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This is one of my oldest and most beloved recipes. Not because it’s fancy or unique or interesting, but because I used to make these with my sis, when we were just silly little girls. There are several recipes we did together, over and over again, and this is one of them. We referred to them as Jean’s Clusters back then. I have no idea who Jean is or why they named these clusters after her.
Jean, if you’re out there, drop me a line.
My boys decided that they’re like “naked bon bons” because they are missing the rich, chocolate coating of my Peanut Butter Bon Bons. Maybe the title Naked Bon Bons would have drawn more traffic to this post? Regardless of what you call them, they are quick, simple, and super dee-licious.
Start with some sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium high heat. Allow the mixture to boil until it is clear from sugar crystals. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla; stirring till nice and smooth.
Next, add the corn flakes. My sis and I never used to add the optional nuts but my adult taste buds decided to throw some raw, chopped cashews into this batch. It was a good choice. Quickly combine the mixture and then the rolling can begin. Don’t allow the mixture to sit for very long or it will begin to set up and be more difficult to work with.
Use your hands to roll the mixture into about 20 small balls and place them on wax paper or foil to set up. Only allow them to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes max and then transfer them to an airtight container. Their texture is best if stored at room temperature.
Every time I taste one of these sweet, crispy delights, I remember exactly why I loved them so much when I was a silly little girl in Mom’s kitchen with my sis.
Try to eat just one. Impossible!
Crispy Peanut Butter Clusters
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups corn flakes
- 1/3 cup finely chopped raw cashews optional
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, and salt in saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly and boil until mixture looks clear and is free from sugar crystals. Remove pan from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Stir till smooth and free from lumps. Add cereal and cashews, if using, and mix to combine.
- Use your hands to form into small balls and place on waxed paper or foil. Clusters will harden as they cool. After 15 to 20 minutes, transfer to an airtight container.