Sweet, Salty, Frito Candy

Frito Candy is something I came up while playing around in the kitchen. It was supposed to be kind of a trashy but delicious snack — a mess of Fritos, pretzels, and peanut butter cups held together in a matrix of brown sugar and butter. I made it with skepticism knowing it would at the least, satisfy a sweet & salty craving. In the end, I liked it enough to take it to a party.

Frito Candy

The reaction to this candy/cookie or whatever you call it, was astonishing. My girlfriends ate it up in seconds and over the course of the next few months, kept asking for more. I developed a new appreciation for Fritos (which do not have MSG, I learned) and have come to appreciate them for the wholesome, trans-fat free snack food they are ;). Okay, so that’s a stretch, but Fritos are not all that bad for you and in some cases, they can stand in for dessert.

Note: If you are unsure about this recipe, as you should be, go ahead and halve it and do it in an 8 inch pan.

The finished product should look like this.

frito candyfrito4.jpg

Sweet, Salty, Frito Candy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sweet, Salty, Frito Candy made with peanut butter cups.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • 1 cup Fritos
  • 8 mini peanut butter cups
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or however many you want)
  • Optional: Some peanuts for the top
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper or no-stick (Release) foil.
  2. Place pretzels in food processor and pulse to break - don't pulverize. Add Fritos to processor and break them up with pretzels. Dump into pan. Unwrap peanut butter cups and throw them in the mix. It should look similar to this, keeping in mind this is a half batch.
  3. Place butter in a non-stick saucepan and melt over medium heat. When butter is melted, stir in brown sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring once or twice. Pour over Frito mixture and bake for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over hot candy. Return to oven for 1 minute to soften chips. Spread softened chocolate chips over bars.
  5. Cool at room temperature until you feel the pan is cool enough to be transferred to your refrigerator, then transfer to refrigerator to set the chocolate. When chocolate is set, lift from pan and break the candy up as you would almond toffee. You can eat it cold or let it come back down to room temp. It doesn't have to be refrigerated, really.


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  1. kelly says

    Haha these are not trashy at all. They remind me of the take five candy bar. I might have to make these, but substitute something in place of the fritos because I’m not a fan. Thanks!

  2. Amy says

    It was great meeting you last night. These were so yummy—thanks for sharing them with us. I am planning on making this recipe in the next day or two for our next door neighbor. She brought us cupcakes last week and my daughter said we should make her a present too. I loved this candy! Hope you had fun last night!

  3. says

    Hi Amy,

    Have fun making the crazy Frito candy. It’s so easy.

    FYI to everyone else. I took this stuff to a bunko game Friday night and set it on the counter. Minutes later, it was gone and more than one person (including Amy) asked for the recipe. So give it a try. I am glad I shared it with the group and got feedback. I felt like maybe something was wrong me for liking such a weird combination.

  4. KelliRR says

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe! The pictures look sooo good. I plan on making it this week so I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

  5. says

    It looks really good. I’m going to make it the next time I have a party to attend. Last night we went to a party and I brought my trailer trash dip( veg. chili( canned) and velvetta served with frito scoops)

  6. ThereseB says

    Hi Anna!

    YUM…!!! This would have come in handy this weekend at my women’s retreat! Looks like it goes well with a lot of estrogen!
    And considering I ate anything that wasn’t nailed down I probably would have eaten the whole pan!!!
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. ThereseB says

    Hey Anna!

    I forgot to say…I made those chocolate Korova cookies and brought them along to the women’s retreat!! OH MAN!!! THEY ROCKED!!!! Everyone wanted the recipe!!

  8. Abi Jones says

    I am making a pan of this tonight. It is so Texas! Tomorrow, I will report on whether or not my coworkers enjoy the stuff. Considering how they went ga-ga over the Chattanooga Chew-Chews, I think it will be a hit.

  9. says

    Therese, glad to hear the cookies went over well…..that they rocked. Hopefully, you gave everyone the recipe. Thanks to Lisa for that.

    Abi, the Frito candy is crunchy cousin to the Chattanooga Chew Chews. Maybe I should name Frito Candy after a train? Or better yet, a Glenn Miller song.

  10. dge says

    Anna – I made a full batch of this today and we really liked it. My kids call it white trash bark. Whatever.

  11. says

    dge, I’m surprised your kids like it. My daughter tried it, but didn’t care for it one bit. The adults, on the other hand…

    I accidentally made a batch for Teacher Appreciation week, then realized Teacher Appreciation week is NEXT week. Doh!

  12. KelliRR says

    I made this last night and it is insanely good! My two youngest daughters weren’t too crazy about it (I think they just can’t get past the idea of Fritos and chocolate together) but my teenage daughter and my husband absolutely loved it. I ate way too much of it so I am going to take it from the house tonight and let some other people sample it. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe.

