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Friday, February 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Clusters - Pink Saturday




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wanted to include the recipe for peanut clusters in this week's Chocolate Extravaganza, anticipating that some of you might want to make something like this for Valentine's Day. When my children were still quite young, we established a tradition for gift giving. Purchased gifts were, of course, fine, but there was an expectation that each of those gifts would be accompanied by one that was handmade. My children adored Bob's mother, and over the years they made some outrageous and unintentionally humorous gifts for her. My favorite among them was an elaborately decorated cane, that looked for all the world like a totem pole. She had no need for it at the time, but as they explained it, someday she would and in the meantime she could practice. Another of their favorite gifts for her were these peanut clusters which I suspect she liked these a lot more than the cane. I know my children loved to make them for her. The recipe was a simple "cuppa" creation that they really could make by themselves. Unobtrusive supervision was necessary because there's a point when the chocolate could burn small fingers, but once that stage had passed they could truly work on their own. If you decide to have your children make these, brace yourself for a mess. Old clothes, or as few clothes as your sense of modesty dictates, and plastic gloves will help contain the mess, but you'll want to be around to supervise a clean-up that can be smudgy. I'm embarrassed to call this a recipe. It's more an accumulation of stuff that tastes really good when melted together. The classic and most popular version of the clusters includes a combination of chocolate and butterscotch chips. I actually prefer them made with a mix of bittersweet and semisweet chips and really well-salted peanuts. Fortunately, this is one of those recipes that you can play with. I'm going to give you the classic recipe, but I hope you won't remain tied to it. The big surprise here is that these really are delicious. Here's the recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Clusters...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup peanuts

Directions:
1) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2) Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in top of a double boiler set over simmering water until creamy. Remove from heat. Stir in peanuts and coat well.
3) Drop onto parchment paper using a soup spoon. Place in a cool place to harden for about an hour. Store in a cool room or refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen peanut clusters.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Chocolate Truffles - Confections of a Foodie Bride
Easy Homemade Candy Bars - Amanda's Cookin'
Peanut Butter and Jelly Truffles - A Mingling of Tastes
Salted Peanut Caramel Clusters - All Day I Dream About Food
Sponge Candy - Christine's Cuisine
Spicy Peanut Brittle - Vanilla Sugar
Chocolate-Pecan Turtles and Salted Caramels - Island Eat

This post is being linked to:
Pink Saturday, sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

74 comments:

Coleen's Recipes said...

I made something similar for Christmas (using a blend of chocolates). While they are delicious, they are a little messy to eat (melted in your hands). Any idea on how to deal with that?

Ginny said...

How very easy and what fun it would be for kids to make! I enjoyed your story today, especially about the cane! Did they find a regular cane, then decorate it? What a funny gift, yet so very thoughtful!

CaThY said...

Wow, this really looks yummy *^_^*

yummychunklet said...

These look tasty, and I like your pink muffin paper liners!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

There seems to be a glut of chocolate recipes at the moment and as a chocolate lover who is trying to eat less my mouth just waters :)) Diane

Umm Mymoonah said...

Chocolate with peanuts is a yummy combination.

Cherine said...

A very easy and yummy recipe! Bookmarked!

Anna A. said...

Love the butterscotch chip twist! Nuts and chocolate are one of my favorite desserts. Yum!

Chele said...

I've not made these in years! Thanks for the reminder ;0)

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I love the way you weave stories into your blog. This cane story is so wonderful. Nothing like being prepared for every contingency . . . we should all practice walking with a cane, eh? I like the mixture of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. I use that on one of our Christmas favorites - Mounds Bars.

Fondly,
Glenda

ann said...

Wonderful story, Mary and terrific recipe. I love homemade chocolates!

Heather said...

I love your blog - with all the tempting recipes and the leads into other blogs as well. For my Great Grains Muffins I would say the texture was very good but I think they were a bit bland on flavor.

Priya said...

Feel like munching some..

Nuts about food said...

Mary, I am so glad you happened upon my blog because it allowed me to discover yours, which I am thoroughly enjoying so far! Great recipes and beautiful pictures, love it.

bellini valli said...

