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LCHF Chocolate Nut Clusters

ingredients and materials:
  12 oz chocolate chips (bittersweet and/or semisweet)
  20 oz nuts (eg roasted almonds)
  2 pieces parchment paper (each about the size of a cookie sheet)

1. Heat chocolate in microwave until mostly melted (stir every 10-15 
   seconds to ensure it doesn't burn). Mix until smooth. Let cool slightly.
2. Mix in nuts to coat.
3. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls (3/4 oz each) onto parchment paper
   (if using roasted almonds, about 10-12 almonds per cluster)
4. Cool. Store in airtight container.
Makes about 48 clusters, each about 120 calories, 4 grams protein, and 6 grams net carbs (assuming roasted almonds).

I got the idea for this recipe from kendo mom Janet's wonderful yum yum cookies, made from white chocolate, crispy cereals, and peanuts. Unfortunately, none of those ingredients is particularly good for a LCHF diet. So I thought, why not simply make dark chocolate clusters using tree nuts?

For my first attempt, I used bittersweet chocolate, and way too much of it. I used up all the almonds I had on hand, then all the salted mixed nuts, and finally a good amount of walnuts before I had enough nuts to balance out the chocolate. Despite the weird mix of nuts, it tasted ok, though on the dark side, and the raw almonds and especially the raw walnuts gave it a non-crunchy texture,

For the second attempt, I used 6 oz bittersweet (60% cacao) and 6 oz semisweet (51% cacao) chocolate. I also roasted two cookie sheets worth of almonds in the oven (10-12 minutes at 350 degrees). After painstakingly measuring and adding almonds to get the right consistency for this amount of chocolate, it turned out I had twice as many almonds as I needed. I could have roasted just 25 ounces of raw almonds on one cookie sheet (but no problem; the extra roasted almonds make a good snack on their own).

I purposely didn't cool the almonds before adding them to the chocolate, which was a huge mistake, because it caused hideous cloudy patches in the chocolate as the nuts cooled and let off steam. Luckily, the clusters tasted great anyway, despite looking like they were covered in beige mildew.

Using thoroughly cooled nuts is definitely the way to go, unless you want the mildew effect for an antitheft deterrent at the office!

This article is part of the seeking42 recipe series.

Updated 1402.20 to add protein count.

If you wish to comment on this post, see the companion blogspot entry.

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