Fruit & Nut Clusters


These quick and easy chocolates are not only filled with crunchy, roasted nuts and plump raisins, but they are a cinch to make...you will be the "belle of the ball", the "talk of the town" or even the "best thing since sliced bread" if you bring these sweet treats to your next party!

First, you will need about a 1/2 cup of raisins and a 1/2 cup of chopped nuts...peanuts, slivered almonds, cashews...any nut will be great but I used unsalted, dry-roasted almonds because I'm a fly by the seat of my pants type o' gal!

Next, in a double boiler over medium heat, melt 2 cups of milk chocolate chips and 1 tbsp. of shortening (such as "Crisco"). You can also melt the chips in the microwave but I prefer to use my old school, enamel double boiler...because I'm from 1904! :)

As the chips begin to melt, stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until the chocolate is smooth. (I use "Chipits" milk chocolate chips because they taste the best in my opinion...and my opinion is ALWAYS right...sometimes!)

Toss the fruit and nuts into the melted chocolate...

...and give it a stir until all is combined.

Let mixture sit for about 5 minutes before spooning "clusters" on to a parchment or waxed paper lined baking sheet.

I spoon out about a tablespoon of the mixture for each cluster.

Once all of the chocolate has been spooned on to your baking sheet, set it aside and let the clusters set up until firm.

These Fruit & Nut Clusters are perfect to put out for your holiday guests or as a nice homemade hostess gift...either way, in keeping up with the Christmas spirit, I would suggest doubling the recipe so you can keep some for yourself! :)

Fruit & Nut Clusters

2 cups of milk chocolate chips

1 tbsp. of shortening

1/2 cup of chopped almonds

1/2 cup of raisins

In the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove set at medium/low heat, melt chocolate chips and shortening, stirring until smooth. Pour in nuts and raisins and stir until all is combined. Let sit for 5 minutes before spooning clusters on to a parchment or waxed paper lined baking sheet. Set baking sheet aside and let clusters set up until firm...store chocolates in an airtight container in the fridge.

Makes about 20 clusters.