Chocolate Peanut Crackle Clusters

These chocolatey peanutty clusters are a sweet treat to serve when guests drop by unexpectedly. Serve them on their own or with a cup of coffee.

  • Cooking time: 55 minutes
  • Makes: 40 clusters



¾ cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) water
squeeze of lemon juice
1¼ cup (300 mL) peanuts
6 oz (180 g) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup (60 mL) dried apricots, cut into thin slivers
¼ cup (60 mL) dried cherries or cranberries
cocoa powder (optional)


Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water and lemon juice. Set over high heat, swirling pan until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently. At this point watch carefully as the sugar mixture can quickly turn from the perfect colour to burnt. Without stirring, continue to boil, swirling pan occasionally until a deep caramel colour, 4 to 8 minutes. Stir in ¾cup (175 mL) peanuts until coated.

Immediately pour onto prepared pan. Coat a wooden spoon with cooking spray, and use the back to spread the peanut mixture evenly on the pan. Cool completely. Place in a food processor and pulse to chop (some will be fine and some coarse). 

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat or microwave just melted. Stir in apricots, cranberries, peanut brittle mixture and remaining peanuts. Place small spoonfuls of the mxiture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Dust with cocoa.