Many people say nothing makes a better salty-sweet snack than chocolate covered nuts, and we couldn’t agree more - especially today as we celebrate National Chocolate Covered Nut Day. The National Soybean Research Laboratory is pleased to provide our “Candy Cluster” recipe. Complete with chocolate and butterscotch, this recipe is as tasty as it is pretty and one that will become one of your favorites.
Nuts, known for their “snackability” and health benefits, are among the oldest cultivated foods. Some reports say that they became a staple of human diets more than 780,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence from Israel also suggests that prehistoric humans created nutcrackers from rocks, called “nutting stones.”
This evidence has also shown that the most popular nuts were wild almonds, pistachios and acorns. Now, almonds and pistachios are still commonly used, with one of the most popular nuts being peanuts.
However, peanuts really aren’t nuts; they are goobers. Goobers are a member of the pea family, but still represent many of the characteristics we now recognize as belonging to nuts. Originating in South America, peanuts were introduced to Africa and Europe by Spanish and Portuguese slave traders. Later, they made their way to the U.S. and in the 20th century were processed into peanut oil and peanut butter.
Even though peanuts aren’t technically nuts, we think it’s just fine to celebrate with them. For this wonderful holiday, enjoy these Candy Clusters that include the crunchy goodness of soy nuts. And remember to share with your co-workers, family, and friends!
This recipe was originally published in our Soy for the Last Minute Chef. This cookbook along with other soy cookbooks may be purchased at https://ecommerce.aces.illinois.edu/ICSF/
For a pretty presentation, make two batches, one using chocolate and one using butterscotch, and use half a teaspoon of each to make a cluster.
1 cup (6 oz.) milk chocolate chips (or butterscotch chips)
1/3 cup plain or honey roasted soy nuts
1/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup raisins
- Place chocolate chips or butterscotch chips in a small, microwave-safe mixing bowl. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until the chips are melted.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto waxed paper and refrigerate until firm.
Makes 20: Per serving (1 piece): 73 calories, 2 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fat (1.4 grams saturated)