Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crockpot Chocolate Clusters

If you want a simple chocolate candy recipe that takes very little effort and can make about 100 candies, you've found the right place! This mint, nut and chocolate combo hits the spot for your holiday candy-making sessions.

This recipe was inspired by blogger My Messy Thrilling Life's candy recipe.

Set a crockpot on "low" and layer in the following ingredients:
1 lb of cashew halves (roasted preferred)
1 lb of chopped pecans
2 (12oz) bags of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate
1 (12 oz) bag of Andes Mint chopped pieces
1 (12 oz) bag of milk chocolate chips
2 lbs Vanilla (white) Almond Bark (also known as candy coating)

1) Cover the crockpot with the lid and cook for one hour.
2) After one hour stir all ingredients and allow to cook another 30 minutes or longer until all chocolate and almond bark pieces have melted.
3) Place parchment paper down on a flat surface, and spoon the chocolate/ nut mixture by the tablespoon (or smaller) into mounds on the paper to dry (I use a small cookie scoop from Pampered Chef to get a good chocolate cluster shape).

Variation Ideas
-You can add any variety of ingredients to tailor this recipe to your tastes- you can use puffed rice cereal, various nuts (peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, or any combination you like), mini-marshmallows, or anything to give the chocolate some structure. 
-Try substituting peanut butter chips for the andes mint candy pieces.
-Use your favorite sprinkles to decorate the tops of the candies, or drizzle a contrasting color (such as white, red, green, etc to theme it for various holidays)

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