Chocolate Caramel Pecan Clusters

by Heather on July 26, 2011

If there’s something Nate and I know, it’s how to hand pick recipes off of Foodnetwork that we want to try.

You see, there are times when making a brand-new recipe or putting a spin on a classic are fun.  And then there are times when you just want to cook with your husband and have a good time.  That time was last night.  We did our daily lay-down-and-take-a-quick-nap-after-work thing that turned into a fight-over-which-TV-show-to-watch thing that finally developed into Nate leaving the TV on Foodnetwork so we could watch Giada cook her favorite recipes.

 

Winning is so much fun :)

She made something with sun-dried tomatoes, and I almost gagged because truth be told I hate sun-dried tomatoes.  Yes, I just said that.  They’re tangy and weird and the texture doesn’t like me.  Phew!  That felt good to say out loud!

 

I was almost ready to quit and start dinner when she changed directions and made these Almond and Chocolate Nut Clusters.  HO.LY.GOOD.NESS.  We decided to hit up the store for caramels immediately after dinner.  Caramels and toilet paper.  It’s what we do.  So we followed the recipe almost exactly with a few  modifications and I have to say it worked like a charm!

 

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL PECAN CLUSTERS

based on the Almond & Chocolate Nut Clusters from Giada

  • 1 cup toasted pecans (you can toast them in the oven or in a skillet)
  • 30 individually wrapped caramel candies
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp cream at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350.  Generously spray a muffin tin (Giada used a mini, but I used a standard size) with cooking spray and cover the bottom of each cup with pecans.  You may not use all of them, but it’s never bad to have extra toasted pecans!  Cut each caramel into quarters and place about 6 in each cup on top of the pecans.  Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes until caramel just starts to bubble.  Remove from oven and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.  While the caramels are cooling heat the chocolate chips and cream over a double boiler, stirring until smooth.  Gently remove the nut clusters from the muffin tin (they should just fall out, but you can use a fork to help them if need be).  Drop them into the chocolate and coat, then remove with a fork and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Talk about heavenly!  There’s nothing wrong with these…the only thing that might even make them a little better is a touch of sea salt on the caramels right before they get enrobed in chocolate.  Enjoy!

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