Sunday, March 1, 2015

Peanut Clusters

Despite the fact that this recipe is incredibly simple to make and can be easily found elsewhere on the web, as it is one of my guilty pleasures, it only seems right to give it a home here as well.  There’s a reason chocolate and peanuts have long been paired.  The salty, sweet and nutty flavors unite in a uniquely sinful way.

§     2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or a combination of both)
§     2 cups salted peanuts (divided)


Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Your peanut clusters will only taste as good as the chocolate you begin with, so make sure you use a good chocolate like Ghirardelli or Lindt.  If using block chocolate, with a sharp knife, chop the chocolate as finely as possible to help melt the chocolate quickly and evenly. There is no need to break down the chocolate if you are using chips or wafers.  Place 1 1/2 cups of the chopped chocolate into a medium glass bowl. Glass retains heat, so the chocolate will stay melted longer.

Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  If chocolate is not thoroughly melted, microwave for another 10 seconds.  Repeat if necessary but do not overheat the chocolate.  Remove from the microwave and add the remaining 1/2 cup of room temperature chocolate to the mixture.  The residual heat will melt the chocolate as it tempers the mixture. 

Add 1 1/2 cups of the peanuts and mix.  Slowly add the remaining nuts making sure there is enough chocolate to coat all of the peanuts. 

Using two teaspoons or a small candy scooper, drop equally sized mounds of chocolate coated peanuts onto the parchment paper. 

Let cool at room temperature for approximately 1 hour until firm.  Store peanut clusters in an airtight container until ready to serve. 

For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Peanut Clusters. Enjoy!