In the spirit of Halloween, I decided we would have a contest. We made 3 kinds of chocolate clusters, then in a notebook, gave each one to five stars. Orange Apricot Clusters were the winner. This is due to the fact that it was the favorite of both Zoe and I. Andy, on the other hand, detests anything that is orange flavored, other than oranges themselves. His favorite was Cherry, while Zoe and I preferred Coffee over Cherry. Ashley loved them all.
It was really fun and easy making our own "Halloween candy," and much healthier. I can tell you we wont be waiting till next October to make these again! By buying (dairy free) dark chocolate I can control the kind and amount of sweetener. It's nice to know the kids aren't eating candy that's full of refined sugar and corn syrup, which, despite recent commercials, is really bad for you. Let us know if you try some yourself!
Orange Apricot Clusters:
Melt 1/2 cup 72% dark chocolate in a double boiler (a bowl sitting on top of a pot of simmering water). Once it is just melted, remove from heat and add:
1 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 drop of orange extract (I like to drop the orange extract onto a spoon away from the bowl, just in case. Last week I accidentally poured it directly over a bowl and ruined the whole thing.)
Stir to combine. Add:
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 dried chopped apricots
Mix the ingredients. Drop teaspoon sized bites onto a cookie sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. Refrigerate.
Once they are solid they can be removed from the cookie sheet and stored (in the refrigerator) in a container with a lid.
Coffee - Substitute apricots with chopped, pitted dates, and orange extract with 1/4 tsp coffee extract.
Cherry - Substitute apricots with dried cherries, and hold the orange extract.