Make these peanut clusters in your crock pot for an easy homemade candy that's salty and sweet. Made with two kinds of peanuts and three kinds of chocolate!
Chocolate and peanuts is a slam dunk pairing of flavors, and this recipe for peanut clusters in a Crock Pot is just so darn easy! They will make a perfect addition to your treat and candy trays for the holidays or any party. The best part is that one recipe makes over 80 clusters, so you can whip up lots of them without much effort at all.
What Ingredients Do I Need?
- Cooking Spray - just a spritz of an oil-based cooking spray in your slow cooker will ensure the chocolate doesn't try to cling to the surface as it starts to melt.
- Almond Bark - similar in flavor to white chocolate, almond bark is specifically formulated for easy melting and hardening when covering nuts or other items. Using almond bark in this recipe will help your chocolate set up better.
- Chocolate Chips - I used a mixture of dark and milk chocolate chips to make these peanut clusters. Because almond bark is so sweet, I used mostly dark chocolate to balance the sweetness.
- Peanuts - I used a mixture of salted dry-roasted peanuts and unsalted cocktail peanuts.
- Optional Garnish - use your favorite sprinkles or even flaked sea salt for an extra fancy finish!
What's The Benefit Of Using The Crock Pot?
Making peanut clusters in a Crock Pot gives you a simple way to melt large amounts of chocolate in a slow, controlled manner. If done on the stovetop, a double boiler is often used to avoid overheating or burning the chocolate.
This recipe makes lots (over 80!) peanut clusters, so quite a bit of chocolate needs to be melted. Using a Crock Pot makes this step easy! Just give your Crock Pot a spritz with an oil-based cooking spray, add your chocolate, and put the cooker on Low while stirring often with a non-stick spatula.
Because the chocolate will melt slower or faster depending on your individual cooker, do not leave your Crock Pot unattended. The chocolate will need a good stir every 15 or 20 minutes - while scraping the bottom and sides of the pot - to make sure everything gets melted evenly.
My Favorite Basic Crock Pot (Buy Here)
Tips For Success
There are two things to keep in mind when using your Crock Pot to make peanut clusters:
- Avoid Water: In the recipe, I recommend placing a dish towel between the lid and the slow cooker container. Sometimes, condensation collects on the underside of the lid of the slow cooker. If this water drips down into the chocolate, it will cause it to seize up and be useless for coating your peanuts. Keeping water away from the melted chocolate is absolutely essential.
- Don't Burn: Keep a close eye on your chocolate and stir frequently to ensure you don't overheat or burn the chocolate. As soon as it's melted, turn the Crock Pot to the "keep warm" setting while stirring in the peanuts and dropping the clusters onto the wax paper.
- Use a Nonstick Spatula: Use of a good non-stick spatula makes stirring easier. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the Crock Pot to get all of the chocolate fully combined.
- Sprinkles! Match your peanut clusters to any holiday or celebration by using your favorite colored sprinkles. Just be sure to sprinkle while the chocolate is still wet - the sooner after you scoop the clusters onto the wax paper, the better.
- Flaked Sea Salt - If you're a fan of the sweet and salty flavor combination, sprinkle a little bit of flaked sea salt onto the wet clusters.
- Different Nuts - mix in some cashews, almonds, or pecans in place of some of the peanuts for an extra dimension of flavor.
- Change Up The Chocolate - you'll want to keep the almond bark in place to help with setting up the clusters, but feel free to change out the dark or milk chocolate chips with other varieties such as semi-sweet or peanut butter chips!
Storage and Freezing
To Freeze: Allow the peanut clusters to fully set up, and then place them into a freezer-safe zip top bag. Freeze for up to 3 months for best quality, though they will remain safe to eat for much longer. You can eat them directly from the freezer, or allow them to thaw on the counter top.
Store Leftovers: Keep the leftover peanut clusters protected from areas that are too warm, as this can cause the chocolate to soften. They'll be messy! Keep them stored in a zip top storage bag or airtight container in a cool place. I like to keep mine in the fridge since my kitchen tends to be warm - the cold environment will keep the chocolate hard and snappy.Print
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