Tiger Butter – and why I already have my Christmas


My kids BEG for this every year! Fortunately, this recipe is as easy as they come!

Today’s recipe for Tiger Butter is a form of almond bark that my children absolutely love. We first had it at Swiss Pantry in Belvedere, Tennessee (If you’re ever near there, stop and buy anything at all and it will taste wonderful!). This bark isn’t quite as sweet as regular bark and really ends up with a peanut butter infused flavor that my entire family gets excited about. You can make this for gifts in easily less than five minutes, too, so it’s great for this time of year! Before I show you how easy it is to make this, though, I wanted to share my heart with you a bit and thank you in advance for indulging me.

We’re in the home stretch leading up to Christmas and I know this is a time where anxieties grow more anxious, tempers have tendencies to flare, and a lot of folks begin to feel like a string stretched so tight you could pluck it and play a tune.

Been there, done that, and start down that road every year but manage to stop and turn around before it’s too late :)

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, how this year is even more stressful than normal for our country. With many people out of work (I imagine if you are blessed to have a job you still know folks who don’t and simply can’t find one) and the prices of everything skyrocketing, it’s disheartening to say the least to try to come up with additional money to purchase gifts. We’ve all cut corners. Most everyone I know isn’t sending Christmas Cards in order to save that money. My mother and I have made a lot of gifts together this year. We usually do that for friends and staff at the kid’s schools but this year we’ve made many gifts for the kids and grandkids as well.

Mama and I have talked about how Christmas used to be versus how it has become and we’ve worked to bring it back to a happy medium once more. Still, I know there is a great deal of anxiety and worry. I know a lot of parents will be concerned that Santa might not bring enough.

But you know what? There is nothing new under the sun. We’re not the first people to feel this anxiety and we certainly won’t be the last.

My parents struggled all year long when we were little, just to be able to provide Christmas for us. Back then, “refunding” was common. Mama would save UPC codes and receipts all year long, scouring newspaper inserts for offers to send them in in exchange for items she could use as gifts. She’d get us dolls, clothes, even a calculator once that we all shared after opening it on Christmas morning. Daddy always worked at least one or two extra jobs but when the holidays rolled around he’d add an additional one, barely leaving time to sleep. They scraped, the worked, they fretted, and they hoped we’d not be disappointed come Christmas morning.

You know what’s crazy though? Knowing how hard they worked and how much they worried, I only remember three of the Christmas gifts from my childhood – and one of those was Dr Pepper flavored Chapstick! Oh, rest assured I got far more than that, but what I’m saying is that with all of their fretting, it’s not the gifts that stand out in my memories.

It’s the things we did together as a family that I remember when I look back. Mama letting us help her make Christmas cookies. Decorating the tree together. Driving around looking at Christmas lights. Special dinners at our grandparents houses. Learning to wrap presents all by myself. Singing Christmas songs at school. Making ornaments out of construction paper and glitter and glue and having Mama ooh and ahh over how beautiful they were when I gave them to her.

Christnas has always held a magical quality, but if you think about it, what do you remember most? The gift of Christmas itself, the memories that remain long after the paper and ribbons have been thrown away.

This is the time of year where we’re all searching for just the right gift. Where we’re budgeting and shopping sales and trying to come up with just one more little thing to make the picture underneath the tree seem perfect.

But we already have so much.

I always wanted a family, for as long as I can remember. I wanted to get married, I wanted to be a Mama. I remember when I was a teenager thinking “I wonder if I’ll ever have my own house?” and here I sit, in my own chair in my living room, looking at the tree that my husband and I decorated with our son and daughter. I wondered if I’d ever have someone love me unconditionally, and here it is Christmas, the birth of someone who loved me enough to die for me.

Just thinking about it all in that perspective fills me with so much joy my heart aches close to bursting.

This year there will be fewer presents under a lot of trees, but those won’t be remembered anyway. Rather than spending more money on the gifts that fade I’m going to spend more time on the gifts that will stay clear and warm in the hearts of my family for the rest of their lives.

You know, I can honestly walk into a store and not need a single thing on the shelves because everything I could ever hope for is right here around me.

I’ve already have my Christmas.

 I hope you took a moment to let that sink in before diving into tiger butter because I’m ADHD so I go from life changing moment to “OH LOOK! A SQUIRREL” faster than you can blink.

I made my point, I shared my heart, and now I’m digging in the pantry wanting to cook something with you.

You’ll need: vanilla almond bark*, Crunchy peanut butter, and chocolate chips.

*Almond bark doesn’t have any nuts in it, that is just a generic name for a chocolate-like candy coating that is commonly used in candymaking.   I say this because I always get several folks asking each year and I like to try to answer questions before folks have to ask them :). However, if you have a nut allergy in your family, the peanut butter is going to be a problem of course. I suggest trying SunButter, which is a substitute that my friend HodgePodge Mom uses a lot.

