I first saw the original version of this recipe while searching for lower carb desserts in a BHG publication. Assuming that, because they were lower carb, they would be tolerable, but definitely not to-die-for, I decided to try them anyways.
Well. I was wrong. They’re not just tolerable, they’re really good! And the ingredients are super simple to keep on hand and whip up at the last minute when you need a quick sweet treat.
Everyone initially assumes that these are traditional peanut clusters, and they’re pleasantly surprised, and puzzled, to realize that they’re not.
They usually ask what that secret ingredient is, and then want the recipe. (For those of you that I still haven’t gotten back to yet, here you go. :-))
Crunchy Chocolate Clusters
2 cups (12 oz. pkg) semisweet chocolate pieces
12 oz. vanilla-flavored almond bark, chopped
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 *heaped cups puffed corn cereal (I’ve tried Kix and an organic version – both work)
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts (I’ve used both lightly salted and no salt)
*Not crazy, but don’t skimp.
Line cookie/baking sheets with waxed paper. (I usually use 2 large cookie sheets but be careful if there are no sides – the wax paper, and chocolate clusters, will slide right off the sheet in transit to the fridge. Ask me how I know.)
Microwave first 3 ingredients until melted. Time will depend on your microwave wattage. Check every 30 seconds until you get a feel for how long it takes.
Stir until smooth and then stir in cereal and peanuts.
Drop mixture by teaspoon (I use a small cookie scoop) onto the waxed paper. Chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes or until they’re completely set.
To store: layer clusters between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container with a lid and keep in the fridge. They can also be frozen – the original recipe said up to 3 months but I haven’t tried that yet.
If you need a quick, last minute, sweet treat for Valentine’s Day, a work potluck, a family or neighborhood party, or to send to school with the kids these crunchy chocolate clusters just might be the ticket.
If you’re counting carbs, they can vary depending on the ingredients used and how large or small you make the clusters – which is why I didn’t include that info. Easy to calculate, though, by just adding up the carbs in your ingredients and dividing by the number of clusters you end up with.