The best part about holiday baking is getting to eat what you make. But if you are a health nut like I can be time to time, eating a lot of sweets doesn’t make your tummy very happy. I love sweets but too much sugar makes me very ill. Chocolate is my all time favorite dessert to have. I can never get sick of chocolate. I swear it is like a vitamin for me. Everyday I take a multi and fish oil pill, plus a piece of chocolate during the day. It improves my mood and gives me a boost of energy during that afternoon slump!
Going through my binder of recipes I had printed out this Ellie Krieger recipe for Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters. I love that she posts the nutrition amount and calories for everything she makes. This simple dessert was delicious to enjoy after a holiday dinner. Not the most attractive looking piece of candy but sure delicious. I could of bought some golden foil wrappers to lay the clusters in but I had no time to go shopping!
For the clusters I used dried cranberries because it is what I had on hand. Still turned out delicious because the chocolate toned down the tartness. I also made more then 12 clusters then the recipe states. I guess she makes hers rather large because I thought mine were a good size. So I ended up eating two at a time because two is better then one. ;)
This are good to make all year long and you can change up the ingredients. How about apricot hazelnut chocolate clusters? Oh yeah!
Cranberry Almond Chocolate Clusters Adapted from Ellie Krieger
1 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
In a medium bowl, toss together the almonds and the cranberries. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
On top of a double boiler over slightly simmering water, melt half the chocolate, stirring frequently. Remove the double boiler from the heat and stir in the rest of the chocolate. Remove the top pan with the chocolate in it, gently wipe the bottom of it and set aside for a moment. Replace the simmering water with warm tap water. Put the pan of melted chocolate on top of the warm water. This will keep the chocolate at the right temperature while making the clusters.
Stir the fruit-nut mixture into the chocolate. Spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized clusters of the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Put them in the refrigerator to set for 15 minutes. Store and serve at room temperature.
Few more holiday recipes to share and then I’ll get back to a normal program! I told you I was busy over Christmas. What have been your favorite treats so far?
See you soon!