Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cherry Walnut Ginger Clusters

It continues to be pretty hot in NYC which makes it hard to justify heating up the kitchen when there are lots of cheap alternatives on your block for dinner. However, I promised myself I would make something so I followed up on the recipe my coworker gave me. I have to admit I was a little skeptical about using ginger. I like ginger, but I usually think of it as what you get with sushi to cleanse your palate between pieces, which doesn't sound like it would be good when covered in chocolate. Crystallized ginger however, is a whole different ball game and makes for some pretty tasty candy if I don't say so myself. My office devoured these creations so you can expect that your coworkers or loved ones will do the same.

Ingredients
1/2 lb of crystallized ginger, chopped
1 lb of walnut pieces (don't bother buying the whole halves, waste of money if you ask me)
25 oz of Milk Chocolate (I chose Symphony bars because they were on sale)
10 oz of dried cherries


This is crystallized ginger for those such as myself who had never seen it before.

Chop the ginger into m&m size pieces. I know there is a better way to describe the size, but that is all that comes to mind right now. Add the walnuts, cherries and chopped ginger into your crockpot and mix together until evenly distributed. Break up your chocolate bars into it's individual squares and spread evenly on top of your other ingredients. Set your crockpot on low and leave it for 1-2 hours depending on if your chocolate is at room temperature. Keep a close eye on this though because it can burn if you aren't careful. Once you can see visible melting turn off the crock and stir your mixture. The chocolate should offer no resistance as you are stirring.

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spread your mixture out evenly (about a half inch layer is good). Refrigerate overnight and break apart into whatever size you like and you are ready to go. If you want to get fancy you can toast the walnuts ahead of time in a 350 degree over for 15 minutes for a little extra flavor and crunch.

Variations to this recipe are endless. You can switch any type of dried fruit, nut or chocolate in and out. Now that I look at the picture of the candy I realized I got my feet in there at the bottom of the page. Photographer I am certainly not. Almost looks like the candies are bigger than my feet (which are size 13).

9 comments:

Mallika said...

Love it. I suppose I could also do smaller clusters like cookies? Reminds me of the cereal choco clusters we made as kids.

Jared said...

Mallika,

You could definitely make the clusters any size you want.

Thank for reading!

MamaGeek said...

Again, that looks simply divine - you make it look so easy.

Jared said...

Mamageek,

Trust me it is very easy to do.

thanks for reading

SweetlyDemure said...

This sounds so yummy! What do you think of adding cereal and peanut butter to the mix? Does that sound good or kind of gross?

Anyway, thanks for the great ideas, as I have recently renewed my relationship with my slow cooker.

Jared said...

sweetlydemure,

I think cereal would be a great addition and would give the candy a nice crunch. Peanut butter is always a winner too, but I would be a little wary of mixing peanut butter with ginger. I would say keep it to one or the other, but might be worth trying both just to see how it comes out.

thanks for reading

SweetlyDemure said...

Ahhh yes. Just because ingredients taste good separately does not necessarily mean they will all taste good together. If I try the peanut butter/ginger thing (which come to think about it, works in Thai cooking, so maybe it's not so bizarre?) I will let you know my results.

dallasred said...

Test

dallasred said...

I made these with bittersweet chocolate. What a chocolate kick. Thanks