These Chocolate Clusters are the ultimate decadent no bake chocolate candy recipe, a simple Holiday treat. They make the perfect edible gift. And with only 5 simple ingredients and no baking needed, even the kids can help. You won’t be able to stop at one!
So here we are closer and closer to Christmas, and what do I love about Christmas, besides being with family, the lights and decorations and oh how I love the Chocolate. From Filled Chocolates, to Mint Chocolates to Torrone.
And this year I say a big hello to Chocolate Clusters.
- Chocolate bar – depending on where you live I used a Crunchie Bar, you could also use plain honeycomb also known as sponge toffee or you could use a Crunch or Heath bar.
- Pretzels – hard broken mini pretzels or sticks
- Almonds – Roasted almonds – either peeled or unpeeled it’s up to you. I prefer almonds but you could substitute with peanuts
- Milk Chocolate – I like to use a good quality plain chocolate bar
- Dark Chocolate – good quality chocolate for drizzling although this is optional.
How to roast the nuts
Pre-heat the oven to 350F, place the whole almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for about 6-7 minutes. Immediately move the roasted nuts to a clean bowl to cool. If left on the pan they will continue to bake and you don’t want that.
What other nuts can be used?
If you prefer you can substitute the almonds with peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or even macadamia nuts or why not add some coconut or a sprinkle of sea salt.
Can I use chocolate chips?
You can use either milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I don’t really recommend it because chocolate chips don’t melt as well as a good quality chocolate would.
They are made to retain their shape, think Chocolate Chip Cookies, they have less cocoa butter, which means when melted the chocolate will have a streaky or swirled appearance when it hardens.
How to make Chocolate Clusters
Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast.
Melt the milk chocolate either bain-marie or with the microwave, stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a large bowl add the chopped chocolate bar of choice, the broken pretzel pieces and roasted almonds.
Pour the melted chocolate on the mixture and stir to cover completely.
Place heaping tablespoons on parchment paper or baking mat lined large baking sheets, spoon remaining chocolate in the bowl on each cluster, refrigerate to set. If you prefer you could even use mini cupcake liners to hold the clusters. This is a great idea if you plan on using them as a holiday gift.
Once the clusters have set, you can drizzle with melted dark chocolate before serving.
What is bain-marie
It is basically a fancy french term for a hot water bath. To do this, place a pot with water on the burner and a plate on top with the ingredient that needs to be melted or heated.
If you are melting chocolate be sure that the water in the pot does not touch the bottom of the dish. Heat the water to a slow boil and stir the chocolate until completely melted and smooth.
How far in advance can I make loaded chocolate clusters?
This is a great treat to make ahead. For best results, after the chocolate has set, remove from the baking sheet and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To make ahead for a party or to use as a gift, I recommend making the clusters a few days ahead. This way, the clusters can be served and any leftovers can be stored for an additional week and a half.
You can substitute a baking mat instead of parchment paper. Baking mats are reusable, make the clusters easy to remove, and are easy to clean.
How long does it take to set the chocolate clusters?
It takes about 10-20 minutes for the chocolate to set in the refrigerator.
Can other candy bars be used in this recipe?
Yes, you can use your favorite candy bars in place of the Crunch candy bars. Some other candy bars that would work well in this recipe would be a Heath bar, Twix, or Snickers.
How to store leftovers
Loaded double chocolate clusters can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for up to 2 weeks.
If the clusters become too warm because of the heat in your home and the chocolate begins to melt, just place them in the refrigerator to set again.
Can you freeze Chocolate Clusters?
Yes you can, once the clusters are set, you can move them to a freezer bag or container. It might be a good idea to store them in layers separated with parchment paper. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. You can thaw them in the fridge, although to tell the truth I love them frozen!
I refrigerated the Loaded Double Chocolate Clusters until they were firm, drizzled them with some cooled melted dark chocolate and I had my very own Clusters. And now you do too. Enjoy!
More Homemade Chocolate Candy Recipes
- Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge
- Homemade Chocolate Truffles
- Easy Homemade Filled Chocolates
- Homemade Gianduiotto Chocolates
Easy Chocolate Clusters
- 1 Crunchie Chocolate bar, Crunch bar, Heath bar, Twix or Snickers.
- 1 cup broken pretzels
- 1 cup roasted almonds*
- 8 ounces milk chocolate (good quality)
- 2 ounces dark chocolate (for drizzling)
*If you prefer you can substitute the almonds with peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or even macadamia nuts or why not add some coconut or a sprinkle of sea salt before the chocolate sets.
- To Roast the almonds, place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes in a pre-heated 350F (180C) oven, stir halfway through, move to a clean bowl to cool.
- In a bowl over a pot of water (make sure water does not touch the bowl) melt the milk chocolate, stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl add the chopped chocolate bar of choice, the broken pretzel pieces and roasted almonds.
- Pour the melted chocolate on the mixture and stir to cover completely.
- Place heaping tablespoons on parchment paper or baking mat lined baking sheets, spoon remaining chocolate in the bowl on each cluster, refrigerate to set.
- Once the clusters have set, you can drizzle with melted dark chocolate before serving. Enjoy!
Updated from December 9, 2016.