Sunday, December 21, 2008
11 days to go until 2009. I'm going to cry.
Today is the first day of Hanukkah, and there are only a few days left until Christmas. If you're entertaining for the holidays, or need any last-minute hostess gifts, these peanut clusters rock. And they make A LOT. You could easily feed the entire neighborhood on one batch, or make yourself very, very sick.
I, um, have eaten too many. Much too many. It's Susan and Amie's fault. I had to change Susan's original recipe because I live in one of the few places in the world without a Walmart, and couldn't find Chocolate Bark. Nor did any of our grocery stores know what chocolate bark is/was. So I improvised, and am quite pleased with the results. My waistband, not so much...
3 (16-ounce) jars lightly salted roasted peanuts (lightly salted is important!)
2 (4-ounce) boxes German Baker's Chocolate
1 (8-ounce) box Unsweetened Baker's Chocolate (there are 2 in the picture. that was wrong.)
1 (24-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla (not pictured because I didn't know I wanted/needed it until after the photo)
Use a large crockpot. This makes about 150 peanut clusters. Spray the inside of your crock with cooking spray, and place the unwrapped baking chocolate, and bars of German chocolate in the bottom. Add all the peanuts. Pour in the chocolate chips, and add vanilla. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, or high for about 1.5. While the chocolate is melting, lay out a bunch of parchment paper on your counter top or kitchen table. When time has elapsed, stir well, and remove from heat. Use a small ice-cream scoop to plop out bite-sized piles onto the parchment paper.
Let cool before eating---this takes a long time---hours. It'd be best to leave them overnight so you don't pick at them. Unless you have much more will power than I do, then I suppose it would be okay. But I sort of hate you.
Package up and give away as soon as possible.
These are addictive. The chocolate flavor is quite rich, and tastes dark. If you aren't a fan of dark chocolate, use milk chocolate chips. The salt flavor from the nuts is subtle, but is there, and it makes your tongue itch for more.
I was thinking about nut-allergies during the night. I think you should turn these into pretzel clusters. Definitely.