Chocolate, caramel, and nuts combine to create a giftable cluster of sweet and salty chocolate treat that I refer to as sweet and salty chocolate caramel nut clusters!
Welcome to a simple recipe that you can make quickly in your kitchen without the need for any special kitchen appliances or tools.
Chocolate caramel cut clusters are so easy to make
When you want a sweet and salty treat caramel chocolate almond cashew clusters are the answer.
Don’t be fooled that my description doesn’t include the word ‘salted’ milk chocolate caramel nut clusters.
These clusters are salted and roasted, but I didn’t add any more salt to the recipe but you can!
If you have about 30 minutes, you can make easy chocolate caramel nut clusters
Gift the caramel chocolate almond cashew clusters or share some. Of course, you could just make a stash for yourself.
Milk chocolate caramel nut clusters take very little effort yet yield a very good crunch with tastes of sweet, and salty.
Make these for Easter, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, or anytime you just want a sweet treat.
Generally, if I make these for the holidays, I make these last after baking all the other baked goods not for any other reason that if the chocolate caramel nut clusters are made, they disappear!
Since 5-ingredient chocolate caramel nut clusters take very little time to make, there’s always time to make them!
Things to know before making Chocolate Caramel Nut Clusters
Let me share a quick informative overview with you and yes you can LICK the screen, lol!
- these are no-bake
- All you need is a microwave
- please note, for these 5-ingredient milk chocolate caramel nut clusters, that the time is about 5 minutes to set up for the caramel dipping.
- 15 minutes in the freezer to set the caramel (fast method)
- 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set up before transferring to an air-tight container for storage
- your active time on this recipe is really about 15 minutes overall.
- dipping the clusters each time is about 5 minutes x2.
- prepping the ingredients is just 5 minutes\
To gain perspective on how easy the timing is when trying to find time to make the clusters
If you are cooking a meal that is in an electric pressure cooker and have 40 minutes, this recipe could be finished from top to bottom if you are organized!
Generally, I use my time in between meals (like dinner) to whip something like this up.
I call it the ‘little extra’.
Nuts about Nuts
- Always use roasted nuts in this recipe.
- You do not need to use salted nuts if you don’t want extra sodium, just buy roasted or…
- You can roast your own nuts, just in case, you can’t find what you want roasted.
- Try different nuts, if you prefer, such as pecans, and peanuts. and even walnuts!
- For those that prefer salt, but not on the nuts themselves, you would add salt atop the drying milk chocolate.
Lessons Learned while working with the Chocolate And Caramel
First, refrigerate these when you have the caramel applied to the nut cluster.
I have not refrigerated them, and I have.
Truth be told, go for the refrigeration mode, it works so much better to get that caramel set up!
Once they are chocolate dipped, I also store them in the fridge, or in our garage ‘cool cellar’.
However, there are never that many left after I make them they kind of just disappear.
Chocolate Chatter + Chocolate caramel nut clusters
You can use white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate.
In fact, you can swirl 2 types of chocolate, the possibilities are endless.
There’s lots of room for creativity within this recipe.
Make it your own.
Keep the caramel easy to make for the clusters
For the caramel, I used caramel bits, but you can use caramel candies and melt them, following melting instructions on their bag.
Try a maximum of three cups and you might want to cut it to 2 cups if you want to get a better handle on the recipe.
Since I make these all the time, I know how many can be consumed and who will consume them.
Smaller batches are good too!.
You could use my homemade soft caramel but I have to tell you, it takes longer and it’s just not worth the effort here! I don’t usually say that but I am being honest in this particular recipe.
More Quick Tips for Making the chocolate caramel nut clusters
- use at least parchment paper, but it’s easier to use silicone mats.
- don’t reuse the parchment paper if you prepped on it, use fresh pieces of parchment paper to separate layers for storing.
- use airtight containers only for storage or zip bags work well too, but they clusters won’t stay stacked or layered.
- you could use a ladel to coat the nut clusters and use a silicone one that can withstand the heat of melted caramel.
- mix nuts in a bowl before placing the nuts on a tray.
- if you choose to salt the chocolate use coarse ground salt and add it just as the chocolate is drying but is not completely set. (a few minutes is all it takes)
- you can share these in little takeout boxes, that you find at the almost $1 stores.
- for those that want to just eat smaller bites, once cooled, cut.
Recipe for chocolate caramel nut clusters
- 3 1/2 Cup mixture of roasted and salted cashews and roasted almonds.
- 2 Tablespoons of butter. if the caramel is too thick you can add another tablespoon of butter but don't at first
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1 11 ounces bag of caramel bits.
- Dark chocolate pieces. 24 ounces
- Silicone mat
- Sweet tooth!
In a large mixing bowl, combine your nuts, and set them aside.
Using a microwave-safe, appropriately sized bowl, place in caramel bits, butter, and water.
Microwave to melt, following instructions on the package.
Once melted, remove from the microwave and stir like crazy to make the caramel smooth for coating.
Transfer caramel from its dish to the nut mixture and stir to coat all the nuts.
Then, drop nut combination by the tablespoon atop the silicone mat, leaving enough space between that you will be able to scoop the cluster up and then dip it in chocolate. (about one spoon's worth!)
Allow this to cool and cling.
Basically, you can either refrigerate these for a 1/2 hour or you can freeze them (on their tray) for 15 minutes to move this along.
Next, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt 12 oz of the 24 oz of milk chocolate according to the package instructions.
*I suggest doing chocolate coating in (2) two half batches so you can take your time, coat, and move on without worrying about the chocolate drying in the melting bowl. Naturally, you can microwave it all and then of course reheat as necessary, but that is not how I work, so I made the suggestions and it's OPTIONAL.
For each cluster, you will use a tablespoon, a scoop of the cluster (which will release so easy from silicone mats) and dunk into the chocolate, then tip the spoon carefully to the right and left to drain the excess chocolate and drop the cluster back onto the silicone mat to dry.
Repeat for each cluster on the tray.
Once you are done, if any of the clusters seem to have nuts showing through, use whatever chocolate might remain to 'repair' or coat this.
Then, allow these to dry/setup
IN actuality, by the time you finish coating the last of the clusters, the first ones will probably already be set up.
I suggest refrigerating what you won't be eating in an airtight container for up to 14 days.
Do note that refrigerating will make the caramel and chocolate 'harder' so allow the milk chocolate caramel nut clusters to come to room temperature before biting!
Enjoy! ~ Dana XO
You can change this cluster to white chocolate.
Substitute pecans or walnuts.
Make sure to use roasted nuts (so roast them if they are not).
It is possible to salt the chocolate as your coat, I did not keep the sodium lower on the treats, as there is sodium in the chocolate as well as the roasted nuts, etc.
Clusters can be as simple as one nut only too.
Mix clusters to give a bigger taste.
Do not make clusters bigger than a tablespoon or they will be too big to finish (in my opinion)
Any meltable chocolate will work (bark, chips, baking bar, etc).
Use parchment paper between the layers when storing and an air-tight container.
These clusters are perfect for gifting!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 45 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 24Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 0g
Nutritional content is not accurate
Enjoy your caramel chocolate almond cashew clusters.
Remember sharing is nice and it keeps you from consuming all of them!
Since they are so easy to make consider them for parties, celebrations, graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, well you get the idea! ~ Dana XO