Salted Nut Roll Bars
These Salted Nut Roll Bars are the perfect combination of salty and sweet, chewy and crunchy. If you love the traditional Salted Nut Roll candy bar, you’re going to love this homemade copycat recipe! Dip the bars in caramel and chocolate like they do at the Minnesota State Fair, or enjoy them the plain ‘ol traditional way!
An Easy Salted Nut Roll Recipe
Another fun treat from my mom’s recipe box, you’re gonna love these fantastic Salted Nut Roll Bars!
My dad has always been a fan of the Salted Nut Roll candy bar (made by Pearson’s Candy Co right here in Minnesota!). So Mom’s been making this copycat recipe in the form of easy-to-make bars for many years. The bars are a fabulous contrast of salty & sweet, chewy & crunchy!
The bars’ flavor is incredibly similar to the original. But I have to admit that I like these homemade bars better than the original, simply because I like the marshmallows much more than the candy bar’s nougat center.
These bars are top-notch delicious plain. But I just had to share a caramel & chocolate dipped variation that we enjoy every year at the Minnesota State Fair – it’s now less than 2 weeks until opening day!
The vendor at the fair makes the most incredible homemade nut rolls – and of course, they’re served on a stick! They dip tender sweet nougat into caramel and then roll it in the traditional salty peanuts – OR cashews, pecans, or sliced almonds – you get to choose! Then they dip the whole thing in chocolate. It’s A-MAZ-ING!!
Going to the Minnesota State Fair? Be sure to check out our family’s Best Minnesota State Fair Food and Drink! And make my copycat recipes for the fair’s famous Fried Pickles and Blueberry Lemonade – SO GOOD!!
Enjoy Plain or Dipped In Caramel & Chocolate
A pan of salted nut rolls bars can be whipped up in about 15 minutes because the recipe is so darn simple.
And obviously, if you want to go the extra mile with the caramel & chocolate dip, it’s going to add some time to the clock. Many times I dip half the pan of bars and leave half plain. Or I simply drizzle the melty caramel and chocolate over the top of the pan of bars, let the caramel and chocolate set, and then cut into bars. It’s a simple cheater version that still gives the same flavors we love from the state fair!
What You’ll Need
If you want to make plain salted nut roll bars, you’ll only need the 5 ingredients shown in the first photo!
Salted Nut Roll Bars:
- Peanuts – Use dry roasted salted peanuts for the best crunchy, salty flavor and texture.
- Peanut butter chips
- Marshmallows – Mini marshmallows give you little pockets of gooey, chewy deliciousness in every bite!
- Sweetened condensed milk
Optional Caramel Dip:
- Caramel squares – I use individually wrapped Kraft caramels.
Optional Chocolate Dip:
- Chocolate chips – Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips are my favorite!
- Chocolate bark – Using both chocolate bark and great tasting chocolate chips gives you the best of both worlds >>> better chocolate flavor + a more stable chocolate coating.
How to Make Salted Nut Roll Bars
You won’t believe how incredibly easy it is to make this nut roll recipe!
Salted Nut Roll Bars:
- Add peanuts. Spread half the peanuts in a 9×13 pan.
- Make peanut butter mixture. In a saucepan, melt the peanut butter chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter.
- Add marshmallows. Fold the marshmallows into melty PB mixture.
- Transfer PB marshmallow mixture. Then spread the peanut butter/marshmallow mixture over the peanuts.
- Add remaining peanuts. Sprinkle the rest of the peanuts over the top and press in a bit.
- Chill & cut. Place pan in fridge for an hour to firm up. Then cut into bars and enjoy plain – or go to the next steps for dipping in caramel & chocolate.
Optional Caramel Dip:
- Make caramel. In a bowl, microwave the caramels, butter, and milk, until smoothly melted. Transfer caramel to a mug or tall ramekin for dipping.
- Dip the bars. Dip the cut & chilled salted nut roll bars into the melted caramel and set on parchment paper-lined pan.
- Chill. Place pan of caramel-dipped bars in fridge to set. (Once set, you can trim away any excessive caramel pooling with a sharp knife, if desired.)