 Oh! Did I mention you’re going to need a rimmed baking sheet lined in waxed paper?

Well now ya know :)

I have these wonderful baking sheets I love that I got from Sam’s Club. When we were doing photos for my book a few weeks ago, the food stylist came bearing a whole passel of the same ones and we talked about how much we loved them.

Break up your almond bark into a large mixing bowl.

Breaking it up is optional and dependent on my mood. Sometimes I just throw the whole thing in there.

It’s gonna melt either way so just do whatever cranks your tractor.

 Place bowl in microwave for about one minute. Stir well.

Microwave at 30-45 second intervals, stirring after each, until bark is melted and smooth.

Add in peanut butter.

Stir until peanut butter is melted and well blended.

Spread onto waxed paper lined sheet.

Place chocolate chips in a small bowl and melt the same way you did the almond bark.

Drop dollops onto your peanut butter mixture.

Kinda swirl it a little bit with a butter knife until it looks good from ten yards on a galloping horse.

My standards of perfection are pretty low :) but I stay a whole lot happier a whole lot longer that way!

Place in the refrigerator to harden or, if you’re one of those patient people I’ve heard folks speak of in legends, allow it to sit out on your countertop at room temperature until fully hardened. If it’s cold where you live, you can also just put it outside :)

Once it’s hardened, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.


Tiger Butter
  • 1 package ( 24 ounces) white almond bark
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (Milk chocolate will work fine too)
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper. Set aside
  2. In large mixing bowl, break up almond bark as best you can (or you can just toss the whole thing in). Place bowl in microwave for about one minute. Stir well. Microwave at 30-45 second intervals, stirring after each, until bark is melted and smooth.
  3. Stir in peanut butter until melted and well blended.
  4. Spread out onto waxed paper lined baking pan.
  5. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl and microwave at 30-45 second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth and melted.
  6. Drop dollops of chocolate onto peanut butter mixture in pan. Swirl with a knife.
  7. Place baking sheet in refrigerator until hardened or allow to harden completely at room temp.
  8. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

For more quick and easy recipes using almond bark, see below.

Holly Jollies – with endless variations, this is one of the most popular recipes on Southern Plate and a must do for Christmas gifts!

Double Layer Peppermint Bark – this beautiful bark sells in stores for a small fortune, but you can make it at home for just a few dollars.


“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.

In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.” 

~Larry Wilde

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  1. Maria sewing says

    Your post brought tears to my eyes, how true you are! My mom and dear daddy who is in heaven with the angels worked so hard all their lives just to provide for us kids, when I think back to our Christmas celebrations I too barely remember the gifts but I remember the love and memories we shared. I am blessed with far more than my mama and daddy had but I try very hard to make sure my children remember the gifts that truly matter. Wishing you and yours all the best this Christmas and thank you for such a wonderful blog and your sharing spirit.

  2. Ashlee says

    I have been hesitant to make this because I’m not a fan of white chocolate. BUT it looks fabulous!!! DO you think it would work if I swapped the white chocolate bark for milk chocolate and swap the chocolate chips with white chocolate? That way it is more chocolate then white chocolate. haha.. did that make ANY sense????
    thanks Christy for ALL you do!!! Merry Christmas!!!

  3. says

    Christie,I was looking for the Tiger Butter recipe. I first read your post and it brought tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. We grew up poor and believe there is no shame in that. I have shamefully tried to over do things. You are right about kids not remembering what they got for Christmas, but hopefully they can remember the gathering and sharing of love. For years I have asked everyone not to buy me gifts – for any occassion.. I have everything I need and way more than I can use. All I need these days is the love of God .

  4. Janel says

    This is delicious. I just had some tonight at a church get together and now that I know how good it is I am going to make some. I should have known if Christy recommended it, it would be good.

  5. Gina says

    Thank you again for all these wonderful recipes. This is my first year to make candy for Christmas, my daughter, my granddaughter which is 4 and myself have spent all day in the kitchen making your recipes and they all turned out perfect and mmm mmm good. It was a very special day for me! Thank you Christy.

  6. Andrea says

    I’m taking this to our cub scout Christmas party tonight (if I don’t eat it all first). My son said that I should call it “Wolf Butter” though since he is no longer a Tiger rank in scouts 😉

  7. Natalie says

    Christy, i made this last year for Christmas and ended up making it all yr round just about cause my kids LOVE it!!! Just finished my first Christmas batch!!! Yum!!! Can’t wait to eat some!!!

