Need a last minute delicious holiday gift? Whip up a batch of these chocolate nut clusters for everyone on your nice list!
It’s that time of year again! We are racing around shopping, wrapping, decorating, making our lists and checking them twice. And if you are like me, either cooking, getting ready to cook, making notes about what to cook, or cleaning up after the cooking. My kitchen and I have our closest relationship at this time of the year, and even though it is EXHAUSTING at times, I do pretty much love it.
And one of the things I like most is making things that I can give as holiday gifts, things that are sweet and salty and just a little bit decadent. And at this time of the year, if they are easy and reliable, that’s a gift to ME as well. So while I usually try and make my weekly blog posts a well-balanced mixture of main dishes and sides and desserts, this week we are going to have a steady diet of sweet treats, all of which are easy and scrumptious and just right for popping in a pretty bag with a ribbon and handing over to someone you love. Ready?
Here’s the first and probably the easiest one – this one will be ready to wrap in about 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s a sinfully good, completely addictive nut bark made with (and this is the full list of ingredients): mixed nuts, semi-sweet chocolate and sea salt. Yep, those three ingredients are the only things standing between you and one more gift checked off your list. Here’s the deal: Spread out 2 cups of salted mixed nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment or no-stick foil. Now pour six ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave them for 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until they are smooth and melted. (This took me 90 seconds with my microwave).
Once your chocolate is nice and smooth, scoop it into a ziplock bag. Cut the teeniest bit you can off of one of the bottom corners of the bag, and squeeze the melted chocolate down towards that corner. You have now made yourself a pastry bag! Now squeeze the chocolate out of that opening into lovely little drizzles all over the nuts, making sure you cover all of them with at least a little chocolate.
Now take just a little sea salt – about 1/2 teaspoon is plenty – and sprinkle it lightly over the chocolate nuts. Make sure you use sea salt and not regular table salt, which will be too intense-tasting. Now pop the whole thing in the fridge, and in about 20 minutes it will be hardened enough for you to break into glorious little chunks.
Now all you have to do is summon the willpower not to eat all of it before you package it up for that lucky someone.
Mixed Nut Vanilla Brittle coming next so stay tuned!
- 2 cups mixed nuts
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli morsels)
- Sea salt
- Spread nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paperPour chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave them for 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until they are smooth and melted. Spoon melted chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip off of one of the bottom corners of the bag, and squeeze the melted chocolate down towards that corner. Squeeze the chocolate out of that opening into lovely little drizzles all over the nuts, making sure you cover all of them with at least a little chocolate.Take just a little sea salt – about 1/2 teaspoon is plenty – and sprinkle it lightly over the chocolate nuts. Make sure you use sea salt and not regular table salt, which will be too intense-tasting. Put the tray in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until chocolate is hardened. Break into chunks.
Adapted from Real Simple
Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. Let’s cook together!