Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Clusters are delicious and easy to make with only 4 ingredients in your crock pot or stovetop.
Chocolate-covered peanuts make the perfect gift, or keep them all for yourself—you can always make more with this smaller recipe.
Peanuts—dry roasted- salted or light salted
Candy melts or almond bark—vanilla
Chocolate—Bakers chocolate bar with semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips or chunks
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Featured Comment from Jan:
" Oh my gosh! Seriously the best chocolate-covered peanuts I have ever made! I really don't know if they will last until Christmas at the rate we are "testing" them..."
This homemade chocolate nut clusters recipe uses dry roasted peanuts, chocolate chips, and Baker's™ chocolate along with almond bark or candy melts to firm up the chocolate cover.
It is the holiday season, and everybody is rushed for time. But nothing will tell your friends and family you care more than homemade candy. But don't let them know how easy (and cheap) they are to make.
This easy recipe is very forgiving—change the nuts to pecans, walnuts, or almonds, add some coconut, and switch out the almond bark for candy melts. Vary the chocolate types or even the amount. It just always works.
👨🍳How to Chocolate Peanut Clusters in a Crock Pot
1️⃣You need 1 pound of chocolate by combining chips or chunks with Baker Chocolate.
2️⃣Use a 3-quart crock pot or larger. Add 1 pound of lightly salted dry roasted peanuts. Top with chocolate and 1 pound of candy melts or chunks of almond bark.
3️⃣Cook on low with the lid on. DO NOT cook on high. Crock pots vary, so stir and check the chocolate 90 minutes into cooking. It is done when you can mix everything thoroughly. It will usually take about 2 hours.
4️⃣Allow to cool for a few minutes to firm up slightly. Then scoop heaping teaspoons of the mixture onto parchment paper lined baking sheets or just parchment on a clean countertop. Try not to make them too big. It is candy, not cookies.
5️⃣Allow to cool for about 2 hours.
For more details, keep reading. See the Recipe Card below for the VIDEO SLIDE SHOW, complete instructions, and to print.
You can do this in a large pot on the stovetop over low heat. You will need to add everything but the nuts. Stand there and frequently stir until the chocolate and the almond bark or melts combine entirely. This will take about 15 minutes to complete. Stir in the nuts at the end. You can also use a double boiler if you have one.
The crock pot method is easier, but the stovetop is faster.
🍫Chocolate options and variations
Use good-quality chocolate chips or chunks. I like semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can use milk or dark chocolate chips. Do not use the cheaper baking chips that are not real chocolate and have almost no cocoa butter—quality matters.
Add a Baker's German chocolate bar higher in cocoa butter for more flavor to make up for using the candy melts or almond bark.
The amount of chocolate to melts/bark can vary. By weight, the total amount of chocolate should be approximately equal to the weight of candy melts or almond bark. But it can vary a lot and still work.
Most white chocolate is not real chocolate since it has no cocoa powder and is usually a low level of cocoa butter. Making nut clusters with white chocolate chips needs some special attention. For a crock pot candy recipe using white "chocolate" chips, see Crock Pot White Chocolate Almond Clusters.
About almond bark and candy melts
Almond bark and candy melts will make your homemade candy harder and cover the nuts better when cooled. They are made with hydrogenated vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter and contain artificial coloring and flavoring.
Candy melts are the newer version of old-fashioned almond bark and are sold everywhere. Almond bark is harder to find. Use them interchangeably by weight.
Use only the white vanilla version of either one. The chocolate version will have artificial flavoring you do not want. If you use white almond bark, break it up to help it melt quickly.
What nuts to use?
Use lightly salted skinless peanuts—dry roasted to eliminate all water, which will affect the chocolate.
Feel free to use other nuts like walnuts, pecans, or almonds, but they should be dry-roasted to avoid moisture. If they are unsalted, a touch of salt should be considered, but be careful.
↕️Crock pot Size and making a bigger or smaller recipe
My original recipe produced 98 candies and had no variability. My current recipe makes 48 pieces and is more flexible. The serving size is about one tablespoon—use a heaping kitchen teaspoon. Make your candies a little small, says the guy who has eaten hundreds of these.
