5 Ingredients + 10 minutes to make nutty, salty, mapley clusters = YES PLEASE!
Saturday: I awoke by sitting bolt up right in bed and shrieking, SNOW!? Terror. Even though I live in Toronto, where we spend almost half the year covered in snow, the first flakes are always a shock. The day didn't get much better from there, disappointing waffles, and a failed sweet potato pie. -Pie crust, you are my nemesis- The day was pretty much a wreck and left me pouting around the house. (I'm not at all a baby or over dramatic or anything).
Sunday: Daylight savings time gave me an extra hour to sleep in, I woke up to a beautiful sunny day, and enjoyed a super creamy soy latte while I created these Salted Caramel Maple Nut Clusters. Not only did these bad boys work out shockingly perfect (like really, it's kind of shocking that they stick together like they do), but they were delectably crunchy, sweet and salty. I went for a long, crisp walk on the beach (yes, beach and snow are in the same story), and then I created another successful recipe of Creamy Potato Soup, Sunday was looking mighty fine. Sunday, we can be friends.
Two more exciting things happened this week, it's hard to beat the excitement of Maple Nut Clusters, but here we go, exciting thing number one: I officially became a published author!
Something I never thought I would be. Like really, never. I'm not a fan of writing, or English, or speaking. I think speaking is my second language, not sure what the first is. My high school English teacher Mr. Mason, even wrote on my report card "Samantha is the best actor in our English class". Well, at least I was good at acting like I was good at English... right?
I realized that when I started writing about something I love → vegan food ← It's not only super fun, but kind of my favourite thing ever. So here I stand, (well sitting currently) all published and proud. You can check out my article (originally seen here) on How to Cut a Mango in the latest issue of Healthy Juicing Magazine.
Exciting thing number 2: I'm featured as a a Cooking Superstar (I'm blushing), on Cut Out + Keep. So thank you Cat for selecting me to be part of this! I'm even interviewed like a famous person might be. I feel fancy. You can read my interview here.
Speaking of fancy, did I mention Salted Caramel Maple Nut Clusters? Let's get back to what's most important in life, sugary treats.
Let's get cooking!
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
Choose whatever nuts you like. It could be all one type of nut, or a mixture, just so long as it makes 1 cup.
Chop up your nuts if they aren't already.
Now add the maple syrup, chili powder (if using), vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl.
Mix it all up!
Divide the mixture evenly among the cups, making sure that the maple syrup liquid is about the same in each cup. You might look down and think, there is now way these nuts are ever going to cluster, but just pat them down with a spoon and trust me on this.
Pop them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. The maple syrup will be boiling when you take them out. Sprinkle a bit of flake salt on each one (optional), then let them cool a bit. Pop them in the fridge to finish firming up (just speeds up the process). Store in an air tight container. They will be crunchy the first day, and if they make it to the second day, the will begin to soften up and become chewier. Try to be nice and share with friends. Make no promises.
Inspired by Quiche-a-Week Sweet & Spicy Nutty Crack Bites
- 1 cup nuts of choice (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews), chopped
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Couple pinches of flake salt (optional)
Add the nuts, maple syrup, chili powder if using , vanilla extract, and ⅛ teaspoon (or a small pinch) of salt in a bowl and mix it up. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups, making sure that the maple syrup liquid is about the same in each cup. lightly pat down each cluster with a spoon.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. The maple syrup will be boiling when you take them out. Sprinkle a bit of flake salt if using on each one, then let cool completely before enjoying.
These also work well with agave instead of maple syrup. Of course then they would be Salted Caramel Agave Nut Clusters. If you go this route, they won't be bubbling when you take the out of the oven, but should look tightened up.