Homemade Candy Week: Pecan & Caramel Chocolate Clusters

by Kathy Strahs on December 13, 2010 · 13 comments

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Welcome to Homemade Candy Week on Cooking On the Side! I had a blast last weekend trying out recipes for several sweet indulgences and I’m excited to share them with you. Alternatively, I could have deemed this “Chocolate Week” as we’ve got chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I figured most of you would be pretty all right with that.

Share Our Holiday TableFirst up are Pecan & Caramel Chocolate Clusters. I’m happy to say that these decadent goodies are participating as a Gourmet dessert for Share Our Holiday Table, a seven-day, online progressive dinner series that will help raise funds for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign during the critical holiday period. No Kid Hungry™ is an unprecedented, five-year effort designed to end childhood hunger in America. Especially at this time of year when many of us are gathering together and sharing holiday feasts with one another it’s important to remember that there are many people – children included – who don’ t have enough to eat. I’ve made a donation to the campaign – I hope many of you will join me.

A little known fact: I actually worked behind the candy counter at a Hallmark store during high school. My best friend and I took it upon ourselves to “become well versed in” all the items we sold in the chocolate case, and thus my first introduction to caramel “turtles”. To me, pecans, caramel and milk chocolate is the holy trinity of candy. Biting into one of these clusters and tasting that silky caramel stretch out from under the chocolate… it just doesn’t get any better.

Surprisingly, I ended up with quite a bit of extra caramel when I prepared this recipe, from a Ghirardelli chocolate wrapper. I definitely used a generous hand when dolloping out the caramel. Evidently I was even more generous when it came to the chocolate, as I actually had to double up on that in order to cover all twenty-four pieces to my liking. I guess that’s the beauty of making your own candy – the final product is completely up to you. As long as each piece had plenty of pecans, caramel and chocolate I knew I’d love every bite.

Pecan & Caramel Chocolate Clusters

Be sure to check out the rest of the Share Our Holiday Table desserts!

Gourmet:

Family Friendly:

Vegetarian:

Gluten-Free

See the Recipe Index for all the recipes on Cooking On the Side.

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dani December 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM

OMG! i seriously just drooled at work LOL

i hope i can find the time during the holidays to make these awesome littel treasures…..
dani´s last blog post ..81 Cinnamon Bread Pudding

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Lori @ RecipeGirl December 14, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Ohhhh, it looks so delicious! They had a candy counter at Hallmark?? How funny.
Lori @ RecipeGirl´s last blog post ..Calphalon Roaster Giveaway &amp Peanut Butter Christmas Cookie Recipe

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Lexie | Lexie's Kitchen December 14, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Beautiful! What’s prettier, the photo or candy? Very, very nice. So glad to have participated in this with you.

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Maria December 14, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Great holiday treat and for a great cause!

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Carol Peterman December 14, 2010 at 11:10 AM

It’s never a bad thing to go heavy on the chocolate!

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Jeanette December 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM

So happy to be participating in this event with fellow bloggers like you. These look like tasty treats!
Jeanette´s last blog post ..Sharing Our Holiday Table Pomegranate Poached Pear Recipe

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Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie December 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I love how easy this recipe sounds! Sometimes candies that involve making caramel seem quite difficult and time consuming….and I’m just too impatient for that :).
Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie´s last blog post ..Spice Cake Ice Cream

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Daydreamer Desserts December 14, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Your pecan caramel clusters turned out beautifully… I just finished having dinner, and now I’m craving these for dessert!
Daydreamer Desserts´s last blog post ..Chocolate Crunch Snowball Cookies

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Tammy December 18, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Not sure if I did something wrong or my candy thermometer was off but my caramel part was pretty tough/hard. :(

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Kathy December 18, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Oh man. It could be your thermometer, I recently learned that they can sometimes be a little off and it can make a real difference when it comes to making candy. It definitely turns from liquid to chewy as it cools (that’s why they have you let it cool for just two minutes). Also, if you store the candy in the fridge it’ll harden but will come back to it’s chewy state once you bring it back to room temperature. I hope you’ll give it another try!

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Meryl November 3, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Thanks so much for posting these. I made them twice already, and kept the temperature at 240 F. Totally addictive!

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Kathy Strahs November 3, 2011 at 4:54 PM

That’s so great to hear!

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