This recipe has actually been a few years in the making. It all started on a summer road trip when I accidentally left my snack mix of chocolate chunks, dried cherries, and toasted almonds in our car on a hot afternoon. By the time I realized my mistake the chocolate had completely melted and coated everything. Not being one to waste chocolate, or cherries for that matter, once the mix had cooled down enough for the chocolate to solidify I decided to eat it anyways and it was delicious. I’m not quite sure why it tasted so much better than the original mix, but it did. The rest of the melty mix was quickly consumed then forgotten about…
… Until a few weeks ago that is. Making the sunbutter cups got me thinking about other candy I could make and I remembered that happy accident from the road trip. I melted some chocolate, threw in some almonds and dried cherries and mixed it up to see what would happen. I wasn’t quite happy proportions and the whole almonds made the clusters a bit difficult to bite into. Still they tasted good enough to warrant another attempt. Encouraged by the praise from my sister “I like these better than any candy you can get in stores” I worked on a recipe and came up with one I’m pretty happy with.
Chocolate Cherry Almond Clusters (makes ~26)
1 cup (163 g) Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks
1 ½ cup (197 g) Toasted Almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup (79 g) Dried Cherries, coarsely chopped
1. Melt Chocolate. You can use a double boiler, or a microwave like I did. To melt the chocolate in the microwave I did 30s on high, then intervals of 10s on high until the chocolate was melted, stirring the chocolate in between each interval. Your microwave may require different times.
2. Pour chopped almonds and cherries into chocolate. Stir to coat. You want the cherries and almonds to be completely coated in chocolate.
3. Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet in whatever size you want your clusters to be (mine are about a tablespoon each).
4. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator or freezer. Once clusters have hardened, remove from sheet and store in the fridge or freezer.
Keep in mind, there is a lot of wiggle room with the ingredients. If you want more cherries, add more cherries. If you don’t like almonds, use some other nut or seed instead. Don’t want clusters? Pour it onto a cookie sheet to make Chocolate Cherry Almond Bark. Substitute coconut flakes for the cherries and you’ll have a sort of Almond Joy cluster. The possibilities are endless…