This recipe needs a slow cooker of 3-quarts or larger. A double recipe will fit in a 6-quart cooker. A half recipe will work in a 2-quart mini-crock pot.
If you use a large crock pot for the smaller recipe, it can heat faster, so in addition to my recommended check at 90 minutes into cooking, please also check at 60 minutes. But it will probably still take the whole 2 hours.
How to store chocolate peanut clusters
Chocolate peanut clusters may be kept at room temperature for 4-5 days or up to a month refrigerated in an airtight container.
You can freeze them in a freezer bag in a single layer. They will be good in a freezer for 3 months.
Moisture and chocolate do not do well together, especially when heated. It will affect the texture but can also totally ruin the candy.
No, but your chocolate candy will be better with it. With more real chocolate than chips, it will help compensate for the almond bark or candy melts lack of real chocolate.
The crock pot needs to be on low. This is not a recipe to be cooked on high. Most crock pots will slowly reach 210° over hours on low. So, it's a great slow heat to melt chocolate.
On high, some crock pots may run 250°+. They shouldn't, but they do. Also, the run-up to full temperature is much faster on the high setting. This adds a good chance of overheating the chocolate.
Yes. A common addition is dried coconut. Other things may be added, but if it is something that might release liquids, it should be after all cooking before the chocolate hardens.
Things like sprinkle candies or mini marshmallows may be added after spooning out the candy. Pastel sprinkles make a lovely Easter candy touch.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
Have you tried this recipe, or have a question? Join the community discussion in the comments.
Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Clusters
- 1 pound dry roasted peanuts - salted or light salted
- 1 pound candy melts or almond bark - vanilla
- 16 oz chocolate - Usually 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 4 oz of Bakers chocolate
- You need 1 pound of chocolate by combining chips or chunks with Baker Chocolate. Use a 3-quart crock pot or larger. Add 1 pound of lightly salted dry roasted peanuts. Top with the chocolate and 1 pound of candy melts or chunks of almond bark.
- Cook on low with the lid on. DO NOT cook on high. Crock pots vary, so stir and check the chocolate 90 minutes into cooking. It is done when you can mix everything thoroughly. It will usually take about 2 hours.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes to firm up slightly. Then scoop heaping teaspoons of the mixture onto parchment paper lined baking sheets or just parchment on a clean countertop. Try not to make them too big. It is candy, not cookies.
- Allow to cool for about 2 hours.
- Add the chocolate and almond bark or candy melts to a large pan.
- Frequently stir until the chocolate and the almond bark or candy melts combine entirely—about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the nuts at the end.
Your Own Private Notes
- For the chocolate, use brand-name chocolate chips or chunks. Use semi-sweet, milk or dark chocolate chips.
- I like to add a bar of Baker’s chocolate which will add more cocoa butter to help the almond bark. That is 12 oz. of chips and 4 oz. of Baker's chocolate usually.
- The amount of chocolate can vary. The amount of chocolate should be about equal to the candy melts (or almond bark),
- Use any dry-roasted nuts you want.
- Cook on low with the cover on. Do not cook on high.
- For the recipe as written, this fits nicely in a 3-quart crock pot. A double recipe, which I usually make, needs 6-quart or larger. A half recipe will fit in a 2-quart mini crock pot.
- Crock pots can vary, so check the chocolate at 90 minutes into cooking. It is done when you can mix everything completely, which is usually about 2 hours.
- If you use a large crock pot for a smaller recipe, it may cook a bit faster. So check the crock pot at 60 and 90 minutes into cooking.
- You may use candy "melts" or almond bark. Get the vanilla flavor since the chocolate flavor can taste odd.
- The serving size is about one tablespoon which is about one heaping kitchen teaspoon. Make them a little small.
- While still hot, give them a topping of a few candy sprinkles if you want for the kids.
- Chocolate peanut clusters are good stored at room temperature for 4-5 days. You can freeze them in a freezer bag in a single layer. They will be good in a freezer for 3 months,
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Inspired by a Food.com version of chocolate peanut clusters.
Editor's Note: Originally Published November 25, 2016. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.