Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rocky Road Granola Clusters - Fun homemade gift

Today is going to be a short post. We have wonderful guests visiting us, and I was able to finish these neighbor holiday gifts just before their arrival. But now that they're here, we want to go out, not be inside on the computer.

This is a tribute to the season, for anyone looking for something wonderful and easy to make homemade, as a low-cost, delicious, made with love gift for family, friends or neighbors during Advent. How delicious are they? Tim liked these so much, he told me I was never allowed to make them again, they're too dangerous to have in the house. I actually thought they were a bit too sweet, but I err on the lower end of the sweet spectrum. For the holidays, I think most people like to indulge.

This would also be a fun project to do with little bakers in the house. All that's required is mixing and spooning the mix onto baking sheets to harden.

My gift to the neighbors...

Rocky Road Granola Clusters
from Safeway

1 (16-oz.) package chocolate candy coating, chopped (I used chocolate chips, and they worked fine. But they do not melt easily in the microwave, and if not watched and strirred, can burn)
2 tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped granola bars
3/4 cup sesame sticks or thin pretzels
3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted (I forgot to add these, and was still great!)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
12 caramels, chopped

Combine chocolate coating and shortening in a large microwave-safe bowl; cover loosely with heavy-duty plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 11/2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Stir in peanut butter. Let stand 2 minutes. Stir in granola bars, sesame sticks, and almonds. Stir in marshmallows and caramels last so they don't melt. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment or wax paper. Let clusters stand until firm.

Easy peasy.

Guten appetit!

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