caramel volcano 🙂
After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and pour the hot caramel over your crackers. Spread it out with a spatula.
Put another layer of club crackers on top of the caramel. A little trick to prevent break-ability when you cut the bars is to layer the crackers in an alternate pattern from the first time. For example, lay the crackers horizontal if you had them vertical or place whole crackers over the area where you previously had partials.
Spread an entire 15 oz jar of crunchy peanut butter on top of your crackers.
Melt two cups of chocolate chips and spread the chocolate on top of the peanut butter. I realized while doing this step that it would be a good idea to stick the bars in the fridge after the peanut butter layer to firm it up a bit before spreading the chocolate. Next time, right? And yes, there WILL be a next time 🙂
Let the bars cool and harden up before cutting. If you can fit the pan in your fridge, cold bars cut even better.
…And here is a close up of the chewy candy goodness!
Platter them up and bring instant delight to those around you.
- 1-18 oz. box club crackers
- 2 sticks salted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 -15 oz jar of crunchy peanut butter
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Cut-to-fit a sheet of wax paper, parchment paper or sprayed foil onto a large jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides.
- Lay club crackers right side up next to one another on the paper or foil.
- Meanwhile, melt 2 sticks salted butter, 1 cup white sugar, 1½ cups brown sugar and ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream in a saucepan on medium heat.
- When melted and smooth, turn the heat up and boil the sugar mixture for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and pour/spread the hot caramel over your crackers.
- Put another layer of club crackers on top of the caramel.
- Spread an entire 15 oz jar of crunchy peanut butter on top of your crackers.
- Melt two cups of chocolate chips and spread the chocolate on top of the peanut butter.
- Let the bars cool and harden before cutting.
Looking for another caramel treat? You need to try our best Caramel Corn recipe!
Meredith is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom living in NW Ohio. She loves to adapt recipes to her family’s eclectic tastes and is learning to provide nourishment for any bellies who walk through the door at a moment’s notice. If not in the kitchen, you’ll find Meredith in front of her sewing machine or spending quality time with her home and church families. Life goes by so fast!