Every Christmas cookie tray needs a candy to balance out the crunch and crumble — like my polar bear paws candy recipe! Though it seems impossible, not everyone goes for cookies during the holidays, so I love having a mix of candies to pick from too. And these turtle-like treats are such a crowd-pleaser that I’ve added them to my yearly Christmas cookies rotation!
Easy on the budget, easy on the chef, and downright decadent to eat, this polar bear paws candy recipe brings peanuts and caramel into a smooth white chocolate CandiQuick shell.
Break out your festive aprons and let’s get cooking!
Aside from getting to have homemade candy at the ready? I love everything about this polar bear paws candy recipe!
- Sweet + salty perfection
- Ooey gooey caramel center
- Crunchy peanut YUM
- Easy to make
How To Make Polar Bear Paws Candy Recipe
Making Polar Bear Paws is super simple. Using the microwave, melt together the caramel, cream, and butter. Then add in the vanilla and peanuts. Drop the mixture onto waxed paper and allow to set. Finish them off by dipping into the white chocolate CandiQuick.
Six simple ingredients go into my polar bear paws candy recipe, and I’m here to make sure you understand the how’s and why’s of each addition!
Also known as polar bear feet or polar bear paw prints, these treats are most famous in the version you find at the well known See’s Candies. I always love getting to peek behind the curtain of famous goodies and I promise, this recipe nails that iconic crisp shell and gooey center!
White Chocolate: This recipe uses CandiQuick, not white chocolate — and for good reason! White chocolate needs extra attention when being melted to prevent scalding. Using CandiQuick adds to the ease of making these decadent candies.
Nuts: Don’t feel limited by peanuts! This recipe is also delicious with pecans, cashews, almonds — you could even go crazy and try Brazil nuts! Though you might want to finely chop those big boys first.
Chocolate: The white chocolate coating is just as versatile as the nuts — go for milk CandiQuick or dark to shake up your polar bear prints in tasty ways! If you go for CandiQuick, you’ll have a much more forgiving coating to work with, and not have to worry about consistent temperature or tempering as you would with full chocolate.
If you’re giving these Polar Bear Paws candies as gifts, the recipients will likely ask you how they should keep their treats. Room temp or fridge? Sealed or open? Or, if you have your treats on a tray at a holiday event, how long will they be okay sitting out? I answer all your questions and more!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! If you want to get the most life out of your polar bear paws candy, pop them in the freezer! Polar bear paws candy will last up to six months frozen. But do be sure to thaw your candies before you eat them! Your teeth will thank you.
Read on for my best tips on how to package your candies!
Make Ahead Tips
Christmas cooking can be utter madness — so anything that can be done to save time, I’ll do it! For this polar bear paws candy recipe, I’ve often made the filling ahead of time and frozen it, then waited to do the coating until my baking schedule opens up. Follow the recipe through Step 4, and you’ll be ahead of the game!
How Long Can You Keep This?
Like many candies, this polar bear paws candy recipe will be just fine hanging out at your holiday party at room temperature. You should not, however, store your candy out in the open indefinitely.
The key to storing caramel-type candies is moisture is the enemy. Too much, too little; caramel requires a delicate balance. I recommend individually wrapping your truffles in wax or parchment paper and storing them in a ziploc bag. At room temperature, your candies will last for up to three weeks.
Is there such a thing as too many Christmas recipes? I’ve yet to hit that point.
Can I Add Chocolate?
Can you add chocolate. Can you add chocolate. Darlings, you can and should add chocolate to everything. Words to live by.
Chocolate Christmas cookies are a must in my house. In the same vein, chocolate shortbread cookies are my go-to treat for dipping in mugs of steaming hot cocoa. And if you want to go full decadent yumminess, double chocolate snowballs should be on your list!
Can I Add Chocolate Chips To This Recipe?
I love the crunch that chocolate chips add to recipes! Chocolate chip shortbread cookies bring buttery goodness with those perfect little crunchy drops of perfection. But if you still want a candy treat, you can’t go wrong with crockpot candy — it’s every bit as easy as it sounds! Or wow your crowd with the one, the only: Christmas crack. Yes, it is that good!
Can I Turn These Into Christmas Butter Cookies?
Christmas and butter go hand in hand! Christmas butter cookies are a gateway cookie into the holiday favorite, spritz cookies. Cream cheese spritz cookies, chocolate spritz cookies, or even sprinkled with various colorful candies — spritz cookies are a crumbly, buttery bite of perfection!
Can I Turn These Into German Christmas Cookies?
German recipes bring a certain cultural cheer to the holidays! German Christmas cookies is the classic recipe to go by if you’re just starting to wade into European favorites. If you’re a veteran, you must try Lebkuchen and Springerle — iconic tastes, striking shapes, little bits of Christmas markets in your kitchen!
Can I Make Reindeer Cookies Instead?
On Dasher, on Dancer — on to reindeer cookies! If your kids help you make these Polar Bear Paw candies, they’ll love helping you make reindeer noses and reindeer Oreos. The final results are delicious, but the process of making them is just tasty!
Polar Bear Paws Candy
- 1 (11-ounce) bag Kraft caramel squares, unwrapped
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1 (16-ounce) package white chocolate CandiQuik
- Line a baking cookie sheet with waxed paper. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels, butter, and cream, using 30-second intervals and stirring vigorously after each interval, until the mixture is smooth.
- Add vanilla and peanuts and allow the mixture to cool, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
- Spoon a generous Tablespoon sized drop of caramel and peanut mixture unto prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the caramel cluster are firm.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the candy coating per the package instructions.
- Using a fork, dip the caramel clusters in the melted candy coating, covering the cluster completely. Allow excess chocolate to drip off into the bowl, then return the cluster to the baking sheet and continue with the rest of the clusters.
- Place in the fridge to allow the coating to set. They're ready to package up or star on your holiday cookie tray!
Starting in November, I dream of Christmas cookies and treats! Almond, peppermint, chocolate, licorice — salty, sweet, gooey, crunchy — oh, the wonders of the season!
- Christmas Sugar Cookies – Go classic or go home!
- Almond Crescent Cookies – The delicate almond flavor in delicate shape.
- Yugoslavian Christmas Cookies – More culture to your Christmas.
- Peppermint Kiss Cookies – Just enough mint!
- Spritz Cookies – The one, the only!
Jingle bells, jingle bells — the holidays are calling, and so is this polar bear paws candy recipe! Did you use CandiQuick or chocolate? Peanuts or a different nut?
Did you have leftovers or did you eat the first batch to “test” them? (Hey, no judging here!) Tell me how your candy making ventures went in the comments!