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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chocolate Covered Nuts

Has anyone else noticed that I've posted more chocolate recipes than anything else?  I promise, there is another non-chocolate recipe coming soon!

These candies are absolutely delicious, and so very easy to make.  First, choose your nuts.  You can make your candy with only one kind of nut in it, or you can use several.  The candy pictured above was made with 9oz cashews, and 6 oz each of pecans, walnuts, and macadamia nuts, all mixed in together.  You can use pretty much whatever you want, just make sure they are pieces (not whole nuts) and stay away from salted nuts.  The nuts from the baking aisle at the grocery store work very well, but if you're like me, and can't find unsalted cashews, go for the lightly salted variety.

Next up, choose your chocolate.  You can melt down pretty much any solid chocolate you like.  The first time I did this, it was to get rid of the Easter chocolate I bought too much of when it went on sale right after Easter.  There was a dark chocolate bunny, a milk chocolate egg, and some semi-sweet chocolate chips to fill it out.  This time, I used a 12oz bag of milk chocolate chips and a 24oz bag of semi sweet and I really like the result.
 As for quantities, I like to have slightly more chocolate than nuts.  This time around it was 36oz chocolate to 27oz mixed nuts, and as you can see from the photo, my candies are very nutty.  If you want there to be more chocolate and less nut, well, then use more chocolate!  There's no right or wrong answer here, so I suggest that you play with this, until you get them the way you like them.
In addition to the nuts and chocolate, you will need a double boiler (or you can use a bowl set into a pot), a spatula scraper, a wax paper lined cookie sheet, a pizza cutter and a large cutting board.  Melt your chocolate in the double boiler over medium heat, stirring regularly, until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in your nuts.   Use the spatula scraper to scoop the mixture onto the lined cookie sheet, spread it out and press it in.  (Try not to let it get any thicker than about 3/4" or it will be hard to cut.  Use more than one tray if necessary.)  Cool completely.  It will take about 3 hours in a refrigerator, but if you're cooling it on the counter, it'll need to sit over night.  Once the candy is completely cool, lift it out of the tray using the wax paper and place it on the cutting board.  Use the pizza cutter to cut it into manageable squares and store your candy in a tightly sealed container, in a cool place.  Enjoy!