- Line a cookie sheet or tray with foil or parchment paper; grease foil or paper. For each cluster, on the prepared cookie sheet, arrange five pecan halves in a single layer close together.
- In a small heavy saucepan cook and stir caramels and milk over medium-low heat until mixture is smooth. Spoon caramel mixture over pecan clusters. Let stand about 30 minutes or until caramel is set.
- In a medium heavy saucepan cook and stir dark chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove 1/4 cup of the melted chocolate; set aside. Spoon the remaining melted chocolate over clusters; gently spread chocolate to edges of clusters. Let stand about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set (if necessary, chill for 5 to 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, if desired, in a small microwave-safe bowl combine white chocolate and shortening. Microwave on 100% power (high) about 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Spread melted white chocolate over clusters.
- Fill a small resealable plastic bag with the reserved melted dark chocolate; snip a small hole in one corner of the bag. Drizzle dark chocolate over clusters. If desired, sprinkle with salt. Let stand until chocolate is set.
From the Test Kitchen
Layer clusters between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Nutrition Facts (Chocolate-Caramel Clusters)
- Per serving:
- 255 kcal ,
- 16 g fat
- (6 g sat. fat ,
- 3 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 6 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 1 mg chol. ,
- 53 mg sodium ,
- 26 g carb. ,
- 2 g fiber ,
- 16 g sugar ,
- 3 g pro.