R is for Recipes: Grandma’s Chocolate Raisin Clusters
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For many years my maternal grandmother made a batch of these chocolate raisin clusters for my dad each Christmas. My father has a huge sweet tooth and these have always been one of his favorite chocolate treats. My dear grandmother passed away when I was in my early 20’s. She was a wonderful cook and baker and had many creative outlets and special touches. She is still dearly missed and left behind a legacy of recipes and traditions. I soon decided to take over the tradition of making the chocolate raisin clusters myself and have now been giving them to my dad every year at Christmas also. This is a wonderful and simple recipe. Are you ready to make some of your own chocolate raisin clusters? Here we go:
- A double boiler pan is a must for melting chocolate without burning it. I only use mine a few times a year but I find that it is totally worth the investment.
- This is an old recipe and I must admit that having paraffin wax as an ingredient used to make me nervous; however, I have done some research and found that it is not uncommon to add paraffin to chocolate candy recipes to make it shiny and hold together better. It probably is not the best thing to eat, but in moderation should do no harm. Just read the packaging to make sure the paraffin you have is edible / suitable to be used in food.
- I buy this brand of paraffin and have not had problems with it.
- If you have used a healthier alternative to paraffin in your chocolate candy, I would love to hear your recommendations in the comment section.
- Although you can drop the clusters on to wax paper directly on your counter top or table, I like to cover baking sheets or large cutting boards with wax paper to drop the clusters onto – this technique allows you to move the clusters while they are drying if necessary.
- I imagine that you could make peanut clusters in the same way by substituting peanuts for the raisins, but I have not tried it myself. Dried cherries or cranberries might be a nice substitution as well.
This recipe is sure to become a family favorite for you too. They make a nice addition to a Christmas cookie tray, but can be made all year long. The recipe yields 4 dozen clusters so packaging some up as a gift is a snap. How about making up a batch for your sweetie for Valentine’s Day? Let me know how this recipe turns out for you and if you try any substitutions. Happy candy making, my friends! Xoxo
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