These chocolate covered peanuts are addicting! There, I said it. It’s true, my favorite snacks in the whole world are Chocolate Peanut Clusters. I can’t think of one occasion where I wouldn’t want to eat them. They’re just that good, and they make the perfect addition to a party filled with treats like Boozy Cake Balls, or Chocolate Chip Cookies.
There is a lot of information out there about the health benefits of chocolate. This article highlights and summarizes some of the most important ones.
Chocolate Covered Peanuts
“This is so easy and so impressive. The taste is fantastic. The texture is smooth and creamy. The flavor depends on the quality of chips you buy but the kids enjoy the store brand (cheap ones) the best They make great teacher gifts, if you package them up nicely.”SAVEPRINTSHARE
- 1(12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2(12 ounce) packages butterscotch chips
- 12 -16ounces salted peanuts, no skin
- This is a two to one for the chocolate covering.
- Melt the chocolate in double boiler with the butterscotch chips Or you can use a large micro safe bowl (50% power for 30 secs) at a time till melted.
- Pour in the peanuts.
- Stir till coated.
- Drop by tablespoon full on to parchment paper.
- Cool till hard.
- Store in airtight container at room temperature.
- Mine never lasted longer than a week but I don’t recommend that you serve them much after a week of shelving.
Chocolate Peanut Clusters
Chocolate Peanut Clusters are candies made with melted chocolate chips and loaded with roasted peanuts for a sweet treat any time!
Chocolate Peanut Clusters
These chocolate peanut clusters are so easy to make and are the perfect, bite-sized treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. It is the perfect combination of melted chocolate with lots of peanuts mixed in. You get that smooth chocolate and crunch of peanuts in every bite.
With only two ingredients, you can have these chocolate peanut clusters made in no time, and anytime, for that matter!
- Chocolate: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for this recipe. But, you could also use a semi-sweet chocolate baking bar, broken up into pieces.
- Peanuts: Roasted, salted peanuts were my choice when it came to making these candies. They are easy to find at your local grocery store.
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Clusters
- There really is no excuse to not make these candies. With just two ingredients and very little prep, you can satisfy your chocolate-covered peanut craving. To make the chocolate peanut clusters line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips (or chocolate baking bar pieces). Heat the chocolate in 20-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the chocolate is smooth and creamy.
- After the chocolate has melted, let it cool for a few minutes before adding the peanuts. When ready, fold in the peanuts and mix them in until they are fully coated. Use a spoon to drop the mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Repeat the spoonfuls with the remaining mixture. This batch made 12-15 clusters, but it depends on the size of your spoonfuls.
- Refrigerate the candies for at least 20 minutes, or until they are set. Store them in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to a month.’
ARE PEANUTS NUTS?
Peanuts are not actually tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc are. They are a legume!
WHY NOT BUY CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS?
As with anything premade, you have no control over the ingredients. Many store-bought chocolate products contain low-quality milk products, chocolate liquor and cocoa butter, soy lecithin (We avoid soy where possible) and lots of added, refined sugar.
So, I like to make chocolate peanuts with good chocolate and my peanuts of choice!
ARE CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS HEALTHY?
Peanuts are high in protein and healthy fats. They are also a great source of many vitamins and minerals, such as biotin, copper, Vitamin E, folate and niacin, among others.
If you use soaked and dried peanuts you actually increase the amount of nutrients you get from them. An anti-nutrient called phytic acid which naturally occurs in nuts and seeds is neutralized in the process of soaking in saltwater and therefore doesn’t block nutrient absorption in your body!
Dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate, as it has the least amount of sugar and is, therefore, higher in cocoa. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants also found in some fruits and vegetables! These polyphenols may decrease blood pressure, decrease inflammation in the body, boost heart health and increase blood flow to the brain. It does contain sugar, but what treat doesn’t! If it’s a small amount, I’m happy.
WHAT KIND OF CHOCOLATE TO USE
I will always recommend dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more!) because it’s the healthiest and best chocolate, in my opinion! I chop up a chocolate bar because it’s a much more reasonable price than dark chocolate chips! However, if that’s not your forte, or you don’t have any dark chocolate on hand, milk, semi-sweet or even white chocolate will work just fine.
WHAT KIND OF PEANUTS TO USE
I use unsalted peanuts that have been soaked and dried (for health and digestive benefits, see my post here all about soaking and drying nuts and seeds!). I add a sprinkle of sea salt on the clusters before they set to add a touch of salty flavor.
CAN CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS BE FROZEN?
Chocolate covered peanuts and peanut clusters can be frozen for up to 6 months in a freezer-safe container. Just thaw in the fridge before eating!
VARIATIONS OF CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS
- Use any type of chocolate you like, or combine different kinds for a unique blend.
- Use hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios or any combination of nuts, or use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free option.
- Mix in some dried fruit, coconut flakes or pretzel pieces to add some interest!
TOOLS YOU MAY NEED
Double boiler (or a pot and glass bowl)
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS
- 1 cup (8 oz bag) dark chocolate (70% is best, in my opinion!)
- 1½ cups unsalted peanuts
- sea salt (optional)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Heat dark chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat until it’s almost fully melted. Remove from heat and stir until chocolate is melted.
- Add in peanuts and stir until they are fully coated in chocolate.
- Drop chocolate covered peanuts by the spoonful to create clusters. I used a ⅛ measuring cup to scoop the peanuts and it was the perfect size! If you are very patient, you can use a fork to remove one peanut at a time and place it on the sheet to create individual chocolate covered peanuts.
- Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes until the chocolate coating is fully hardened.
HOW TO STORE CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS
Store chocolate covered peanuts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Because this chocolate is not tempered, it will melt slightly at room temperature, so best to keep it cool.
How to Make Chocolate-Covered Peanuts
- Start to Finish: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
- Servings: 4 to 6
- VIDEO OF THE DAY
- Difficulty Level: Beginner
Store-bought chocolate-covered peanuts are tempting, but these treats can be chalky, waxy or downright flavorless. Making your own at home is slightly messy but ultimately quite simple, especially if you form the nuts into clusters. This recipe is completely customizable; scale it up to feed a big group, or scale it down to make a single-serving snack.
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
Using a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part peanuts will give you enough chocolate to create a thick coating on each nut, but you can tweak the ratio depending on how chocolaty you want your treats to be. If you’re making peanut clusters, you can use a ratio of 1-to-1 or, if you want peanut to be the strongest flavor in your clusters, use 1 part chocolate to 2 parts nuts.
Step 1: Melt the Chocolate
- Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50 percent power, then stir the chips with a rubber spatula.
- Repeat this process, microwaving the chips in 30-second increments and stirring after each one, just until the chocolate is smooth.
- You may use 15-second increments near the end, when the chocolate is almost entirely melted. In total, this should take somewhere between 2 and 3 minutes.
You may also melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, or in a saucepan over low heat. Using these methods takes slightly longer than microwaving the chips. Stir the chocolate constantly once it starts to soften.
Step 2: Mix the Two
Pour the peanuts into the bowl and stir until they’re evenly coated. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
Step 3: Make Peanut Clusters
To make peanut clusters, use a melon baller or spoon to scoop up the chocolate and peanut mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Drop the scoops onto the baking sheet.
Refrigerate the baking sheet for about 45 minutes, until the chocolate is firm.
Step 4: Make Individual Pieces
To make individual chocolate-covered peanuts, let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to allow it to set slightly. Use a spoon to scoop out the nuts, one at a time, and place them on the baking sheet. Aim to get as little excess chocolate on the spoon as possible, as it will spread into a puddle around the nut.
There should still be some chocolate remaining in the bowl. Microwave it at 50 percent power for 15-second increments until it’s liquid again. Drizzle the chocolate over the peanuts, or spoon a small amount over each nut.
Refrigerate the treats on the baking sheet for 30 to 45 minutes.
The chocolate coating will be slightly uneven on individually coated nuts because one side of each nut will get more chocolate than the other. If that bothers you, let the nuts cool for 30 minutes, then flip them over and drizzle another layer of chocolate over them.
Mix Them Up
- Any combination of chocolates will work. Use all milk or dark chocolate, or use a mixture of white and milk chocolates. You may also use a combination of nuts. Lightly toast pecans or almonds before adding them to the chocolate.
- Play up the appealing combination of sweet and salty. Use salted peanuts, or sprinkle sea salt over the peanuts after they’ve chilled for about 15 minutes.
- You may add a few spoonfuls of peanut butter to the melted chocolate to increase the peanut flavor of these nuts, but the chocolate will be slightly soft even after they’ve been chilled.
- To make your treats colorful, microwave colored chocolate melts until smooth. Drizzle this liquid over the nuts before chilling them.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like chocolate. While it’s mostly known for its taste (and the associated cravings), it’s also a good source of nutrients when in its pure form and eaten in moderation.
This well-loved food, once called the “drink of the gods” by the Maya people, has a rich history as well. Chocolate comes from the seeds of the cacao pod, which grows on the cacao tree. Theobroma cacao is native to the tropical rainforests of Central America, where it has grown for thousands of years.
It was likely cultivated by the Olmecs and Maya peoples about 2,500 years ago. By about 2,000 years ago, the Maya were experienced cacao bean farmers, and were fond of grinding them up for a refreshing hot beverage. Aztecs later continued this love of chocolate, and the Spanish then discovered the drink in the 1500s and passed it around the world.
There are three main varieties of cacao bean: Criollo from Latin America, Forastero from Africa, and Trinitario from the Caribbean. Forastero accounts for about 90 % of all cacao beans, with Criollo and Trinitario making up the rest.
Eating dark chocolate offers you a good mix of minerals, including:
One-quarter cup of dark chocolate, about 1.5 oz or 2 large squares, contains:
- 142 calories
- 2 grams of protein
- 10 grams of fat
- 15 grams of carbohydrates
- 3 grams of fiber
- 11 grams of sugar
- 0 milligrams of cholesterol
- 0 milligrams of sodium
Potential Health Benefits of Chocolate
One fact is clear for chocolate: the purer and darker the chocolate, the greater your health benefits. Raw chocolate or minimally processed dark chocolate high in cocoa solids is healthier than milk chocolate and white chocolate. Dark chocolate has anywhere from 50 to 90 percent cocoa solids, while milk chocolate is typically 10 to 30 percent. White chocolate is pure cocoa butter and doesn’t offer you any health benefits.
There’s a lot going on in chocolate. Raw cacao nibs are crushed pieces of dried cacao beans, and when you grind them up you get cocoa paste, also called cocoa liquor. Cocoa solids are what you have once you remove the cocoa fat, or cocoa butter, from cocoa paste. When you dry cocoa solids, you get cocoa powder.