It is officially December and officially the 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!!! Here is the deal, we will be sharing a new recipe with you everyday for the first twelve days in December. To kick it off, the first recipe we are sharing is this recipe for Polar Bear Claw Cookies!
Bear claw cookies should be known by everyone, everywhere, and if you have no idea what I am talking about, you are in for a treat!
Bear claw cookies are traditionally a type of salted nut, surrounded by caramel sauce, then dipped in chocolate. There is basically nothing better. So for these, we are going to use a simple homemade vanilla caramel sauce, salted peanuts, and high quality white chocolate.
There are affiliate links in this post. Please see my disclosure policy to learn more.
To make these cookies, here are some handy things you will need.
- A cookie scoop, you can use a spoon or ice cream scoop, but the lever action on the cookie scoop makes portioning these cookies VERY easy. Cookie scoops are also great to use for portioning other things, like meatballs, cake pops, or just regular old cookies! They are inexpensive and come in handy all the time!
- Candy Thermometer; I didn’t have one for a really long time. Now that I have one, I realize it probably should have been the first thing I bought when I started baking.
- PaperChef Parchment Paper. I FREAKING LOVE THIS STUFF. I always buy the biggest roll I can find, yet somehow I am always running out! This parchment paper is the best, nothing, I repeat nothing sticks to it and it makes clean up a breeze.
Making the Polar Bear Claw Cookies
First things first, get all of your ingredients ready. If this is your first time making homemade caramel sauce this is especially important. You will have to move swiftly while making the sauce and you will have no time to stop in between steps to measure ingredients.
Ok, now onto the fun part.
In a medium sized saucepan combine the granulated sugar and the brown sugar.
Add in the corn syrup and bring mixture to a boil over medium-low heat. Use a whisk to stir continually, once the mixture is boiling, insert a candy thermometer, stop stirring and boil until mixture reaches 240°F on the candy thermometer.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream, butter, and vanilla. Warning- The caramel mixture will boil vigorously even though the heat is off. Keep whisking until completely combined.
Return saucepan over medium heat, insert the candy thermometer and bring to a boil again. DO NOT STIR, boil until mixture has returned to 240°F on the candy thermometer.
Woohoo! You have now made your very own homemade vanilla caramel sauce!
Pour the caramel sauce over top of the peanuts. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir to combine and let the caramel sauce and peanut mixture sit untouched for 10 minutes. This is another important step, not stirring the caramel while it sits with the peanuts. Stirring the caramel will incorporate too much air into the mixture and your caramel will turn out hard, kind of like a fudge. So only stir the caramel sauce with the peanuts for maybe 30 seconds, just to make sure all of the peanuts are coated.
Using that handy dandy cookie scoop, scoop out the caramel mixture onto the parchment paper lined trays. Let the trays cool completely in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let the caramel sauce completely set up.
Dipping in Chocolate
Over a double boiler melt the high quality white chocolate.
Remove the top bowl of the double broiler and dip the cookies one at a time into the chocolate. Using two forks to turn and coat the cookies works well for this step. Return dipped cookies to a piece of parchment paper and let cool again until they are fully set.
These cookies have to be COLD to dip in chocolate. Keep them in the refrigerator while you are melting the chocolate, and only take out one tray at a time when you are dipping the cookies.
Cleaning up caramel sauce can be an absolute nightmare. Luckily, I learnt a trick a long time ago. So, if you have caramel sauce stuck to the saucepan or any utensils this is the best way to clean them. Fill up the saucepan with enough water to fully submerge the caramel areas, toss in any utensils/candy thermometer and bring water to a simmer. Then just like magic all of the stuck on caramel will evaporate into the water right in front of your eyes!
These Polar Bear Claw Cookies are excellent for any cookie exchange, holiday baking tray, or just for you to hoard and enjoy over the holidays (no judgement here)!
We hope you enjoyed our first day of Christmas, make sure to check back tomorrow morning at 8am MST for day two!
We put a lot of work into our recipes, we would love to know if you tried this recipe and how it turned out for you!
If you have any questions about this recipe, I would be happy to answer them in the comments down below! To get a hold of us, you can shoot us an email or leave a comment down below! We can also be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Check out the other recipes in our 12 Days of Christmas holiday event!
- First Day of Christmas- Polar Bear Claw Cookies
- Second Day of Christmas- Holiday Hot Chocolate
- Third Day of Christmas- Grandma’s Butter Tarts
- Fourth Day of Christmas- Shortbread Cookies
- Fifth Day of Christmas- Vanilla Roll Cake with Peppermint Buttercream
- Sixth Day of Christmas- Christmas Crack
- Seventh Day of Christmas-Sugar Cookies with Easy Royal Icing
- Eighth Day of Christmas- Peppermint Candy Cane Bark
- Ninth Day of Christmas- Easy Chocolate Truffles
- Tenth Day of Christmas-
- Eleventh Day of Christmas-
- Twelfth Day of Christmas-
Polar Bear Claw Cookies
- 2 cups Peanuts, salted
- 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Corn Syrup
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- ½ cup Butter, room temperature and cut into 1” pieces
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3-4 cups White Chocolate or Dark Chocolate, for dipping
- Place the peanuts in a large glass bowl, set aside.
- Measure out the heavy cream, butter, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan combine the granulated sugar and brown sugar, whisk to combine the sugar.
- Add in the corn syrup and bring mixture to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Once mixture is boiling, insert a candy thermometer, stop stirring and boil until mixture reaches 240°F.
- Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream, butter, and vanilla. Mixture will boil vigorously even though the heat is off. Keep whisking until completely combined. Return saucepan over medium heat, insert a candy thermometer and bring to a boil. DO NOT STIR, boil until mixture has returned to 240°F.
- Remove from heat and pour caramel mixture over peanuts. Stir to combine and let the caramel/peanut mixture sit untouched for 10 minutes.
- On a large sheet of parchment paper, spoon out cookies. They will slightly spread as you are spooning them out. I like to use a cookie scoop for this step. Cookies will be 1-2 tablespoons each.
- Let cool completely, transfer to fridge and cool for at least an hour.
- Over a double boiler melt chocolate of choice. Carefully remove chocolate from heat and using two forks, one at a time, coat the cookies in chocolate. Return dipped cookies to a piece of parchment paper and let cool again.
- These cookies have to be COLD to dip in chocolate. Keep them in the refrigerator while you are melting the chocolate, and you may have to stop in between batches to let the cookies cool again.