Optional Chocolate Dip:
- Melt chocolate. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and chocolate bark, until smoothly melted. Transfer chocolate to a mug or tall ramekin for dipping.
- Dip the bars. Dip the caramel-dipped salted nut roll bars into the chocolate, leaving a bit of the caramel showing and set on parchment paper.
- Chill. Place pan of caramel & chocolate dipped bars in the refrigerator to set.
If desired, sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the top of the dipped bars, right before you place the pan in the fridge for the final chill!
How to Store
Salted nut roll bars are soft, due to the puffy marshmallows. So I recommend storing these in the refrigerator. They’ll keep best for up to 5 days when stored in an airtight container.
To freeze, add the bars to a freezer-safe container, separating any layers with parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in refrigerator or on the counter before enjoying.
More Easy Bars to Make
- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- Monster Cookie Bars
- Lemon Heaven Bars
- Double Chocolate Marshmallow Rice Krispies Treats
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Salted Nut Roll Bars
These Chocolate Dipped Salted Nut Roll Bars are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. If you love traditional Salted Nut Roll candy bars you're going to love this homemade recipe!
salted nut roll bars:
- 14 ounces dry roasted salted peanuts
- 10 ounces Reese's peanut butter chips
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
(optional) caramel dip (enough to dip half a pan of bars):
- 14 ounces individually wrapped Kraft caramels
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon milk
(optional) chocolate dip:
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips - I like Guittard
- 8 ounces chocolate almond bark, roughly chopped
- For the salted nut roll bars: Spread half the peanuts in a 9'' x 13'' pan.
- In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter.
- Once melted, add the marshmallows and quickly fold together. The goal is to still have the marshmallows intact, so don’t stir too much as it will break them up and cause them to melt into the peanut butter mixture. Spread this mixture evenly over the peanuts.
- Sprinkle remaining peanuts over the top and press in with the flat side of a spatula or large spoon. If you like the Salted Nut Roll candy bar, without the added caramel & chocolate, then you are done now. Just refrigerate for an hour to set.
- Cut into bars, whatever size you choose. Or to mimic the elongated candy bar shape, cut into 3'' x 1-1/2'' bars. From a short edge of the pan, cut 1-1/2'' rows, and then cut each row into 3 pieces. ENJOY!!
- For the caramel dip: Note that the nut roll bars should be thoroughly chilled before adding the caramel dip - I'd even suggest freezing the bars for about 1 hour before dipping. In a medium bowl, microwave the caramels, butter, and milk in 15-minute intervals, stirring the mixture between each interval. Take care to not let it scorch. Transfer caramel mixture to a small bowl with tall sides (or a mug, ramekin, jar etc.) that will allow the salted nut roll to be dipped into it sufficiently.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper (don’t use wax paper!) onto 2 cookie sheets or rimmed sheet pans.
- Dip the chilled cut bars halfway into the caramel. Use a spoon to aid the caramel covering, if needed. Let excess caramel run back into the bowl - then slide the bottom of the bar along the edge of the bowl, to remove excess caramel. Set on parchment paper and repeat with remaining bars. Place pan in the refrigerator to let caramel set. Once set, if the caramel has pooled around the base of the bar, you can easily trim the caramel with a sharp knife, if desired.
- For the chocolate dip: In a small bowl, gently microwave the chocolate chips and chocolate bark on low heat, in short intervals - take care to not let it scorch. Once the chocolates are a little more than halfway melted, just stir until they melt all the way. Let cool until just barely warm and transfer to another small bowl with tall sides for dipping.
- Now dip the chilled caramel-dipped salted nut roll bars into the chocolate, leaving a bit of the caramel showing. Shake off excess chocolate and slide the bottom of the fully dipped bar along the edge of the bowl, to remove excess chocolate. Set on parchment paper and repeat with remaining bars. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Place pan in the refrigerator to set.
Time note: The 15 minutes Total Time is for the salted nut roll bars portion only. This does not include time if you choose to dip the bars in caramel and chocolate.
