peanuts. caramel. chocolate. these salted peanut - caramel clusters have it all - yet are made entirely from simple, whole food ingredients! they are a treat you can feel good about, any time of day.
helena & i bake all the time, but when it comes to making candy... not so much. candy-making can definitely be intimidating, especially when so many recipes call for special equipment - thermometers to monitor the temperature of ingredients, molds, peculiar ingredients. things that most people just don't have lying around in the pantry. luckily, these salted peanut - caramel clusters (and most candy recipes that use chocolate! woot woot!) don't use fancy ingredients or equipment. a blender and a bowl are all it takes! so when that candy-craving hits and the ingredients are simple and close at hand, why not make some at home?
homemade candy is incredibly satisfying. there's something special about taking inspiration from a treat that you see in a store and re-creating it using good ingredients - especially when the result is far and away better than the original!
such is the case with these salted peanut - caramel clusters. the combination of peanuts, caramel & chocolate is everywhere in the candy world and with good reason - i mean, who doesn't love salty, sweet & chocolate? so when helena & i set out to make some candy at home, that flavor combo immediately came to mind, and these salted peanut - caramel clusters are the (delicious) result.
these tasty little treats hit the flavor mark on every level - a bit of salt from the peanuts to balance the deep sweetness of the date caramel. creamy milk chocolate to contrast the richness of the dark chocolate. salt, sweet, peanuts & chocolate in every bite.
sticky & sweet, these salted peanut - caramel clusters are healthy enough for everyday snacking - an easy to make, feel-good treat perfect for the whole family! homemade candy for the win!
recipe: salted peanut - caramel clusters
yields: 8 clusters
- pinch salt
- scant 1/8 tsp vanilla - a small splash
- 1/2 milk chocolate chips
- 1 c semi-sweet (dark) chocolate chips
- generous 1/2 c + 1 Tbsp roasted, salted peanuts
- 1 c (pitted) dates
- line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside
- soak the dates in warm water for 10 minutes - you want them to be as sticky as possible!
- in a high speed blender (or food processor), combine the dates, and a splash (roughly 1 - 2 Tbsp) of the soaking liquid.
- process until the dates have broken down into a paste. add a pinch of salt and the vanilla.
- continue to process until the dates are smooth - congratulations! you've just made date caramel!
- transfer to a bowl & set aside.
- in a separate bowl, combine the peanuts and 1/2 of the date caramel
- roll the mixture into balls - about 1 Tbsp each - & set on the prepared baking sheet
- freeze for 30 minutes
- when the clusters have been in the freezer for 25 minutes, heat the chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish for 30 seconds. remove, stir & heat for 15 seconds. repeat the process until the chocolate chips are nearly all melted, then quickly stir, stir, stir until they are glossy and completely smooth.
- remove the peanut-caramel clusters from the freezer and, using a fork - or your hands - carefully dip the balls in the melted dark chocolate so the bottom is completely coated.
- return to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining clusters.
- drizzle the milk chocolate over the clusters, and top with a roasted, salted peanut
- return pan to the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until the chocolate is completely set
- remove from freezer & enjoy!
note: store leftovers (if there are any!) in the fridge or freezer :)
s & h