FOOL PROOF Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters are not only crazy delicious but are SO easy for the ideal make ahead, stress free holiday gifts or dessert! I’ve included some special tips and tricks you won’t find any where else to help make these peanut clusters a decadently delicious success every time!
Happy December! While it’s still paddleboard weather here in Carlsbad during the day – it’s sock weather at night. That’s how I know it’s December 🙂 I also know it’s December by all the goodies in my Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram feed – talk about treats galore! But even with all the fancy sweets and treats in my feed and on my “to make list,” I knew these simply satisfying Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters were at the top of my “to make” list this year.
As a little girl, Chocolate Peanut Clusters were my “special treat” I always picked out and have long been on my bucket list of “to make” recipes. And this recipe did not disappoint! They are easy, delicious and make a ton. I especially wanted to make these Chocolate Peanut Clusters in time for the holidays because I LOVE an easy gift and holiday dessert.
For as long as I can remember, I have always made goodie plates for neighbors and friends at Christmas time. And while it is a fun tradition, rolling and baking that many cookies is a LOT. of. work. I finally got smart and decided I would only make goodies that can be poured into a pan – Snickerdoodle Cooke Bars, Red Velvet Swirl Brownies, Butterscotch Coconut Blondies, Chocolate Toffee, Poke Turtle Brownies. These have become my go-to holiday desserts because they are dump, bake and slice. Last year I made 7 batches of toffee and it was painless and this year it’s all about these Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters!
There are a lot of Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Cluster recipes out there, but this recipe is fool proof! So let’s get started!
How to Make Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters
Use nonstick cooking spray. First, we spray our slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. This gives our chocolate a layer of protection from easily scorching.
Use enough white almond bark. Next, we add 2 24 oz. packages white almond bark. Almond bark is located with the rest of the chocolate at your grocery store. It contains sugar, milk powder, vanilla and usually palm oil instead of cocoa butter. The palm oil is hydrogenated to make it more solid at room temperature. I’ve read many recipe reviews of other Chocolate Peanut Cluster recipes complaining that their chocolate did not solidify. This is caused by the ratio of almond bark to chocolate being too low. You need enough almond bark to ensure ensure your Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters harden.
Almond bark is developed specifically to melt beautifully and not easily seize or burn. Other chocolates can be temperamental to work with and burn, and turn hard and grainy quite easily. When we combine almond bark with our other chocolate, we have a winning combination.
Use quality chocolate. We add 12 oz. quality semi sweet chocolate chips or dark/bittersweet chocolate chips to our almond bark. Your chocolate chips will melt better and taste better if you use quality chocolate; I prefer Ghirardelli . Semi-sweet chocolate is technically dark chocolate but if you prefer darker chocolate, use bittersweet chocolate chips – it is totally up to you!
Cover the top of the slow cooker with a kitchen towel or paper towels before adding the lid. This step is crucial as it will catch condensation that can drip onto the chocolate when you lift the lid to stir which will cause the chocolate to seize.
Cook on LOW and stir often. Melt chocolate on LOW for 1 ½-2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes, until completely melted. Every single crockpot is different, so make sure you are paying attention to your chocolate.
Temper the chocolate. The chocolate we are adding to our slow cooker is already tempered, meaning it has undergone a process which increases shine and durability. When we melt it, however, it loses its temper because the crystal structure breaks down above 90°F. Untempered chocolate when cooled can develop white streaks and a crumbly texture and can stay soft at room temperature.
To bring our chocolate back into temper is super simple, all we have to do is add tempered chocolate to our untempered chocolate! We do this by adding our German chocolate bar after out chocolate is already melted and stir and stir until it is completely melted. Now, our tempered chocolate will harden quickly, lose some of it shine as it dries but maintain an even color and not become streaky, will snap cleanly and not become crumbly.
Add the peanuts after the chocolate is melted. Many recipes add the peanuts with the melting chocolate but this is completely unnecessary and can cause the peanuts to scorch, especially if they are dry roasted. We add our peanuts once the chocolate is completely melted and then stir until evenly coated.
Use parchment paper or mini cupcake liners for easy dropping and cleanup. All that’s left is to line your counter with a very long row of parchment paper OR if gift giving, line with mini cupcake liners. Drop peanuts by the tablespoon (or whatever size you prefer) onto parchment/liners.
Sprinkle with sea salt. I like to sprinkle my Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters with sea salt to balance the sweetness but that is optional. If you are sprinkling with sea salt, be sure to not wait until the very end, or the first few peanut clusters will already have hardened and the salt won’t stick.
Store in a cool place. The Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters store amazingly well and is one of the reasons they are a favorite for gift giving! You can make them and then give them when you get to it 🙂 Store the peanut clusters in a cool place, in an airtight container, with rows separated by parchment paper for several days….if they last that long…
Want to try these Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters?
Pin them to your DESSERT, CHRISTMAS or CHOCOLATE Board to SAVE for later!
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