Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Revisiting My Favorite Holiday Candy

So the Christmas season has finally arrived. I love this time of year. The sights, the sounds, the baking...

But instead of putting up Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, this year we were doing something different.
We weren't moving into the big house.
Just our stuff was.

Bummer, I know. So here's the deal. All of the cabinets are in. However, countertops and sinks are still more than a week out. That means I still have a while to wait before my holiday baking gets underway. 
Jan and I must be thinking alike, though, because I couldn't wait to revisit one of my favorite, and easiest, nutty Christmas treats.

Peanut Clusters!

To make these tasty treats, you will need:

1 package chocolate almond bark
1 package white almond bark
12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 - 4 oz. bar Baker’s German’s sweet chocolate
34.5 oz. dry roasted peanuts (no substitutions)

First, chop up your almond barks and chocolate. Just get a big ol' knife, a cutting board, maybe put on some Christmas music and you're ready to go. 

Put all of the chopped chocolate and chocolate chips into a Crock Pot. 
Set the heat on high or low and stir occasionally until melted. Or, if you prefer to get it all done at once, melt the chocolates in the microwave, stirring every minute until melted. I usually just use the Crock Pot, though, since it really doesn't take that long.

Once everything is melted and smooth...

Stir in your peanuts.
**Note: You MUST use dry roasted peanuts for this recipe. Anything else will mess with the consistency and the chocolate won't set. And there's nothing worse than having to throw out an entire batch of candy.

Once everything is mixed, drop by spoonfuls, as big or small as you like, onto parchment or waxed paper. They release easier from the parchment paper, but should you run out as I did, waxed paper will suffice.

Remember how I said this was an easy recipe? Well, now all you have to do is allow them to harden and ENJOY.
That's all there is to it.

This recipe does make a lot, but they freeze wonderfull, meaning they can last the entire Christmas season. Perfect to pull out and serve on a pretty plate at a party or whenever company arrives. They’ll think you slaved all day. And the combination of sweet and salty will satisfy everyone’s craving.

Yes, I think I will have to make these very soon, because I do have a freezer and I'm not afraid to use it.

So, as I've mentioned before, you never know what strange things you might see here at the ranch. Like today, when I was coming back to the camphouse and just about to turn in. Except I couldn't quite get to the gate. 
I've never seen turtles in pairs before, so this was a first. Not to mention rather comical.

Now it's your turn.
What are you doing this first official week of the 2017 holiday season?
Baking? Shopping? Wrapping presents?
Or are you downing the rest of your Thanksgiving leftovers?


Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com  


  1. Hey! Don't discount moving your stuff into the big house! That's a MAJOR step! You'll be there soon. :-)

    I've made peanut clusters with only chocolate before, but this combo of chocolates looks amazing.

    And isn't using the Crock Pot to melt the chocolate the best thing ever??? It's as if the slow cooker was invented just for this.

    I hope your house is finished soon so you can get to that Christmas baking!

    1. Yes, it was a big step, Jan. But looking at all those boxes that have yet to be unpacked is overwhelming as all get-out. I can’t wait to start tackling them, but not until the cabinets are complete.

      And yes, the crockpot is great for this. It keeps the chocolate warm while your spooning your clusters out so it doesn’t get too thick and, if you use a liner, there’s hardly any cleanup. Score!

  2. Oh, this peanut cluster looks so fun.... Now tell me, Mind-O... is Almond bark just white chocolate for melting and dark chocolate for melting? Because I stock up on Ghirardellis Dark and white melting wafers every fall, but that should work fine, don't you think?

    And I use Ghirardelli chips and I can grab Baker's chocolate.....

    These look like crowd pleasers!!!!

    Right now a small person is sobbing upstairs for her daddy because her mean mommy left her to take big brother to the dentist....

    So mom is unpopular at the moment, and dad is at work, and she's agonizing.... :) Nothing like a toddler to set your day hopping!

    I must try this, my friend. And eat all or most of it!!!

    1. Ah, the joy of toddlers. Especially when they’re someone else’s.

      Ruthy, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about almond bark:
      “Almond bark (also known as vanilla flavored candy coating) is a chocolate-like confection made with vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter and with coloring and flavors added. It can be bought in packages, blocks, or round discs where candy and baking supplies are sold.“

      So with that in mind, I wonder if the melting wafers would cause these to not set up as well or about the same. If you try it with the melting wafers, let me know how they turn out.

  3. This move is starting to look so real. The house looks lovely, Mindy!

    1. Thank you, Mary Cate. I'm ready for it to be really real.

  4. Excited that your stuff is in and almost ready to be unpacked!!!! I'm a day late but I had to stop by anyway. I'm marking the beginning of the Christmas season by...wait for it...reading Christmas books!

    1. What a great way to begin the Christmas season, Kav. And I can't wait to start unpacking. And bake. And eat. And bake... Well, you get the picture. I'll be a blimp by Jan. 1

  5. I made a buch of that chocolate last year! May do so again this year. :)

    Hope you get settled soon, Mindy!