Chewy Chocolate Caramel and Sea Salt Almond Clusters
Yields: about 2 cups Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour minutes
Just 6 ingredients, gluten free and a base of heart healthy almonds, these little bites are a perfect balance of sweet chocolate and caramel with a touch of savory sea salt. Plus, they are hard to stop eating!
1 1/2 cups almonds
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1. Prepare baking pan by lining it with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
2. In a sauce pan over low to medium heat, combine chocolate chips, brown rice syrup, coconut oil and whole milk. Slowly heat until ingredients are melted and combined.
3. Add almonds to melted chocolate and remove from heat. Once the almonds are all coated, slowly pour our chocolate covered almonds onto lined baking pan. Spread out evenly.
4. While the chocolate is still warm (so do it quickly!), sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sea salt evenly over all of the almonds. This chunkier salt is powerful, so use it sparingly over the almonds.
5. Place the tray in the freezer for about 45 minutes, so the pieces can harden a little bit. They will still be gooey, but the freezing step brings it together so you can chop up the chunks and store them easier.
6. After they have hardened, remove from the freezer. Transfer chunks to a cutting board and roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. Store in freezer (we store in Mason jars). Almonds will still be chewy, despite being in the freezer.
Have I mentioned I like chocolate? Well, I do. And I like almonds. So, this simple recipe was born.
Using brown rice syrup brings a caramel-like flavor to the almonds, maintaining a chewy texture. My husband thought it was caramel, but no, simply brown rice syrup.
I keep them in the freezer, as they do get a little melty at room temperature in the summer. The colder winter temperatures would permit counter top storage. Of course, I have no preservatives or stabilizers since these are homemade.
My kids eat these up. I mean it is chocolate! Although, my 7-year old isn’t a huge fan of whole almonds, but really enjoyed these. I think it’s the combination of chocolate and almonds that is the first winning point. And then the caramel-like quality of the brown rice syrup mixed with the chocolate just is the clincher.
Technically there is no refined sugar in these, despite there being sugar in the chocolate chips. How about this? I did not add any sugar! Does that count? There is no added sugar. Either way, these little treats have a base of almonds that are rich in magnesium, protein and vitamin E. Refined sugar or not, I can work with this treat!