Caramel note: The caramel quantity is enough to dip about half the bars when cut into the size I specify to mimic the candy bar shape. If you want to dip the entire pan, you will need to double the caramel mixture.
Cheater Version: If you want the added caramel and chocolate, but don’t want to go through the dipping/cooling/dipping/cooling process, I offer you this… Make the caramel dip and the chocolate dip. Then drizzle each one over the top of the pan of bars, as little or as much as you like. It’s an easy compromise, with considerably less work.
To store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Or freeze in a freezer-safe container, with layers separated by parchment paper.
Salted nut roll bar recipe from Mom’s recipe box, originally from Kathy Mackner.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 254mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 4gSugar: 39gProtein: 11g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
The vendor at the Minnesota State Fair with the awesome salted nut rolls!
This post was first published in 2011 and then updated in 2022.
oh, that looks all kinds of good!
Thank you, Viv – hope you’re having a great weekend!
Oh yum!!! These are making my mouth water early in the morning!
Hello! Just stopping by to let you know that your recipe was one of the top recipes last week on Sweet Indulgences Sunday. Hope you’ll join us again this week.
I am so going to try this recipe. My husband loves salted nut rolls and so do I. Thank you for sharing.
My word, these look great!
I am totally going to make this… have never seen them at the fair but I love a Pay Day type candy bar! Yum!
They’re addictive, watch out! :)
These look so tasty and I love how easy they are to make!
These look amazing!!! Love!
Thanks much, Maria!
Yum! My favorite thing at the MN State Fair this year was watching The Prairie Home Companion Show w/ Garrison Keillor and treat-wise I’d have to say I’m a good old fashion cotton candy lover! ~Chris Ann
Thanks – wonderful to hear from you, Chris Ann! (And…oh my gosh, people…check out the velvet pumpkins in LoveFeast Table’s shop – they’re GORGEOUS!!)
This looks so yummy. It is almost State Fair time in the Carolinas and we always have yummy things like this too. Yours looks terrific. Come visit us this week. We have some wonderful apple recipes.
So nice to hear from you – thanks! Have fun at the fair!!
that looks so good i wish i was there right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi, Owen – I wish you were here, too! I saved some in the freezer for Grandpa & Grandma K., because Grandpa LOVES salted nut rolls!
Wow…YUM!!! I used to love the nut rolls that you buy at the store…I’m sure I’d totally love these!!
Thanks, Kirsten. The salted nut roll bars are fabulous on their own, but dipped in caramel & chocolate…oh my!
This is going on my gotta try list most definitely – pinned it too! I would love it if you linked it up at my blog party, Makin’ You Crave Monday, over at MrsHappyHomemaker.com!
Dad says he can taste them just by looking at them. Yum!
Hatti was just saying today that she wished she could have just one more. I told her I put a few in the freezer for when you visit in a couple weeks. There’s one with Dad’s name on it. :)
Ooooooh My Goodness. These sound amazing!
Thanks, Mary – nice to hear from you!
Oh my those look intensely good!
Thanks, Sylvie. They really are crazy good. I had so much fun making them, too – I was very sticky!
Wow do these look good! My husband wants me to replicate the sweet corn ice cream, but he hasn’t seen this. :) Payday candy bars were my favorite until I discovered the Nut Roll here in Minnesota. Great post!
I have yet to try the sweet corn ice cream, but saw that Debra of Smith Bites recently posted a recipe for it: http://www.smithbites.com/2011/08/sweet-corn-ice-cream-wcaramel-corn/ – it definitely looks intriguing! Hope you get a chance to make both the ice cream and the salted nut rolls!
Ive never heard of a nut roll! im guessing they arnt a big thing here in the UK, oh how we are missing out it seems :) these look absolutely divine, so so inventive and i am SO going to be trying them out hopefully sooner rather than later!
Hi Sasha – I’m realizing, since posting this, that the Salted Nut Roll is a very Midwestern US thing. I do hope you can find the ingredients to make this. They’re super simple, chewy, crunchy, and delicious!
What a gorgeous little treat, I’ll remember these for the next kids picnic!