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Monday, November 19, 2007

Almond Caramel Clusters

Yesterday was one of those lazy Sundays, and I was in a compulsive, "I have to bake something fattening, so I can torture myself by not eating any" sort of moods. I remembered seeing Giada make these a few weeks back on her show and they really appealed to me.

So, I whipped up a batch of Caramel Almond Clusters and they were easy to make. I think I will make more as part of my Christmas baking this year. I scaled the recipe slightly because I had enough mini-muffin tins to make 36 of them. I had a little extra chocolate left, so to use it up (without eating it all with a spoon) I just threw some almonds and dried cranberries into it, spread it on a plate and chilled it. Then I broke it into pieces and gave it to the kids.

Mario tried one of these Almond Caramel Clusters and he said they were delicious. Normally, when I make something "bad" like this, I bring it to work, but one of these days, I'm going to get fired for trying to sabotage everyone's health. So, I think I will bring them to my Dodgeball game tonight, and get my team-mates fat instead.

Almond Caramel Clusters
makes 36 caramels

1 cup toasted slivered almonds
36 Kraft caramels
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream

1. Spray mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.

2. Divide almonds between the muffin tins (about a tsp each).

3. Using a pair of sharp, clean scissors, snip each caramel square into four little squares (for easier melting). Place 4 little squares (1 caramel) in each muffin tin on top of the almonds.

4. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes until the caramel starts to melt.

5. Place in fridge to cool for several minutes. Remove caramels from muffin tins. You might have to use the edge of a knife to help pop them out.

6. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate. Whisk in the cream.

7. Dip each caramel into chocolate until coated. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and chill until set (about 30 minutes). Store in airtight containter.