Homemade Cacao Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters


Homemade Cacao Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters


So last week, Ben went to Costco and brought home a bag of Kirkland brand Cashew Clusters, which I have appropriately renamed ‘crack clusters.’ Mind you, I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but for whatever reason, those crack clusters got me and I could not stop eating them! After quickly scanning the ingredient list, I realized that they were stupidly easy to make at home, and that I could actually make them a little healthier by eliminating some of the unnecessary additives. In honor of Valentines Day, I added in some homemade cacao chips, which are another insanely easy thing to make that I will post on below, but you can certainly make these without and they will be just as good!


Homemade Cocoa Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters


If you never want to buy chocolate chips again, I have some good news for you! You can make raw, gluten free and refined sugar free chocolate with only 3 ingredients! All you need is:

  • 3 Tbsp. virgin, unrefined coconut oil; melted
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut nectar or honey
  • *Optional* 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Melt the coconut oil over low heat, and remove from heat as soon as it is melted. It will not turn out correctly if you don’t! Once oil is removed from heat, sift in the cacao powder, whisking until completely combined. Add in your coconut nectar or honey, and whisk until thoroughly mix and smooth in consistency. To get the chocolate to harden, pour it on a parchment lined baking sheet, spreading out with a plastic spatula to make a single, even layer. Place baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. When hardened, remove the chocolate from the freezer and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut chocolate up into small chunks to make ‘chips’ and store chocolate chips in a Ziplock in the fridge.

That’s it! Healthier chocolate chips in 15 minutes.


Homemade Cacao Chips


On to making the nut clusters. Again, couldn’t be easier to make. Grab yourself a large mixing bowl and dump in 1/2 a cup of each of the following:

  • raw sunflower seeds
  • raw almonds
  • raw cashew halves
  • raw pumpkin seeds

If using the cacao chips, add in 1/4 cup of prepared chips, along with 1/2 a tsp. of finely ground sea salt or pink Himalayan rock salt. Stir to mix. In a separate small dish, combine 2 Tbsp. organic brown rice syrup and 2 Tbsp. honey. You can find organic brown rice syrup in your health food store near the honey, agave and maple syrup. Mix the two together until they soften up slightly, then pour on top of your nut mixture. With a mixing spoon, stir to evenly coat the nuts in the syrup mixture. When finished, transfer your mixture to a parchment lined baking dish (I used an 8 x 8 glass Pyrex dish), and pat down mixture with a plastic spatula to make a single, even layer.


Homemade Cacao Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters


Preheat your oven to 400F and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until nuts are golden brown. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn. When finished, remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring your parchment paper to a wire rack to cool. This should easily lift out of your baking dish.


Homemade Cacao Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters


Let cool for several hours, preferably overnight to harden completely, and when finished, cut your bar into small clusters and enjoy! Store remaining clusters in a Ziplock on your counter top.


Homemade Cacao Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters


4.7 from 3 reviews

Homemade Cacao Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters
Author: 
Recipe type: snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

A perfect blend of salty and sweet, these homemade cacao chocolate chip nut clusters are a perfect sweet treat for those on the go.
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe for cacao chips if using (recipe above); ¼ cup needed for recipe
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ½ cup raw cashew halves
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. organic honey
  • 2 Tbsp. organic brown rice syrup
  • ½ a tsp. of finely ground sea salt or pink Himalayan rock salt
  • Parchment paper

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine nuts, cacao chips and sea salt. Stir to thoroughly mix.
  3. In a small dish, combine brown rice syrup and honey, mixing until slightly softened.
  4. Pour syrup mixture over nut mixture and stir to thoroughly coat.
  5. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper (important for removing), and pour in your nut mixture. With a spoon or plastic spatula, pat down mixture to form a single, even layer.
  6. Place baking dish in oven on the middle rack and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until nuts are golden brown. Watch carefully so mixture doesn’t burn.
  7. When finished, remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring your parchment paper to a wire rack to cool. This should easily lift out of your baking dish.
  8. Let cool for several hours, preferably overnight to harden completely, and when finished, cut your bar into small clusters and enjoy! Store finished clusters in a Ziplock on your counter top.

Notes
Prep time for this recipe does not include time for making cacao chips as recipe can be made both ways.

 

 

 

 

6 comments on Homemade Cacao Chocolate Chip Nut Clusters

  1. Melissa @ nourishbymelissa.com
    January 27, 2014 at 8:35 am (4 years ago)

    this looks just like the nut brittle I used to loooove as a kid! Can’t wait to try it out. Do you think I could use maple syrup or would it be to runny ?

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      January 27, 2014 at 8:40 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Melissa! Were you wanting to sub maple syrup for honey or the brown rice syrup? You could probably sub the maple syrup for the honey. I would just do 1 Tbsp. maple with 3 Tbsp. brown rice syrup instead. I don’t think you could sub the brown rice syrup though, as it would definitely be too runny :( The brown rice syrup really helps harden it up, but you could try subbing it with coconut nectar instead since it is thicker. If you do that, I would stick to 2 Tbsp. honey and 2 Tbsp. Coconut Nectar.

      Reply
      • Melissa @ nourishbymelissa.com
        January 27, 2014 at 9:32 am (4 years ago)

        Thanks so much! I’ve been seeing brown rice syrup playing an important role in many recipes lately so I think I’ll just have to go get it! :)

        Reply
        • Danielle
          Danielle
          January 27, 2014 at 9:47 am (4 years ago)

          I have been seeing it everywhere too, so I finally bit the bullet and went out to buy some. A little goes a long way, so it’s one of those purchases that should last you a long time :) I think it was around $4 or so for the non-organic one and $8 for the organic version.

          Reply
  2. Meredith Youngson
    January 28, 2014 at 6:59 am (4 years ago)

    Glad I found your site- this recipe is awesome! I went away to India in the fall and fell in love with their crunchy nut brittle. It was similar to this except seasoned with local spices. Perhaps I will have to recreate it with your version. ps thanks for the homemade chocolate tip!
    -Meredith

    Reply
    • Danielle
      Danielle
      January 28, 2014 at 8:59 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Meredith! If you give it a try with the Indian spices, I would love to hear how that turns out! It sounds awesome!

      Reply

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