Dark Chocolate Cherry + Almond Clusters are filled with sweet dried cherries, toasted almonds and crunchy rice cereal, then covered in a little too much chocolate (as if there is such a thing) and topped off with a sprinkle of sea salt!
Go ahead and lick the screen, I give you a 👍🏻 on it!
Of course, I am the one nibbling away (scarfing might be the more appropriate term I am looking for) on a couple of clusters while drinking my first cup of coffee this morning. So don’t look at me to tell you not to consume chocolate in the early hours of the day. Sometimes it is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning ☕️ + 🍫!!
I am just going to go ahead and call it food research… yup, food research sounds like an important thing for me to be doing 24/7.
Putting on hold this talk of my two weaknesses (let’s not even bring wine into this conversation), let’s segue to these Dark Chocolate Cherry + Almond Clusters for a minute.
First of all, don’t make these for your kids.
Make these for you, and then maybe let your kids have 1 of them.
1 for them, 35 for you.
Sounds fair to me.
Okay, okkkkaaayyyyy, okay… maybe they can have 2 of them if they have been really good all week, or you want to do something sweet for them for Valentine’s Day.
I am kidding… sorta.
These clusters are like little bites of crunchy cluster heaven – filled with sweet dried cherries, toasted almonds and crunchy rice cereal, these clusters then get covered in a little too much chocolate (as if there is such a thing) and topped off with a sprinkle of sea salt.
See what I mean about not sharing!
Here’s the best part, oh yay it gets even better, you can fill these with just about any combo of dried fruit and nuts that you are craving at the moment.
The only thing that stays the same is the chocolate and the rice cereal, the other add-in’s are completely up to you –
Dried Strawberries + Toasted Pistachios
Dried Apricots + Toasted Cashews + Pinch of Curry
Dried Blueberries + Toasted Coconut and Almonds
Toasted Hazelnuts All-The-Way!
Dried Cranberries + Toasted Pepitas + Pinch of ground Ginger
Mouth is watering 😋😋😋
Now, before you get elbow deep into melted chocolate, I have a couple of pointers for you. Take the extra five minutes and toast your nuts first, it helps bring out their nutty flavors. Roughly chop your dried fruit and nuts so you don’t get a big bite of dried fruit all at once. This helps especially if you are going to share with your kids. Also, you can mix+match all you want but try to keep it at a total of 1 cup nuts/dried fruit per recipe.
Now the tough part – to share or not to share!
Dark Chocolate Cherry + Almond Clusters
Recipe inspiration from here
9 ounces dark chocolate chunks/chips
1 cup brown rice crispy cereal (gluten free or regular)
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1. Line 36 mini muffin cups with paper liners or place 36 mini muffin liners onto a baking sheet.
2. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the almonds for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring freguently. Set aside and let cool completely.
3. Using a double broiler or microwave, melt chocolate. For microwave method, place chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between times, until completely melted.
4. Add in the brown rice cereal, dried cherries and almonds and stir until combined.
5. Using 2 small spoons, scoop out a small amount and place into muffin liners. Spread evenly between 36 liners. Sprinkle each cluster with a pinch of sea salt.
6. Let cool completely at room temperature.
Yield – 36 mini clusters
Storage – 2 weeks on counter in air-tight container