Hi, everyone! Another month has flown off the books! And with the end of February comes the end of Chocolate Lovers Month.
I have shared a few chocolatey recipes this month:
But I have one more to round out February! This one is CANDY!
Chocolate Peanut Clusters
For this recipe, a layer of melted milk chocolate provides a nice contrast to the underlying darker bittersweet chocolate underneath. However, you can use any type of melted chocolate you prefer.
As written, this recipe is prepared with raw, unsalted peanuts. This option is generally more economical, and it allows more control over the amount of salt used. However, if using raw peanuts, you’ll want to make sure they are blanched, so the red papery outer skin is already removed. If preferred, you can save time and skip the first couple of steps by starting with shelled, roasted peanuts that have already been salted.
Tips for this Recipe
Tip #1: Make sure the bowl used to melt the chocolate chips is completely dry prior to adding the chips. Otherwise, the chocolate may “seize” and turn into a clumpy unusable mass if it comes in contact with even a small amount of water once heated. Milk chocolate, in particular, is prone to this issue.
Tip #2: Adding a little fat, such as melted coconut oil or butter, to the melted chocolate will help prevent it from “splintering” and falling apart when you bite into the clusters after the chocolate hardens. Here, this is done with the base layer of dark chocolate, but not the decorative drizzle added later.
Chocolate Peanut Clusters
- 3 c. raw blanched peanuts, unsalted
- Fine sea salt to taste
- 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 t. coconut oil or melted butter
- ½ c. milk chocolate chips
- Place the top oven rack in the center position. Pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat™ baking mat.
- Pour peanuts onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer without overcrowding. Season generously with salt and stir to combine.
- Place baking sheet in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then carefully shake the baking sheet to make sure the peanuts are evenly toasted. Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Do not overcook. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Pour semi-sweet chocolate chips into a dry, microwave-safe bowl and heat for 20 seconds on “high.” Stir and return to the microwave for another 20 seconds before stirring again. Repeat until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in a teaspoon of coconut oil or melted butter and set aside.
- Add the roasted peanuts one scoop at a time to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Repeat until all peanuts are coated in the chocolate. Spoon the chocolate-coated peanuts onto the baking sheet, leaving a little room between each cluster. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up.
- Pour the milk chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 20 seconds on “high.” Stir briefly and return to the microwave for another 20 seconds before stirring again. Repeat until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Drizzle the melted milk chocolate over the peanut clusters and return to the refrigerator for another 20 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Loving Life — The Reboot!