Update: It’s 2021 and I still love making Frito Candy! Plus now there’s a new and improved(?) version made with Bugles.
Here’s the old post.
Frito Candy is something I came up while playing around in the kitchen.
It was supposed to be (and is) a trashy but delicious snack. It’s 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.
The reaction to this candy/cookie or whatever you call it, was astonishing. My friends 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.
The finished product should look like this.
I have always made it in a 9×13 inch pan, but I’m thinking about switching to a 15×10 inch pan and increasing the pretzels for a higher ratio of salty to sweet. Here’s a picture of the latest batch before it set. I like to use milk chocolate for half and dark for half.
I was low on Fritos and threw in some regular potato chips. The candy was okay, but I recommend sticking with Fritos….or Bugles. A long time ago I used Bugles for some reason and they worked quite well.
So I kind of mentioned it in passing the other day (see above), but I ran out of Fritos and have been using Bugles again. The Fritos are excellent, but if you are looking for an excuse to buy some Bugles then I recommend you try this with Bugles in place of or along with the Fritos.
As of November 2022, Bugles are no longer available in Canada. I’m very sorry to hear this, Canada. However, I’d trade Bugles for your superiod Kit Kats.
Sweet, Salty, Frito Candy
- 2 cups pretzels you can use mini or slightly broken regulars, more if desired
- 2 cups Fritos or Bugles
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 8 mini peanut butter cups use more or fewer to taste
- 1 stick unsalted butter 8 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 oz chopped dark chocolate or 1 cup or more of good quality chocolate chips
- Optional: Some peanuts for the top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet (around 17×12 inches) with nonstick foil.
- Put 2 cups of broken pretzels (or minis) onto the rimmed baking sheet, then add 2 cups of Fritos — you can leave them whole or break them up. Throw in the peanuts.
- Unwrap peanut butter cups, but don’t throw them in quite yet.
- Place butter in a large 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.
- Working quickly, drizzle hot sugar mixture over Frito mixture, stirring a little to coat the Fritos and Pretzels. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
- After 8 minutes, pull from oven and sprinkle on the unwrapped peanut butter cups. If you want, you can also throw in some Reese’s candies or chocolate chips.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Put the chopped chocolate (or chips) in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the candy. Allow it to set at room temperature or let it cool somewhat and then transfer to the freezer to quick set it.
- 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.
lynn @ the actor's diet
this was at my book club last night – i called it “frito crack!”
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!
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, 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.
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)?
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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
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.
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!
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!
rebekah (clarity in creation.)
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 🙂
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!
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!
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 =)
What are Fritos???
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!!!!
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.
I made this stuff today and it’s obscenely delicious. Does anyone know whether it keeps in the freezer?
Try baking it longer before adding the chocolate. I’m not positive, but it should help dry it out.
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?
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.
Read about this recipe on a message board and stumbled you. So hopefully more people will find it and check it out.
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!
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!
Sounds intriguing. Do you use the mini PB cups or the snack size?
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!
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.
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. 🙂
Hey, you are right. No MSG.
Wow! Looks very addictive. I don’t think, however, there’s MSG in Fritos (at least its not listed on the package).
Kelli, thanks for the review. I know what you mean about eating too much of it! It’s kind of addictive.
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.
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!
Hi Anna, you may just have another award winning recipe here! I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks tantalizing.
Anna – I made a full batch of this today and we really liked it. My kids call it white trash bark. Whatever.
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.
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.
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!!
Thanks for sharing!! They look soo good!
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!
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)
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!
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.
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!
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!
That looks good…!! I’ll have to try it out!!! Thanks for sharing!