Monday, October 27, 2008

Peanut Clusters

Peanut clusters hold a special place in my heart. My grandma made them every year for the holidays and gave them out to family and friends. They are simple but tasty and keep well, so they make excellent gifts!

16 oz Chocolate CandiQuik
24 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
20 oz Dry Roasted Peanuts

Melt the CandiQuik and chocolate chips together, stirring frequently. Combine peanuts and melted chocolate and spoon onto waxed paper. Let cool completely.

It took me less than an hour to make them today. I opted to melt the chocolate in a saucepan, although microwaving would have been quicker. Cooling time is going to depend on your cooling method and the weather. They can be cooled on a counter top or on trays in the refrigerator or freezer.

Here they are cooling on my counter:

I ended up with 54 clusters. If you need to increase or decrease the recipe at all, the chocolate to peanut ratio is 2 to 1. The exact CandiQuik/chocolate chip ratio is based on package sizes more than anything else and can certainly be adjusted. We don't actually know what proportions my grandma used, but my mom is pretty certain that she used more chocolate chips than CandiQuik.

My grandma used to buy jars of peanuts and then use the jars (washed, label removed) as gift containers. It's a good idea, but you can store them and give them away in any sort of packaging. Festive paper plates and plastic wrap work just as well!

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