  8. Deanna C says

    I found this recipe many years ago printed in the local newspaper at Christmastime and gave it a go. All I can say is this treat is expected every year by not just my own children (which are grown now) but also my niece and nephews (which are also grown), I found this site because I have since lost the clipping and have ‘misplaced’ the recipe card I had it written on. I have to agree, the children don’t always remember the gifts they received but they do remember the things that make Christmas memories. Thanks for posting this recipe. I better get to it now, I have A LOT of this to make!

  9. Angela Steele says

    I love that you sent this. My daughter who is 7 got up this morning and was like “mom, it is the holidays, can you make that white and brown stuff that you make, you know the kind in the pan and you dont cook it and you let me use a knife” Yep, it is Tiger Butter she is asking for. Think we will be making a batch this weekend.

  10. Pat Whitley says

    This is one of my family’s favorites. So easy and so good! I used to spend a lot of money at the candy store for Tiger Butter, now, I make it! A couple batches! :)

    I use creamy as that is what my family prefers!

  11. Vivian says

    Thanks for taking me back to my childhood! We didn’t have lots of gifts but my Mom made everything wonderful. I remember getting a Barbie and HAND MADE clothes … I still have them and I can see the love she put into them.

    Looks like I found my recipe for neighbor gifts! Thank you. I always seem to take a deep relaxing breath after reading your posts. Like talking to a dear friend. Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Hogs'n'Quiches says

    That’s all there is to Tiger Butter? Good Lawdy be. I thought it was cooked like fudge so I stayed way clear. Guess what I’m making this weekend?!

    Thank you, Christy! And have fun at Sister Schubert’s!!

    (The weather up here is just like yours…then Sunday in the 60’s. Sheesh!)

  13. cindy shipley says

    your story sounds just like mine here in pa we never had a lot of money either and like you i remember my mom cutting down the tree putting it in a metal bucket with rocks and water she was a single mother and did her very best with what she had like under the tree she put up a village and for the road she used eight o clock coffee i only remember a few gifts and like you there was more but i do remember the great things we did together thanks for the great heart you have and share with us my mom been gone home to be with the LORD since 2006 and i miss her every day but a lot around holidays and me and my two grow girls are going to make this over the weekend

  14. Peggy says

    Wonderful recipe ~ think I’ll make two batches, chocolate/peanut butter in one & crushed Peppermint candy in one, oh yes, gotta make some more fudge too.
    Merry Christmas Christy! Hugs!

  15. Elaine says

    OMG, just made this1 Can y’all say delicious? SO so easy!!! I was GM for a “high end” chocolate store for years in NY before relocating to the South and this rivals anything they sold with their “high end” price tags!! Thanks so much for sharing this and Merry Christmas!

  16. Pam says

    This looks wonderful! I see where you’ve placed it in packages and it looks great as a gift. Can you tell us where and how you package this for neighbors? I’m homemade challenged! Thanks!

  17. Bea says

    Merry Christmas Christy! This is my fourth year in a row of being alone. It is hard to see the beauty sometimes even though I realize it when you are alone, no phone calls and wondering if you are having bread with your cheese or not. I grew up poor as one could be and an alcoholic father. Those were the best Christmas days of my life. My Mother made us dolls and clothes out of someone else’s clothes but they were beautiful. I still have a set of dolls my mother made me. We would go to church that gave us a little brown paper bag that had the different colored cream candies and roasted peanuts together. I always like the saltiness that got on the candy from the peanuts. Nothing was wrapped and they were such a treat. I would just like to have someone to share my Christmas with. I love to read your stories and this one especially touches my heart so thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    With love

    • PJ says

      Bea, you sound so lonely. Four Christmases alone means it is time to Share your Christmas with someone. Perhaps someone less fortunate. You must make the moves. It is not selfless to sit and wait. God bless you and Merry Christmas

  18. Josey says

    Your story of lean Christmases as a kid resonates with me because it sounds a lot like what my husband and I are living right now- and for the past several years really. We scrape and plan all year long to give our kids Christmas gifts, and it’s still a struggle that only produces a few things for each kid, but you know what? They treasure those few things we can give them and the whole Christmas experience. They feel just as blessed as every other kid on the block with their VHS movies and hand me down bikes and have NO idea whatsoever that we are a low income family. For kids it’s all about the love! Hard times are a blessing for all they teach us.

    • Jennifer says

      I want to hug you, Josey. I’m doing ok now, but my mother was disabled and so we had a lot of “lean” years, too. Her parents were the kind who worked two jobs each, and “retired” to a farm in their fifties. I always knew we were poorer but didn’t know how much so until I was older and looked back on those years. But I can’t express how rich we were in love and family. I cherish those holidays together more than anything else. Trust me, you are giving your kids all they need. I’d give up everything I have now to just have one more Christmas with all my family alive and together again. I don’t remember many of the presents, but I remember the food, the laughing, the stories, playing with cousins, the smell of everything…

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