Sometimes recipes comes to me in my sleep, and in this case it could very well be the best dream I've ever had. These Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunch clusters are stuffed with everything good – nuts, pretzels, crispy rice, marshmallows and caramel. They are so good, I have to hide them from myself!
These clusters make a great hostess or teacher's gift for the holidays. Place them in a box or tin lined with holiday tissue paper, or a cellophane bag tied with festive ribbon. I use Trader Joe's Belgian milk chocolate for it's creaminess, the same chocolate I use in my World's Best Chocolate Chunk Cookie. You can also switch out the almonds with pecans, peanuts or cashews if you prefer.
Salted Chocolate Caramel Crunch
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted
1/4 cup puffed rice crisps
1/4 cup pretzels, broken into pieces
mini marshmallows (36 ct.)
12 individual caramels
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toast almonds in oven for 10-15 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or bowl placed over a small pot of boiling water.
Line a 12-count cupcake pan with paper cupcake holders.
Mix almonds, puffed rice and pretzels in a bowl.
Pour a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of each paper cupcake holder.
Divide the nut-pretzel mixture between the cups (about 2 teaspoons per cup), placing the mixture on top of the melted chocolate.
Top mixture with 3 mini marshmallows.
Place a caramel on top of each cup.
Place tray in oven for about 5 minutes to melt marshmallows and caramel.
Cover with another teaspoon of melted chocolate, and top with a pinch of flaky sea salt.
Cool in freezer for thirty minutes.
Remove clusters from paper holders, and allow them to come to room temperature before eating.