Chocolate Peanut Toffee Clusters

For the past several years, my grandma has made batches and batches of my favorite holiday treat:  clusters of peanuts covered in toffee studded chocolate.  These are the perfect mix of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy and are highly addictive.  My grandmother originally got the recipe from the father of a friend of hers; he made these delicious confections every holiday season and now, thanks to my grandma, this flavor always reminds of Christmas. She graciously gave me this recipe to share with all of you and I promise you will love it!

The recipe my grandma gave me uses a slow cooker to melt all the candy pieces together but I found that my slow cooker gets too hot for this job. Even with the cooker set on the lowest setting, the chocolate began to burn long before all of it was smoothly melted.  I transferred the non-burned candy to a large microwave-safe bowl and finished the melting in the microwave on a low setting, stirring it at frequent intervals.  The recipe below uses my microwave method for melting the chocolate, but if you have a large double boiler that would probably work even better.

Given the fact that my grandma has 9 children along with many, many grandchildren to keep supplied with holiday treats, this recipe makes vast quantities of chocolates.  You may want to get together with a friend and make these treats together (they make very tasty gifts!).  Alternatively, these will keep well in the freezer for a couple of months in an airtight container, so you can keep snacking well into the New Year!

I found all the ingredients needed in the baking aisle of Walmart, but I have also included links to some of the ingredients on amazon.com so that you can see what the packages look like.

Chocolate Peanut Toffee Clusters

Makes about 8 dozen

Ingredients:

48 ounces salted cocktail peanuts

12 ounces each:

Heath English Toffee Bits

Chocolate candy coating, cut into small pieces

Vanilla Candy Coating, cut into small pieces

Semi-sweet chocolate chips

White chocolate chips

Butterscotch chips

1.  Line several large baking sheets, platters, or pans with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, mix together the cocktail peanuts and Heath Toffee Bits until well combined.  Set aside.

2.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in another large, microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on low for 1 minute.  Stir well with a rubber spatula and continue to microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring well each time, until the candy is all melted and completely smooth.

3.  Pour the melted candy over the peanut mixture  in the bowl and stir well with a rubber spatula until all the peanuts are well coated with chocolate.  Drop mixture by heaping tablespoons onto lined baking sheets and let them sit until hardened, about 2 hours.

Happy snacking!

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