nut clusters


I first had these because Gerrit’s mom made them a couple of Christmases ago, and, seeing as they have a family of 3 boys, inappropriate jokes abounded and laughter ensued every time someone asked if they could get some out of the freezer.  Do you want a nut cluster out of the freezer?  And then they would all laugh as if they were in fifth grade again.  At one point I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law swore that she was never going to make them again because sometimes the boys just don’t know when to stop.  And I really don’t think she has (although I’ve heard rumors that this might change this year).  But I just solved that problem for myself and now have two bags full of them in my freezer.

If you are looking for an easy and quick Christmas treat, that makes enough for an army without much additional time, and which requires minimal effort, this is your solution.  I mean, it’s made in the crock pot for goodness sake.  Just dump all your ingredients in and two hours later scoop it out into perfect little confections.

But their simplicity does not take away from their deliciousness.  The nuts toast in the crock pot to perfection (although watch to make sure they don’t burn) and the combination of sweet chocolate with semisweet chocolate and white chocolate all melt together into a deliciously sweet coating.  The recipe makes over 70 nut clusters, so enough for a party or little Christmas gifts.  Or for us, just two full bags in the freezer, and we’ll see how long they last.

Nut Clusters

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Wait Time: 1 hour

Makes about 6 dozen

1 (16 oz.) jar lightly salted roasted peanuts
1 (16 oz.) jar mixed nuts (or another jar of peanuts)
1 (4 oz.) sweet chocolate baking bar
1 (12 oz.) bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 (24 oz.) packages white chocolate almond bark (36 oz. total)

1. Layer nuts, baking bar, chocolate chips, and almond bark in a slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 2 hours.  Do not open, but watch to make sure nuts are not burning.  If nuts begin to get too toasty, give everything a stir, put the lid back on, and then add 10 or so minutes to the cooking time (just to make sure all of the chocolate has enough time to get melted).
3. After 2 hours, stir well.  All of the chocolate should be melted and the ingredients should combine easily.
4. Lay wax paper out on counter top.  In large spoonfuls, scoop the nuts and chocolate mixture onto wax paper in clumps.
5. Allow to cool and harden, about 1 hour.  Then place in plastic zip top bags and store in the freezer.

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