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Sweet, Salty, Frito Candy

by on February 9, 2007 · 47 comments

I came up with this snack/candy one day while I was playing around. 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 and liked it enough to take to a party.

The reaction to this candy/cookie or whatever it is, 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.


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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Published on February 9, 2007

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Jami February 9, 2007 at 8:33 pm

That looks good…!! I’ll have to try it out!!! Thanks for sharing!

kelly February 9, 2007 at 8:46 pm

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!

Amy February 10, 2007 at 8:19 pm

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!

Anna February 10, 2007 at 8:28 pm

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.

KelliRR February 11, 2007 at 1:12 pm

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!

Poutine February 11, 2007 at 10:24 pm

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)

ThereseB February 12, 2007 at 9:30 am

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!

Chloe February 12, 2007 at 10:42 am

Thanks for sharing!! They look soo good!

ThereseB February 12, 2007 at 3:00 pm

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!!

Abi Jones February 12, 2007 at 4:13 pm

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.

Anna February 12, 2007 at 5:41 pm

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.

dge February 12, 2007 at 11:21 pm

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

LisaE February 13, 2007 at 6:09 am

Hi Anna, you may just have another award winning recipe here! I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks tantalizing.

Anna February 13, 2007 at 8:11 am

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!

KelliRR February 15, 2007 at 7:52 am

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.

Anna February 15, 2007 at 8:29 am

Kelli, thanks for the review. I know what you mean about eating too much of it! It’s kind of addictive.

HomesickTexan February 15, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Wow! Looks very addictive. I don’t think, however, there’s MSG in Fritos (at least its not listed on the package).

Anna February 15, 2007 at 5:20 pm
Debbi September 23, 2007 at 10:46 am

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. :-)

Nicole November 8, 2007 at 7:32 pm

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.

Judy November 9, 2007 at 3:10 pm

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!

Nina January 8, 2008 at 11:00 am

Sounds intriguing. Do you use the mini PB cups or the snack size?

Brooke February 2, 2008 at 6:37 am

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!

CPB March 9, 2008 at 7:04 pm

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!


Lisa April 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm

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

Jen June 11, 2008 at 6:20 am

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.

Jen June 19, 2008 at 9:35 am

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?

Alli July 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm

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

Susan July 15, 2008 at 6:22 pm

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

Anna July 15, 2008 at 6:35 pm

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.

Jenny September 5, 2008 at 2:07 pm

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!!!!

Kowsii September 12, 2008 at 4:02 pm

What are Fritos???

Martina October 23, 2008 at 5:50 pm


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 =)


Tiffany February 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

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!

Gloria August 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm

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!

rebekah (clarity in creation.) May 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm

these were sooooooooooooooooo good! oh my god. i’ve had a headache all day from them!

ps – they were so incredible, i blogged about them! i liked back to you :)
thanks again!

k November 11, 2010 at 11:18 am

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!

Plain Jayne December 18, 2010 at 11:50 am

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!

nat February 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

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.

Sara E February 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I just Swagbucked for some fun Super Bowl party treats … and found this….
thank you! ..
it looks yummy and all the reviews are fabulous .. so I think this is my pick. I’m also sharing this on my Plaid Punch fan page

C L February 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm

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. :)

Opal March 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm

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. :-)

Dave March 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm

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)?

Anna March 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

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.

Opal March 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

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! :-)

Dave March 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

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!

lynn @ the actor's diet February 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

this was at my book club last night – i called it “frito crack!”

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