Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters
P Is for Party
I was reading a design magazine recently and saw a party planning feature. The woman was talking about how you don’t need to know how to cook (even a lick), but you can still have a cocktail party.
She said all you need are the 3 Ps.
Parmesan, potato chips and prosecco.
Her idea was that you go out and buy a really fine piece of Parmesan Reggiano.
Put it on a nice platter. Cut some bits off of it with a cheese cutter. And leave the cheese cutter next to it so people can serve themselves.
Get out some pretty, small bowls and stack them with potato chips. Her idea was to prop the potato chips upright. Then sprinkle something on them. One idea might be a grating of pepper. Another idea could be Italian herbs or even a rub mixture.
Then serve prosecco in some pretty flutes and there you have it. Cocktail party.
I “borrowed” that idea and expanded on it...
Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters
These are delightfully decadent treats.
CAUTION: These are candy. They have about half as many carbs as the original made with lighter chocolate and sugar, but they are still candy. I am hoping one will satisfy you. The peanut butter ones are especially dreamy. The best news is the glycemic index on a dark chocolate nut cluster is 21. Anything under 50 is low so this is really a pretty healthy treat overall.
Servings: Makes approximately 2 dozen clusters
three 3.5 oz bars of dark chocolate (72 percent cacao or 70 percent at the lowest) chopped
2 tsp of coconut oil (find this is the baking or oil section. It’s white and semi-firm)
3-4 cups of roasted Spanish peanuts. If you can’t find Spanish, you can use regular roasted peanuts. You can even do almonds. The bigger the nut the fewer you’ll need or the fewer the recipe will make.
sea salt to garnish
In the top of your double broiler put in your chopped chocolate. Heat on medium high until you get a mild boil going. Stir chocolate occasionally until melted. Won’t take more than five minutes once it gets started. Add the coconut oil and take off the heat. Stir.
Add the roasted peanuts. Add enough peanuts so that there is no pool of chocolate left in the bottom. You want just chocolate coated peanuts.
You can begin forming them while the chocolate is still hot or wait until it cools down a bit. (Depends on whether you have kids helping.)
Take out a cookie sheet. Line it with waxed paper or parchment paper. Place spoonfuls of the nut/chocolate mixture on the paper. They will spread a bit. If you want them thicker go back and add another peanut or two or three on top. As they cool they will become thicker.
Place your pan in the refrigerator to firm up the candies. In my house, when I was little, we put them in an uninsulated attic. Our cookie sheets would not fit in the refrigerator. This is where they were stored too. You can also put them in a clean place in your garage if it’s cool.
Store covered or in Tupperware in a cool place. They will last several weeks.
For Z3 and even into ZLife, don’t over do it. One a day should satisfy your sweet tooth. Eat them like a “squirrel” in teeny bites and you can make one last for quite a while!
My family did Spanish peanuts
You can also make some with regular roasted peanuts With one batch I added a third cup of unsweetened peanut butter (ration one cup of chocolate to one-third cup of peanut butter -- or less). And I even added blobs for a peanut butter swirl. The peanut butter won’t harden but it will taste like the inside of a peanut butter cup.
You can also mince up a few dried cranberries and add those to the plain version for another variation. Careful on the cranberries. They are higher carb. Sometimes I add a whole cranberry on top as a marker so I know which ones have the cranberries in them.