Homemade Candy Week: Pecan & Caramel Chocolate Clusters

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!


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  1. dani wrote:

    OMG! i seriously just drooled at work LOL

    i hope i can find the time during the holidays to make these awesome littel treasures…..

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  2. Ohhhh, it looks so delicious! They had a candy counter at Hallmark?? How funny.

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  3. Beautiful! What’s prettier, the photo or candy? Very, very nice. So glad to have participated in this with you.

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  4. Maria wrote:

    Great holiday treat and for a great cause!

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  5. It’s never a bad thing to go heavy on the chocolate!

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  6. Jeanette wrote:

    So happy to be participating in this event with fellow bloggers like you. These look like tasty treats!

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  7. 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 :).

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  8. Your pecan caramel clusters turned out beautifully… I just finished having dinner, and now I’m craving these for dessert!

    Posted 12.14.10 Reply
  9. Tammy wrote:

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

    Posted 12.18.10 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      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!

      Posted 12.18.10 Reply
  10. Meryl wrote:

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

    Posted 11.3.11 Reply