I know you may not want to hear this, but do you know how close we are to the holidays? I am blown away at how quickly this year has gone by. I say that every year, but how can it possibly be September already?
I’ve been experimenting with different treats to give away for the holidays. I want you to have the best treats possible for your loved ones. 🙂
These treats are a favorite of mine. One of my favorite candy bars, is the Cadbury fruit n nut bar. It’s a delicious milk chocolate bar filled with almonds and raisins. Well, I decided to make my own improved version, in the form of clusters. I added dried cherries to mine and put them in cute little cupcake liners. Just imagine getting a box filled with these! They are so pretty and I think things taste better when they are pretty.
I used a combination of chocolate chips and some milk chocolate candies that I happened to have. By the way, it’s a good way to use up any candy you have been given, or have lying around. Just melt them all up and make clusters or bark! Halloween is coming so you can use up your leftover candy this way.
ok, candy time……
Chocolate Fruit and Nut Clusters
I don’t really measure. I just melted some chocolate and started adding the other ingredients. Nothing precise. But you dont want so much chocolate that it’s running and spreading all over. These quantities are approximate, but pretty close
12 oz bag of milk or semi sweet chocolate chip and/or any chocolate candy you have
1 1/2 cup raisins, dried cherries or cranberries (or a mix of each)
1/2 – 1 cup chopped nuts (almonds are my faves)
1 tsp shortening or 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
optional add ins: coconut, rice krispies, marshmallows, dried apricots, pretzels, dried banana chips, granola, etc. If you’re not a chocolate person (whaaaaaattttt????) you could always use white chocolate
Melt your chocolates and stir in the shortening or oil. The shortening or oil keep gives the chocolate a bit of softness. If you choose to leave it out, you will be fine, but you will have more of a harder, crisp chocolate.
Pour the chocolate into a large bowl with your add ins. Stir it all up. Place some baking cups (cupcake liners) or wax paper onto a baking sheet. Plop about 2 Tblsp of the candy mixture into the baking cups or onto a piece of wax paper. Chill for few minutes to set up. Once set, place your beautiful little clusters into candy boxes, tins or eat em up all by yourself. You deserve it.