Hazelnut and Cherry Caramel Clusters
- 4 ounces white chocolate or white chocolate baking squares, chopped
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped hazelnuts (filberts) or almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup dried tart red cherries or dried cranberries
- 12 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
- 2 teaspoons butter
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter the foil; set baking sheet aside.
- In a small heavy saucepan melt white chocolate and shortening over low heat,
stirring constantly until smooth.
- Remove from heat; stir in hazelnuts and cherries.
- Let stand for 10 minutes to allow mixture to set up slightly.
- Drop by a rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet.
- In another small heavy saucepan combine caramels and butter. Cook and stir over
low heat until melted and smooth (if mixture is too thick to drizzle, stir in 2
teaspoons hot water).
- Remove from heat; drizzle over the candy clusters.
- Let stand for about 1 hour or until firm.
- Store tightly covered for up to 3 days.
Makes 18 pieces.