During Christmastime, Aunt Cammie always without fail busts out tins upon tins of her famous crockpot candies (chocolate clusters stuffed with nuts). They're served at every family gathering, and we end up taking home at least a dozen. My aunt has tinkered with the recipe through the years and has always envisioned making it with higher quality chocolate. She told me, "You can upscale it, and it can be ours!" So that's exactly what I did.
The first slight change I made: I halved the recipe. If you are planning to gift a bunch of people with this, by all means, double it up. But every year my aunt always ends up with a giant surplus, so I figured it would be nice to scale it down to a reasonable amount of candy. FTR, I have served this batch at two get-togethers and still ended up with enough chocolate for one more party.
Next, toast the nuts in the oven. Raw nuts, no matter what some may tell you, do not taste as good as toasted nuts. With a firmer, crunchier texture and roasted flavor, toasted nuts are the way to go.
In addition, I opted for roasted, salted peanuts. A little salt with chocolate is heaven; however, if you really can't stand the sweet-salty combo, simply opt for roasted, unsalted peanuts. No harm done. I threw those into the crockpot first, followed by chocolate (three varieties: milk, semisweet, and bittersweet), followed by the toasted nuts, which act as a heating blanket to the top half of the chocolate.
The cover goes on, and the crockpot does all the hard labor for you.
What's so awesome about a crockpot is it slowly melts the chocolate evenly without burning it. Once the chocolate has melted down, give it a quick stir. Your work here is almost done.
Dole out the chocolate clusters onto wax paper using two teaspoons. The hardest part is letting the chocolate set, which can take several hours and up to overnight. That's why you should go ahead and get a third teaspoon out to scoop out a "sample." You won't be disappointed!
If you double the recipe, you will need to increase the cook time to 2 hours.
This recipe is really versatile — use your favorite nuts or chocolates. Make it dairy-free or peanut-free, depending on your family's and friends' needs.
- 1 (12-ounce) package shelled pecans, toasted (3 1/2 cups)
- 1 (12-ounce package shelled walnuts, toasted (3 1/2 cups)
- 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted, salted peanuts (3 1/2 cups)
- 1 (12-ounce) package milk chocolate, like Guittard Milk Chocolate 38%
- 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate, like Guittard Semisweet Chocolate 66%
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, like Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate 74%
- Layer ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 1 hour, or until chocolate melts. Do not open lid. Watch time carefully — do not overcook (or else chocolate will burn and stick). After 1 hour, stir mixture.
- Cook 2 minutes and then stir again.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let harden completely before transferring to an airtight container.
- Desserts, Chocolate
- 45 pieces of chocolate