Start to Finish: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Store-bought chocolate-covered peanuts are tempting, but these treats can be chalky, waxy or downright flavorless. Making your own at home is slightly messy but ultimately quite simple, especially if you form the nuts into clusters. This recipe is completely customizable; scale it up to feed a big group, or scale it down to make a single-serving snack.
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- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
Using a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part peanuts will give you enough chocolate to create a thick coating on each nut, but you can tweak the ratio depending on how chocolaty you want your treats to be. If you're making peanut clusters, you can use a ratio of 1-to-1 or, if you want peanut to be the strongest flavor in your clusters, use 1 part chocolate to 2 parts nuts.
Step 1: Melt the Chocolate
Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50 percent power, then stir the chips with a rubber spatula.
Repeat this process, microwaving the chips in 30-second increments and stirring after each one, just until the chocolate is smooth.
You may use 15-second increments near the end, when the chocolate is almost entirely melted. In total, this should take somewhere between 2 and 3 minutes.
You may also melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, or in a saucepan over low heat. Using these methods takes slightly longer than microwaving the chips. Stir the chocolate constantly once it starts to soften.
Step 2: Mix the Two
Pour the peanuts into the bowl and stir until they're evenly coated. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
Step 3: Make Peanut Clusters
To make peanut clusters, use a melon baller or spoon to scoop up the chocolate and peanut mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Drop the scoops onto the baking sheet.
Refrigerate the baking sheet for about 45 minutes, until the chocolate is firm.
Step 4: Make Individual Pieces
To make individual chocolate-covered peanuts, let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to allow it to set slightly. Use a spoon to scoop out the nuts, one at a time, and place them on the baking sheet. Aim to get as little excess chocolate on the spoon as possible, as it will spread into a puddle around the nut.
There should still be some chocolate remaining in the bowl. Microwave it at 50 percent power for 15-second increments until it's liquid again. Drizzle the chocolate over the peanuts, or spoon a small amount over each nut.
Refrigerate the treats on the baking sheet for 30 to 45 minutes.
The chocolate coating will be slightly uneven on individually coated nuts because one side of each nut will get more chocolate than the other. If that bothers you, let the nuts cool for 30 minutes, then flip them over and drizzle another layer of chocolate over them.
Mix Them Up
- Any combination of chocolates will work. Use all milk or dark chocolate, or use a mixture of white and milk chocolates. You may also use a combination of nuts. Lightly toast pecans or almonds before adding them to the chocolate.
- Play up the appealing combination of sweet and salty. Use salted peanuts, or sprinkle sea salt over the peanuts after they've chilled for about 15 minutes.
- You may add a few spoonfuls of peanut butter to the melted chocolate to increase the peanut flavor of these nuts, but the chocolate will be slightly soft even after they've been chilled.
- To make your treats colorful, microwave colored chocolate melts until smooth. Drizzle this liquid over the nuts before chilling them.