Are you ready for Christmas baking? December is absolutely my favorite time of the year, and I love nothing more than baking Christmas cookies and goodies. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the classics and a few other new finds sprinkled in for good measure. While I love eating nut clusters, I had never actually made them myself; once I saw this insanely easy slow cooker recipe, it was only a matter of time!
My aunt shared this recipe on her Facebook page and I immediately saved the link. Two types of peanuts, two types of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, AND you can make it in a slow cooker? I was immediately sold, and I think you will be, too.
It took me literally five minutes to make this. Everything gets dumped into the slow cooker, cover, turn on low, and let it go for 2 hours. At that point, it’s likely that everything will be melted (mine was), but if you need more time, an additional 30 minutes should be all you need. I experimented with scooping the nut clusters out in a variety of ways – with a large spoon, with a medium cookie scoop, and then I just poured the mixture into a parchment-lined pan and broke it into pieces. My verdict? I liked the clusters scooped with a cookie scoop the best – they were the most uniform and by far the most pleasing to the eye, which is important when it comes to Christmas cookie trays, right?! :)
While I am immensely partial to peanuts, you could absolutely make this with any type of nut you like, or a combination of them. My father-in-law even suggested skipping the nuts and using coconut for coconut clusters. There are tons of possibilities, and these little clusters would make fantastic holiday gifts – just place in a clear cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon!
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Layer all of the ingredients in order in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. [NOTE: While I have made this multiple times without an issue, it seems that many people have experienced the ingredients burning. I would recommend stirring all of the ingredients together and checking on it and stirring every 30 minutes to avoid an issue.]
Remove the lid and stir to combine. If not all of the chocolate is melted, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes on low.
Using a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop mounds of the clusters onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Allow to sit at room temperature until completely set, 1 to 2 hours. The clusters can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. They also freeze very well!