My cousin boasted his post-Easter chocolate bunny find was even tastier at 50% off. It was then that I thought, well now I need chocolate, too. But we had just survived another candy-free Easter, and I felt compelled to stay healthy and allergen-friendly. No sneaking discount-bin chocolate bunnies into this closet. As Easter goes, we get creative. We’ve done everything from books and coins to stickers and office supplies. “Hey, Mom, remember that time the Easter Bunny left us sticky notes????” It was with this in mind I salivated over the thought of chocolate delights. But they had to be something easy to make and even easier to enjoy. Vegan Chocolate Cashew Clusters fit the bill. They were my discount-bin chocolate bunny.
I played around with various types of chocolate, however, in the end I came back to my tried and true Enjoy Life brand dairy-free milk chocolate chips. As is, this chocolate cluster recipe is vegan. However, for a paleo-friendly recipe, stick with dark chocolate. Enjoy Life has an option for that, too, I believe.
I also stuck with a pound of raw cashews for the purest flavor and one standard package of milk chocolate chips. You may be wondering, can you substitute other nuts in this recipe? Definitely. Think almonds, pecans, or an all-of-the-above combination.
I then added a tablespoon of coconut oil to help the chocolate firm, and topped the clusters with sea salt, a No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Truffles discovery. Chocolate and sea salt are a combination right up there with Tony and Ziva, Awesomely Luvvie and cackle-inducing humor, Jessica Fletcher and her typewriter, and Randy Rainbow and whatever song he happens to be singing at the moment. If you haven’t topped your chocolate with sea salt yet, then, well, now is the time.
If you are wondering what the best tool is for creating your delicious Vegan Chocolate Cashew Clusters, then let me just say, almost anything goes. Teaspoons and tablespoons work well. Surprisingly, I found ice cream scoops will do the trick, too. They are perfect for plopping. Parchment-lined cooking sheets also work well for holding the clusters in place, and if you find your clusters start to sprawl, then give your chocolate cashew mixture a good stir before the next scoop.
Use any leftover chocolate as a drizzle for your clusters and get them straight into the refrigerator. Then wait for the chocolate to firm up, and, finally, DIG IN. Store Vegan Chocolate Cashew Clusters in either the fridge or tightly wrapped in the freezer.
While there is something so enticing about discount-bin chocolate, if you have to stay away from all the allergens, then go for a batch or 20 of Vegan Chocolate Cashew Clusters.
- 10 oz. bag vegan chocolate chips (dark chocolate for paleo version)
- 1 pound raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- pinch of sea salt for garnish
- Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil.
- Pour cashews into melted chocolate.
- Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, drop cluster mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet. If clusters spread too much, then stir mixture again before next scoop.
- Store in refrigerator immediately to solidify.