  13. Debbi says

    I made this for the second time yesterday and brought it to a party. I LOVE the reaction from people when they eat it. People are actually confused about what they are eating and they try to make it much more complex than it really is. They say things like “I’m not sure I really like this” but they keep taking more! And by the end they were asking me to bring it again even though they still weren’t sure that they loved it. To say it is strangely addicting is an understatement. 🙂

  14. Nicole says

    I finally got around to making this for a party the other day. I made a full batch and it was gone in no time. I didn’t get to see who was eating it, but I think it was all the men there. I asked one of my friends how she like it and she said “I didn’t like it!” Well, that was direct! There was lots left of the other food there, but not a crumb of the Frito candy was spared. Maybe its a love it or hate it type of thing. I’m going to make it again for sure.

  15. Judy says

    Hi Anna, I hate to ask this, but can these be frozen also? Just got done making your Almond Toffee and it’s going in the freezer – Christmas baking time is upon me!

  16. says

    Holy hell – I know I am way late on commenting on this post, but I just made this candy last night and it is freaking amazing! I couldn’t stop eating it. In fact, I need to pick up more peanut butter cups today so I can make another batch – I need to share this with more people 🙂 Thanks for a great recipe!

  17. CPB says

    Yummmmmmm! I made this today and just finished my first serving. O-M-G. It is too too good. Dangerous to have around the house!


  18. Lisa says

    Read about this recipe on a message board and stumbled you. So hopefully more people will find it and check it out.

  19. Jen says

    Any thoughts on semi-sweet vs. milk chocolate chips? I usually lean towards the milk chocolate, but not sure if it will make this too sweet….I plan on trying a batch this weekend with some leftover Fritos I have lying around.

  20. Jen says

    ok – I tried making this twice and neither time worked out for me. The toffee mixture never set up and remained soggy. The first time I followed the directions to a T. The second time I boiled the butter/brown sugar mixture a little longer, but still ended up with the same results. Any ideas?

  21. Alli says

    Try baking it longer before adding the chocolate. I’m not positive, but it should help dry it out.

  22. Susan says

    I made this stuff today and it’s obscenely delicious. Does anyone know whether it keeps in the freezer?

  23. says

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for trying it!

    It should be fine in the freezer. I don’t recall ever freezing it, but I freeze similar types of candy so this should work too.

  24. Jenny says

    So good!!!!!!! I saw this recipe on A Year of Crockpotting, but decided to make it your way…oh man, my husband better get home from work so, before I eat the whole batch and pretend I never made it!!!!

  25. Martina says


    Just made this recipe…i dont know what fritos are but i threw in some bugels instead and its yummy!Freezing some for my friends to try out next weekend which will be interesting cause its made out of snacks we dont have here. I think i might even make some fudge and see what they say =)


  26. says

    I’ve made this several times now and it’s always a hit! I shared the recipe on my blog and linked back to you. I hope that’s okay. You’ve got a great blog!

  27. Gloria says

    A coworker made these and brought them in to work. I probably ate 1/2 the pan and was in a sugar coma the rest of the day. She did not add the peanut butter cups. I’ve made this recipe a few times-I’m basically lazy so I don’t add the peanut butter cups either and used salted butter which I always have on hand…They came out good, though not exactly the same rich snack anymore-and they were a hit at work again. I will try them with the pb cups next time. Thanks for sharing your experiments!

  28. k says

    Anna, I just found this recipe through the Year of Slow cooking blog, and now I’m intrigued by Chattanooga Chew Chews. Can you point me to that recipe? Thanks!

  29. Plain Jayne says

    I made these after my daughter raved about them. I took them to a neighborhood Christmas gathering and people couldn’t keep their hands out of the bowl. Yummmm!

  30. nat says

    Do you think it would be strange to use a snickers bar (cut into pieces) instead of the peanut butter cups? I might give that a try for something different and because I have a couple snickers bars I would like to use up.

  31. C L says

    I mailed a batch of these to my niece and her roomie last week…from what I could understand from the muffled munching on the other end of the phone, they really liked it! I might try this again with peanut M&Ms sprinkled on top, just for some added color. 🙂

  32. Opal says

    OH MY GOLLY!!! I MADE THESE TREATS TONIGHT & THEY WERE AWESOME! Next time I am going to do half Fritos & half pretzels as I really loved the Frito chocolate combination. Having read my first blog today & making my first recipe from a blog I am hooked!!! I may be up all night. 🙂

  33. Dave says

    Made these today and it didn’t seem like there was enough of the toffee mixture to cover everything and some of the pretzels/fritos were floating free. Is it supposed to be like this or should I just cut down a bit on how much pretzels and fritos I used (I measured after crushing them)?

  34. says

    Dave, I haven’t had that problem. Sometimes I do have a few pretzels or Fritos that have barely any coating, but I kind of like the uneven distribution. Then again, you shouldn’t have THAT much uncovered. Maybe you put your son a little thicker than I do? You can always use fewer pretzels or Fritos or make adjustments as needed.

  35. Opal says

    I measured my Frito’s & pretzels BEFORE crushing & mine had the perfect amount of caramel. I did not use a food processor either. I just broke them with my fingers. Try it again as these are well worth it. I made 3 batches 3 days in a row because everyone who came in the house ate them up! 🙂

  36. Dave says

    I will definitely try them again! Everyone at the party loved them (myself included). I just wasn’t sure why I had so many fritos and pretzels left uncoated. I’ll definitely measure them beforehand next time so it will be a little less. Thanks!

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