My daughter had a thing for toilet paper roll creations. For a while we kept them all, including the farm village she created with her bangs snipped off for hay for the animals:D These are so versatile and easy for kids. We love ours with raisins since I am a Glosette fan.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love sweets and nuts.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, Mary, I love the part about "practicing" with the cane! Don't you love the way their minds worked?! What fun recollections. This recipe reminds me of years gone by myself.

From the Kitchen said...

As I've already said, chocolate + peanuts = perfection!
And, the easier the better.

Best,
Bonnie

Clint said...

For Coleen and anyone else needing to deal with melted chocolate---do what I do---eat the stuff with a spoon in a bowl with vanilla ice cream. If God made anything better, He kept it for Himself.

Rita said...

Have not made these in year; thank you for bringing it back; I know they are good!

Carol said...

Your candy looks so good and easy enough for me to make! Looks pretty in the pink liners!

Jenn said...

I used to make these with my grandma when I was younger! I loved doing them because they were so simple and everyone would chow down on them, so I felt pretty cool :)

Kim said...

I like these littles sweet bites... These are easy to prepare and looks quite good!

Gloria said...

Mary this look awesome! xx gloria

Julie said...

What fun treats for kids to make!! Homemade gifts are my favorites!

PeggyR said...

Yum, I love peanut clusters

Lulu B said...

I love nuts and i love chocolate, this is a win win combination for me! :o) xx

Emily Z said...

What delicious looking chocolate clusters, and just in time for a nice Valentine's Day snack!

Eliana said...

Love how quick and easy these are to prepare Mary. And they look like they are super delicious too.

Pondside said...

Mmmmm - these would last about 2 minutes here!

Tasha said...

I love the idea of making this with my little one. I have a hard time saying no to butterscotch, so I think I'd have to go for that combination!

Rachel said...

My children absolutely LOVE peanuts...and chocolate! These will be absolutely precious to make for their combined b-day party next month! Thank you for the idea!!!

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, dear Mary.

You have indeed had me in chocolate rapture this week. My mother and grandson would be standing at your door if they were nearby. They are both chocoholics.

Pam said...

They are so sinmple to make! Bookmarked (my kids will love them).

Manzanita said...

Dear Mary,
I can see how devoted you are to cooking. Your clusters look like a chocolate lover's delight.

I notice you have a grand number of followers. I understand with all those delicious recipes and by the way.... your heading is really inviting. Now, that my number of followers is growing, I've become attached to so many of them and find it impossible to visit them all. How do you manage?

Love and Peace...
Manzanita
Wanna buy a duck

Joanne said...

I love the idea of mandating homemade gifts...this way you know so much thought goes into them! I would love to receive these as well...chocolate and peanuts are two of my favorite things!

Lindsay said...

what lovely memories you have of these treats! Sometimes those make the best recipes. Thanks for sharing, Mary.

Ms Bibi said...

They look so pretty in pink.This would be the perfect treat for school Valentine party.

That Girl said...

I imagine this would work equally well with almond. And I love almonds.

Harika's Kitchen said...

Crunchy and looks fabulous...

Catherine said...

Mmmm, these look wonderful Mary. My daughter wouod love these!

A Busy Nest said...

I love the chocolate + butterscotch combo used to coat the peanuts. I can't see how that would be anything but delicious!

islandeat said...

Hi, Mary. Thanks for including my turtles and salted caramels in your tasty round-up of Valentine-worthy candies! I love the simplicity of your own creation.

Dan

Mateja ^_^ said...

Simple makes it delicious! And it's chocolatey, could we ask for more? Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story with us :)

The Red Umbrella said...

This ones for me...a great combo!

teresa said...

what a lovely treat for v-day, and they're so pretty!

Katerina said...

My mother used to make something like this when I was a kid. She used almonds instead of peanuts. They remind me of my childhood. Simple and tasty, I ate tons of these little treats.

Kankana said...

love the cane story .. very cute ! My mother used to make something similar but it was with ... i can't remember .. something else ! :)

RamblingTart said...

