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Murielle Banackissa

Sugar Coated Vanilla Peanuts

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40 mins Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins
Serves 2

Made with 5 easy to find ingredients, these crunchy Sugar Coated Vanilla Peanuts are a wonderful comfort food snack and make for a lovely edible gift.


  • 1 cup raw unsalted peanuts
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Generous pinch of salt


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

  2. Step 2

    Arrange the peanuts in an even layer on your baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the peanuts have a light golden color. Make sure to toss your peanuts around every 5 minutes or so for even roasting.

  3. Step 3

    Arrange the peanuts in an even layer on your baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the peanuts have a light golden color. Make sure to toss your peanuts around every 5 minutes or so for even roasting.

  4. Step 4

    Remove the peanuts from the oven and add to a saucepan along with water and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil.

  5. Step 5

    Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring regularly using a wooden spoon. The mixture will go from liquid to sticky and to white and granulated.

  6. Step 6

    Once it is granulated, add salt and vanilla extract.

  7. Step 7

    Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the sugar coats the peanuts and turns a light caramel color, try not to let the sugar caramelize too much, you are looking to preserve its granulated texture.

  8. Step 8

    Remove from the heat and immediately transfer back onto the prepared baking sheet. Let cool for 15-20 minutes and transfer to a jar.

  9. Step 9

    Keep it in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks.

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Can I use roasted peanuts? Yes absolutely, if you want to skip the roasting process you can totally buy pre-roasted peanuts, just be sure that they are not flavoured (apart from a little salt).
  • Can I use another kind of sugar? I think brown sugar will work very well also. I have not tested this recipe with coconut sugar so I could not guarantee the results.

  • This recipe is highly customizable. I personally love to make my peanuts shine by adding just a bit of vanilla extract and salt, but if you are feeling adventurous, feel free to flavour your peanuts with chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg, cardamom, or even pumpkin pie spice!

  • 1 cup of peanuts yields enough to fill a regular 16 oz mason jar. If you would like to make a bigger batch, simply double or triple the recipe. Just note that you might have to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Close up of sugar coated peanuts
Sugar Coated Vanilla Peanuts - Murielle Banackissa
Sweetened Peanuts-1

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share with you a recipe that is near and dear to my heart: these Sugar Coated Vanilla Peanuts.

Growing up in the Republic of Congo, one of my favorite snacks were these Sugar Coated Peanuts. I would get so excited when my mom would come back from work and treat me to a bag of these peanuts, devouring them all in one evening!

Traditionally sold in stands on the side of the road along with other delicious treats, these peanuts are one of the very few Congolese snacks and desserts I remember vividly.

Sugar coated peanuts floating around a jar of sugar coated peanuts.

Once my family immigrated to Canada, quickly fell in love with local snacks and desserts and these peanuts slowly faded in my memory until one day, when I was doing the groceries with my mom, I saw bright red candied peanuts.

Curious about what they would taste like and remembering my love for my childhood snack, I picked up a bag of these ruby red peanuts. I devoured the entire bag within less than 24 hours and was immediately brought back to the Congolese Sugar Coated Peanuts I used to have.

The Canadian red candied peanuts were not exactly the same as my childhood snack. The sugar coating was a lot smoother and glossier, which made these peanuts less crunchy than what I had remembered.

That brings me to last year, when I was on a quest to remaking my childhood Sugar Coated Peanuts. I tried a few different variations until I found one that really spoke to me and that brought me back in time.

One important thing to remember when you make these peanuts is not to overcook and over caramelize the sugar. As you stir the peanuts and sugar mixture together, the sugar will go from liquid, to sticky to powdery. When it turns powdery, you really just have to cook the peanuts for 1-2 more minutes before taking everything off the heat.

If you leave the peanuts on the heat for longer, you will end up caramelizing the sugar, your peanuts will stick together and the coating will be darker in color and glossy instead of being a light beige color and granulated.

Well on that note, if you are looking for a super easy to prep satisfying snack or dessert, one that requires few ingredients, delivers on flavour and is highly customizable, this one is for YOU!

Furthermore, February not only being Black History Month, but also Valentine’s Day month, these peanuts make for a wonderful little gift to offer a loved one or to treat yourself with!

If you do end up making these Sugar Coated Vanilla peanuts, share them on Instagram and tag me (@muriellebanackissa).