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Make these easy dark chocolate covered almond clusters in minutes! Give them away as a holiday gift or keep them for a snack for yourself. They're super easy to make (and eat)! Naturally gluten free, with dairy free options, they're a perfect holiday gift (or party snack)!
If you've been around here for any amount of time, you'll likely know that I'm a big fan of dark chocolate. And when almonds and sea salt are involved...perfection.
So there I am..in the store, ready for checkout, and I see a bag of a dark chocolate almond candy.
I'm really bad at resisting dark chocolate...especially if there are almonds involved.
My mouth starts watering a little and I reach out my hand...just to look at the bag. Looking won't hurt, right? Yeah. Right. That's where it starts.
And the next thing you know, I've eaten the whole bag. Oh dear.
Homemade Dark Chocolate Covered Almond Clusters
My homemade version has big chunks of almonds (you can decide how big you want the chunks) that give a nice crunch to them. Sometimes I can barely tell that there are any almonds in the store bought packages, which is disappointing for an almond lover like myself.
And it's cheaper to make them at home, too. I made 10 ounces of almond clusters for less than $5 and five minutes of active work. I'm all about finding ways to save money ever since I took this awesome grocery budget course. Erin's motto is: "never buy anything full price." Grab chocolate bars when they're on sale and stock up!
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Tools for Making homemade almond clusters
- Chocolate bar -Get unsweetened like this one, or perfectly sweetened how you like it. Can I suggest this one? I got some of that kind for my birthday and it was SO good. I can't wait to get more. If you're following the keto diet, grab this keto chocolate bar made with monkfruit sweetener.
- Almonds - I like getting the dry roasted almonds like this kind. Or buy them raw and roast them yourself.
- Sea salt - we use this kind because it has minerals in it that table salt doesn't.
- Mixing bowl - Use these glass bowls that will double as serving bowls.
- Tablespoon scooper - This is the kind we have!
- Cookie sheet - This kind looks awesome.
- Parchment paper - I really like these pre-cut sheets. They REALLY take the hassle out of cutting the parchment.
Chocolate Covered Almond Clusters Recipe Ingredients
If you're avoiding dairy or soy for any reason, you can still eat these homemade dark chocolate almond clusters. make sure you're using dairy free chocolate. Most chocolate bars (even if milk isn't in the ingredient list) are made on machinery that handled milk products. If the label says "May contain: milk"...that's usually why.
If you can handle "trace" amounts of dairy, go ahead and use it. If not, make sure to get this chocolate that is allergy friendly.
You have two choices for the chocolate part of this treat. Use a pre-sweetened bar, or start from scratch.
If you decide to use pre-sweetened chocolate, you can use your favorite chocolate bar (or chocolate chips) that you have at home.
If, instead, you decide to start from scratch, just start with an unsweetened chocolate bar (I use this kind, or this kind, and usually stock up when it's on sale). Melt it down and add your preferred amount of sugar (or monkfruit sweetener for a Keto option). Pro tip: use your coffee grinder to grind up the monkfruit into a powder so it dissolves easier.
Now, you might be saying...why bother re-inventing the wheel? Well, I'll tell you. When you like really dark chocolate like I do, it's hard to find a bar that fits the bill.
Not only that, there have been times that I've been avoiding dairy and soy for health reasons. I don't want to pay a premium for something I can easily make at home. So I just decided to sweeten my own chocolate. Avoiding chocolate all together was never an option, obviously.
We've recently made the switch from using plain table salt to Pink Himalayan salt. Did you know that sea salt and Pink Himalayan salt are both loaded with minerals that our bodies need? And plain table salt is actually heavily processed and stripped of these minerals. Well I didn't! Not until recently. So we decided to make the switch.
Of course we made this decision right after I bought a twenty-five pound bag of table salt from Costco. I thought I was being so thrifty. Twenty five pounds of salt for $5! What a steal. Well, yeah. Not so much. If you have any ideas of how to use table salt, please let me know!
How To Make Homemade Almond Clusters
- Melt the chocolate
- Add sugar (optional)
- Add almonds
- Scoop onto parchment paper
- Sprinkle salt on the clusters
- Harden the clusters in refrigerator or on counter
Melt the Chocolate
When you melt the chocolate, either do it with a double boiler or put it in a bowl and stick it in the microwave. Be sure to break the chocolate into pieces first. You want to be careful not to burn the chocolate, so stir continuously.
These days I usually use the microwave. Try heating it for a minute, then stir, then add more time, stirring every thirty seconds.
Add Sugar (optional)
If you're using a pre-sweetened chocolate bar, you can skip this step.
If you're using an unsweetened bar for your chocolate, you probably want to add some sugar (or monkfruit sweetener). How much? Well that depends. When I first started doing this, I used our kitchen scale to measure, because the chocolate percentage is calculated by weight. Now I just eyeball it because I've done it so much.
- 89% chocolate, add ½ ounce of sugar to 4 ounces of chocolate
- 80% chocolate, add 1 ounce of sugar to 4 ounces of chocolate
- 73% chocolate, add 1.5 ounces of sugar to 4 ounces of chocolate
- 67% chocolate, add 2 ounces of sugar to 4 ounces of chocolate
In case you're wanting to experiment on your own, just take the weight of chocolate and divide it by the (chocolate + sugar) weight to get the percentage.
Add Almonds To the chocolate
Add one cup of almonds (we use roasted almonds...yumm) to your bowl of melted chocolate. Stir to fully coat them.
If you like big almond chunks, you can leave them whole. Or, you can chop them to your desired size.
Scoop The CHocolate Covered almonds onto parchment paper In clusters
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (pre-cut parchment like these are a HUGE time saver). Scoop the chocolate covered almonds onto the parchment with a tablespoon scooper. I've found that using a scooper like this one works really well.
You should be able to make about 15 chocolate covered almond clusters with this recipe.
Salt is really nutritious for our bodies, and your brain can't function without it. Plus, the salty sweet flavor combination is delicious. Sprinkle a little of your coarse salt on each almond cluster.
Harden in Refrigerator or on the Counter
You can either leave them out to harden at room temperature for a couple hours or you can put the whole cookie sheet in the refrigerator and they will harden in about ten minutes.
Try not to eat them all at once!
Enjoy these chocolate almond clusters as a snack at home, give them as a holiday gift, or bring them to share at a party. No matter where you eat them, enjoy!
- 6 ounces dark chocolate bar (OR start with 100% chocolate bar and sweeten it yourself).
- 1 cup roasted almonds
- ¼ tsp coarse salt
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave
- Add sweetener of choice if you're sweetening your own. (sugar, or coconut sugar work well)
- Add almonds to the chocolate bowl and stir to coat
- Using a Tablespoon scoop, transfer the clusters onto a parchment coated cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle salt on the top of each cluster (we love Himalayan Pink salt)
- Let harden in refrigerator or on the counter
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1 cluster
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 87mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g