Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chocolate Almond & Orange Clusters

Chocolate Almond & Orange Clusters
Adapted from The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook

Prep time: 20 minutes
Freezer time: 1 hour or longer

Makes 24 clusters

2 cups whole almonds
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
¼ cup fat free half-and-half
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ - ¾ tsp finely grated orange zest

1. Heat oven to 350°F/180°C. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them until fragrant – about 6 -8 minutes. Let them cool before coarsely chopping them and set aside.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.

3. In a double boiler (or makeshift one - metal or glass bowl set over a pot of gently boiling water – the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl) combine the chocolate chips, half-and-half and vanilla. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. This only takes a couple of minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the almonds and zest. Mix until the almonds are completely coated.

5. Drop by the tablespoon onto the baking sheet. Freeze for at least 1 hour before removing them to a serving platter.

Warning – unlike M & M’s these DO melt in your hands so keep them cold!

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