February… the month of love! I’m gearing up for Valentine’s Day week with this sweet and spicy chocolate cluster recipe.
These are similar to this sweet and salty bark version I made last year, but chunkier! Love the crunch of the whole almonds. They’re a perfect sweet little end to a meal, and customizable for different sizes for all your portion control needs! 😉 The base is simply nuts + dried fruit, but the clusters are spiced up a bit with cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne, and a sprinkle of sea salt, which is key!
I used cranberries and almonds because I had them on hand, but you could change it up with other ingredients, too. I think cherry + walnut and peanut + raisin would be great! Or just nuts – pistachio! (Tip: Have your five-year-old do the shelling first!)
Begin by roasting your almonds – don’t take your eyes off them! When they are just fragrant, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Next, melt the chocolate. You can use the double boiler method, but microwaving works fine too and is a bit faster. Heat the chips in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until everything is melted.
Add in the spices and stir to combine. Dip in a spoon and adjust to taste!
Then, add in the nuts and dried fruit and stir to combine.
This sight reminds me of all the Willy Wonka we’ve been watching around here. I could just swim in it!
Divide into small rounds (I used a large tablespoon). You can make them bigger, like cookies, or smaller (so just a nut and cranberry), if you like.
Let chill until the chocolate is completely set.
These are a perfect easy treat to make this weekend before the big chocolate holiday. Give them as gifts to go with your valentines or make them with your kiddos.
Cranberry Almond Chocolate Clusters
Yield 15-20 clusters
- 10-12 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
- 1.5 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Pinch each of cayenne powder, cinnamon, nutmeg
- Sea salt to taste
- Toast almonds on a baking sheet in a toaster oven or regular oven at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, making sure not to burn (keep an eye on them!) Let cool slightly.
- Melt the chocolate in microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between bursts (a double boiler would work too). Once evenly melted, add in the spices and mix thoroughly. Taste test and add more spices if desired.
- Add the nuts and dried fruit to the bowl with the chocolate and stir to combine.
- Line a second baking sheet or small tray with parchment paper. Spoon the nut + chocolate mixture onto the sheet, making them about 1 heaping tablespoon in size. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Place sheet in the fridge to allow chocolate to set completely (about 20 minutes).