I'm cracking up at your children's gift of a cane! :-) So cute. :-) I love little homemade treats like this. It would be the perfect thing to try with my goddaughters. :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Mary, I haven't made peanut clusters since I was a kid! At the time, I favored semi-sweet chocolate and very salty peanuts. I'll have to round up some little kids to come in and mess up my kitchen with me and take treats home to their mothers!

Tammy@beatrice banks said...

Yum! I have a similar crockpot recipe. Chocolate anything is always delicious.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love chocolate and nuts! I have never thought to make my own peanut clusters. Thank you so much for the idea which is perfect for Valentine's Day!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Loved your story Mary! I like your two types of chocolate and maybe add raisins... might have to try that! Happy Super Bowl Weekend-enjoy:@)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Love your story, M. How funny re: the gift. If you wonder why i'm not using the 'a' letter in words, it's because it sticks in some and works in others. Computer fits! It's from keyboard abuse as mine takes a serious pounding daily, and when I see things like those clusters, I pound even harder. See? It worked in that word. ;-)

Love the recipe. Perfect V day treats.

PS blessings to you...

XO,

S. :-)

LV said...

One of these would certainly be a prefect bite.

Simply Life said...

oooh these look wonderful!

Rich said...

(Insert automated-sounding compliment here)

Okay, now that the compliment is done with (and they do look very good, but really, you know that already) I have an idea: an Extravanganzaa! The extra A can stand for anything! We could make these and have a fundraiser for AA, or market them as Kwanzaa treats - really, the possibilities are endless. As long as they start with an A. Because without the extra A, all you've got is a regular extravaganza. And while regular extravaganzas are nice, they're not exactly extravagaant.

Reeni said...

I am still giggling over the cane! So cute. The chocolate clusters look wonderful - peanuts and chocolate together are a favorite for me!

Becky said...

Mary, the cane story is too cute! I remember making these when we were kids, but it has been years. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. And happy Pink Saturday.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

OMG! These look delish and so tempting!btu I need to lose some poundage before June when my oldest gets married!!LOL
*hugs*deb

Kerstin said...

Awww, what a cute story - homemade gifts are the best! And these look super tasty and addicting - yum!

Elaine said...

Hello, Mary! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment. I love these kinds of recipes that you can make with small children. It reminds me of the one I grew up making with chinese noodles. So simple, yet so good.

penny aka jeroxie said...

How easy and looks so delicious.

Michelle said...

Mary, Thanks for sharing your story, memories are wonderful, we made these as kids with the chinese noodles, always loved them as a kid, haven't had them or thought of them in years.

Sharon said...

I make some similar only add chinese noodles and use cashew nuts. Delicious!

Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog...it looks like I found yours just in time!

I'm definitely a chocoholic! :)!

briarrose said...

Peanut clusters are one of my weaknesses. ;) So easy to make and just so yummy. Beautiful job.

Lisa said...

How simple and cute! I may make them with melted white chocolate! :) So very pretty.

I am visiting from pink saturday.

stefanie said...

oh, they look sooooooooo good!!!!

Phoebe said...

Hi Mary :) I am so glad you like my blog. I would really like you to be a follower.

I have seen your recipes and they are all great! :) I wish you all the best!

Gabriela Delworth said...

Happy Pink Saturday!

Oh my! How could I pass these deliciousness images?!!!
How big are they? LOL!
I would need to decide how many I am going to eat...



~ Gabriela ~

Jean Hart said...

Wonderful and so yummy looking,
I have just followed you so I can get sweet recipes.
I enjoyed your blog and inite you to stop by mine, I have just joined in on Pink Sat. so I will be posting each week.
~Jean
http://www.jeanhartartwork.com

Claudia said...

These chocolate sweets are too much fun. But not as much fun as the cane-totem pole story!

jillbert said...

I love the story of your kids making these for a gift. They look delicious, and it's so much more fun to make candy than it is to buy it.

Thanks for visiting my blog - I'm happy to have found yours!

Anonymous said...

I make these using same recipe and adding a heaping spoon of peanut butter.I use Spanish peanuts. So good!

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