If you haven’t had them or heard of them before, Polar Bear Claws are definitely the dessert you want to be making for the holidays. Peanut, caramel-y goodness wrapped in an outer shell of vanilla, these “cookies” are hard on the outside and deliciously gooey on the inside. They take a little bit of forethought to make, since you need to allow enough time for each stage to set – you don’t want your peanut caramel centers to melt, so pop them in the freezer to harden, then dip them into (slightly cooled) melted vanilla almond bark…it works like a charm!
While it does take a little longer to make these bad boys, the timing actually works out perfectly, since it allows you to work in stages and take little breaks in between, great for knocking out other tasks around the house or sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading a magazine. You can get the kids to help – the little ones in our household love dipping the frozen centers into the vanilla bark – and before you know it you’ll be biting into a hard on the outside, gooey, chewy-on-the-inside treat that completely hits the spot!
Polar Bear Claws
Serves 12-18; 2 hours
- 12 oz. vanilla almond bark
- 30 caramels, plus extra for garnish
- 1 cup peanuts, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sea salt, to taste
- Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place caramels, butter and cream in a large, microwaveable bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
- Stir in vanilla extract and peanuts, adding extra sea salt, if desired, and stir until evenly coated.
- Let mixture cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t set, then use a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop to drop spoonfuls of mixture onto lined baking sheets.
- Place in refrigerator or leave out until set, 30-60 minutes.
- In a second microwaveable bowl, melt vanilla almond bark in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted.
- Take peanut caramel cluster and dip each one completely in melted white “chocolate,” then shake off excess.
- Return dipped clusters to parchment paper, then refrigerate until set.
- Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container. Enjoy!