Sunday, January 8, 2012

Secret Chocolate Cinnamon Almond Clusters

My friends know I like to give these away as gifts and everyone LOVES them.  It is actually a tradition that my mom and I make these around the holidays and we have been doing it ever since I was a kid.  It's actually a 4 step process to make these tasty candies but they are definitely worth it!  I finally decided to reveal the recipe for those of you that want to make them at home.  Remember, the key is to use Dutch Cocoa Powder at the end.  Regular cocoa powder will not work as well because it is much more bitter. 

A family favorite holiday treat
8oz raw almonds
2.5c sugar
1/2c water
2tsp ground cinnamon
2lb best-quality semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
2tbs coconut oil (optional)
1.5c Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (or 2 sheets), and toast until fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring half way through.
2. Then line 3 baking sheets with parchment or nonstick foil.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, toasted almonds, and cinnamon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar becomes golden, then starts to crystallize around the almonds (8 minutes).  Pour the almond mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Make sure all the almonds are separated. Transfer to the freezer or refrigerator, and chill for 15 minutes.
4. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted (Add 2tbs coconut oil for a subtle coconut flavor). Add the chilled almond mixture, stirring until nuts are thoroughly coated. With a large spoon, scoop out the almonds into clusters and place them on the lined baking sheets.  Alternatively you can place them on the sheets and break up each cluster with a fork for individual coated almonds (but this takes a lot more time). 
5. Place the clusters, or individually coated almonds, into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until hardened.
6. Place cocoa powder in a large bowl, and add the almond clusters or individual almonds in batches. Toss to coat, shaking off excess cocoa powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

*Original recipe adapted from a Martha Stewart magazine


  1. I would love it if someone gave me these for Christmas. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you came by and linked up your almonds.

  2. Sorry I missed your comment somehow. Thanks for stopping by. I love your blog and look forward to reading about your sweets :)