One of my favorites candies has always been Peanut Clusters. There is just something heavenly about peanuts and chocolate. These confectioneries are quick and easy utilizing either your crockpot or your microwave. They make perfect gifts for the holidays and can be made in advance.
Salted or unsalted peanuts in peanut clusters?
This age old debate is very much still alive. It really is a matter of personal preference. I personally love the combination of the salty sweet. It gives the peanut cluster more dimension and character. Try a little sprinkle of sea salt on the top. It is so delicious!
However if you don’t really like the salty sweet combination than go with unsalted. I have made them both ways and with the unsalted peanuts the chocolate really is the star of the show.
Can I use Spanish Peanuts in Chocolate Peanut Clusters?
Yes you most certainly can. These red skinned peanuts are smaller in size than other peanuts. It is a slightly oily nut with a robust nutty flavor. These peanuts are primarily grown in Oklahoma and Texas. If you have never tried them I suggest doing so. They are delicious but slightly different than the runner variety that everyone is used to. Make sure you try a handful before you put them in your clusters.
There are many ways to make these beauties however both the crockpot method and the microwave method are tried, true, and foolproof.
How do you make Crockpot Peanut Clusters?
Make sure that your crockpot is good and dry. When I get out a dish that is not used often I clean it out before using it. However water and chocolate do not mix so I double dry it to ensure that all moisture has been removed. Water causes chocolate to seize therefore grab about three paper towels and place them under the lid to so that no moisture from the crockpot drips in the chocolate. Place the paper towels right on the top of the crockpot but under the lid. Let them overhang the pot so they don’t fall in.
Simply put the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and coconut oil (or shortening) in the covered crockpot on low. Layer the paper towels right under the lid. Stir the chocolate about every twenty minutes until melted. It can take anywhere from one to two hours however keep a close eye on it and stir often because the chocolate can scorch.
Once melted turn the crockpot off and stir in your peanuts. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on wax paper covered cookie sheets and if desired sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to set for a couple of hours. Store in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers.
How do you make Microwave Peanut Clusters?
Make sure that your microwaveable bowl is completely dry. Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and coconut oil (or shortening). Microwave at 50% power for 1-1 1/2 minutes. Then remove the bowl and stir until the bowl no longer feels warm. Heat at 15-30 second intervals, stir between each interval until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Stir in your peanuts and drop by rounded spoonfuls on wax paper covered cookie sheets and if desired sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to set for a couple of hours. Store in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers.
How to easily prepare peanut clusters for holiday gift giving.
They make cupcake liners for every holiday and occasion imaginable. Pick something that fits the holiday or occasion. After you stir the peanuts in the melted chocolate spoon it into cupcake liners that are placed on a cookie sheet or large platter. Allow several hour to set. Place in gift boxes or tins.
Other peanut recipes you will love!Print
Peanut Clusters (Crockpot or Microwave)
These chocolate and peanut candies are so easy to make in the crockpot or microwave and are perfect for gift giving.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 1.5 hours or 5 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes or 10 minutes
- Yield: 20 1x
- Category: Candy
- Method: crockpot or microwave
- Cuisine: American
- 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
- 1 (10 ounce bag) peanut butter chips
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil or shortening
- 2 cups salted or unsalted peanuts
- Place chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and coconut oil in covered crockpot on low. Layer paper towels right under the lid. Stir every 20 minutes until melted.
- Once melted stir in peanuts. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on wax paper covered cookie sheets. If desired sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to set.
- Store in airtight containers.
- Add chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and coconut oil to microwavable bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 1-1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl and stir until the bowl no longer feels warm. Continue heating at 15-30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Stir in peanuts. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on wax paper covered cookie sheets. If desired sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to set.
- Store in airtight containers.
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