Peanut Clusters are beyond addicting and have an interesting introduction.
My dear friend Julie Simons’ parents have a home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Normally, where people have homes is not relevant to Desserts Required, but in this case it is because Jackson is home to Mursell’s Chocolates.
Julie and her parents had been kind enough to introduce me to Mursell’s Chocolates. Throughout the years, I have been the very excited recipient of Mursell’s Peanut Clusters; gigantic circles of chocolate filled with roasted peanuts.
To say that I covet these boxes would be an understatement. I do not like to share my stash with anyone. Not my proudest confession, but what can I say? I can’t easily replace them, so I have to make my Clusters last as long as possible.
It dawned on me recently, when I started craving Peanut Clusters, that I do have the ability to make my own and even share some with others. I went to Whole Foods and had a nice discussion with one of the folks in the produce department about which peanuts to buy and how long to roast them. I decided to go with raw Virginia peanuts and slow roast them in a 275° oven.
After cooling for several hours, I dumped the nuts into melted chocolate and formed my clusters. I debated using lightly salted peanuts, but did not want the salt mixed into the chocolate. Instead I sprinkled sea salt over the clusters.
I was quite pleased with the end result. I will be able to satisfy my craving and share with those whom I adore. For those who know me well, I hope they don’t faint when they find that I am actually giving them a taste.
- 2 pounds raw Virginia peanuts
- 2 pounds semisweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- sea salt, optional
- For the peanut clusters:
- Preheat the oven to 275°. Place the peanuts on a baking sheet and bake until roasted, about 50 minutes, stirring periodically.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate and oil in a large bowl. Add cooled peanuts and stir until the peanuts are completely covered.
- Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
- Use a large spoon to form clusters on the baking sheets. Leave a little space between clusters. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
- Place in the freezer to set.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- If you are short on time, you may buy already roasted peanuts. Avoid those with salt.
- I like large Peanut Clusters. If you prefer smaller ones, use a smaller spoon to scoop the mixture.