These polar bear paws are the perfect sweet and salty candy. There is just something about the combination of the crunchy peanuts, with the soft caramel, and creamy white chocolate. They’re so easy to make, and so, so delicious!
Every holiday season needs some homemade candy to balance out all those homemade cookies. These polar bear paw candies are so delicious!
What are Polar Bear Paws?
Polar Bear Paws are most famous for the version you can find at See’s Candies. They are a gooey caramel candy filled with peanuts, and covered in white chocolate. The shape resembles a white polar bear paw, hence the name.
This version is only a few ingredients with a few ingredients added to some soft caramels to make them extra gooey, extra chewy, and extra delicious. Plus making them at home gives us a lot more bang for our buck!
These treats are perfect for serving up on a treat tray at a holiday party. Or great for wrapping up to gift a few to your friends and neighbors for a holiday gift- just wrap a few up in some cellophane bags. They’re also delicious for just enjoying yourself!
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How to make Polar Bear Paws?
Add the soft caramels, heavy cream, and butter to a medium microwavable bowl. Microwave the caramel in 30 second increments, stirring as much as you can after each time until you can full incorporate the cream into the caramels and the mixture is all smooth and creamy.
Add the vanilla extract, and salty peanuts to the melted caramel, and stir it all together. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
Then scoop the caramel mixture by the Tablespoon onto a piece of parchment paper (I like to put it on a baking tray so I can move it around easily, put it in the fridge, etc.) Keep the piles of caramel a couple inches apart as the caramel likes to settle down a little bit and spread. Once they are all scooped out, transfer the pan to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Add your white chocolate chips and vegetable oil to a microwave safe bowl (A deep tall bowl, jar or cup works great) and microwave them in 30 second increments, stirring after each until you can stir the chocolate smooth. Thankfully white chocolate is pretty forgiving.
Bring the caramel clusters out of the fridge and drop them one at a time into the white chocolate, pushing them into the chocolate all the way, or using a spoon to cover the top. Remove the chocolate cluster with a fork, and tap the fork on the side of the bowl to get the excess white chocolate to drip back in.
Transfer the cluster back to some parchment paper. You may need to use a butter knife to lightly push it off the fork if the chocolate hardens quickly on the bottom.
Repeat with additional clusters and white chocolate. Let the clusters set at room temperature or in the fridge until the white chocolate is set. Then enjoy, or package them up to share!
Tips for making Homemade Polar Bear Paws:
- Instead of peanuts, you could also try pecans, cashews, almonds, you name it!
- If you prefer milk chocolate, or dark chocolate you could try one of those instead of the white chocolate coating on these.
- Substitute white melting wafers for the white chocolate chips and vegetable oil as called for, if desired. I prefer the flavor of white chocolate chips, but the melting wafers are easier to work with.
- Substitute caramel bits for the squared caramels if desired.
- You can make these treats as big or as small as you’d like. I like to make them each with about 1 TBS of caramel, which makes about 24 treats but they can definitely be made smaller too.
How to store polar bear paws?
These polar bear paws can be stored in an airtight container or bag in a cool room or in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
You can also freeze them. Place them in a freezer safe container or ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. Let them thaw in the fridge before enjoying them.
Thanks to using store bought caramels, these treats are one of the easiest candies I’ve ever made! You will love them! These are the perfect sweet and salty treat, with crunchy peanuts, soft and gooey butter caramel, and creamy sweet white chocolate. Perfect for the holidays, or all year long.
More homemade candy recipes:
- Microwave Peanut Brittle
- Crockpot Candy Peanut Clusters
- Candy Bar Pretzels
- Microwave Fudge
- Peanut Butter Fudge
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Polar Bear Paws Candy
- 11 oz soft caramels
- 2 TBS heavy cream
- 1 TBS unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups roasted salted peanuts
- 12 oz white chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vegetable oil or shortening
- Add the caramels, heavy cream and butter to a medium sized microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir as much as you can. Microwave in additional 15 second increments as needed until you can stir the caramel totally smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and peanuts.
- Let the bowl sit for about 5-10 minutes to let the caramel cool slightly.
- Scoop the caramel mixture onto parchment paper lined baking sheet by the tablespoon, keeping them each a couple inches apart to ensure the caramel doesn't touch as it settles a bit.
- Place the baking sheets into the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let the caramel set.
- Add the chocolate chips and oil to a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until you can stir it smooth.
- Drop a caramel cluster into the white chocolate and cover it completely with chocolate. Use a fork to lift it out of the chocolate and tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to help the extra white chocolate drip off.
- Place the cluster back onto parchment paper, and repeat with remaining caramel and chocolate. **
- Let the clusters set until the white chocolate is set. You can place it in the fridge to have it set quicker.