This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), it is December's Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge : Sweet Treats!. I've made Ellie Krieger's sweet treat, Cranberry-Almond-Chocolate Clusters. Easy, simple and delightful.
These chocolaty nutty sweet treat needs no baking at all. Simply toast the almonds and coarsely chop. Place in a bowl and mix with dried cranberries. Ellie's recipe uses dried cherries, but they are not available and even if I can find them, they are very costly. Dark chocolate is then melted, then mix the almond-cranberry into the melted chocolate, mix till well combine. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of the chocolaty mixture and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes until set.
These are delightful to eat!
Place each cluster on cupcake liners, would make a pretty plate on your dessert or snack table for the festive season. If I were to serve to guests, I would make them a little smaller, maybe a heaping teaspoon instead. These little sweet treats are a definite repeat!
(So Easy by Ellie Krieger)
1 cup whole roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
6 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
In a medium bowl, toss together the almonds and cherries. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Melt half of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over slightly simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently, make sure the water is not touching the top pan. Remove the double boiler from the heat, and stir in the rest of the chocolate until melted. Remove the top pan with the chocolate in it, gently wipe the bottom of it, and set it aside for a moment. Replace the simmering water in the bottom pan with warm tap water. Put the pan of melted chocolate on top of the warm water. This will keep the chocolate at the right temperature while you make the clusters.
(My note : I melted the chocolate in the microwave oven, and skip the step on placing the bowl of melted chocolate over a pan of warm water).
Stir in the fruit/nut mixture into the chocolate. Spoon out heaping tablepsoon-size clusters of the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Put them in the refrigerator to cool and set for about 20 minutes. Store and serve at room temperature.
I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs, theme for this week