30 In Desserts

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Clusters

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Clusters | A Couple Cooks

We like to think of chocolate as a natural food, which I think qualifies these little clusters as a “whole foods” holiday treat? Compared to the gingersnap peppermint ice cream sandwiches, the preparation is a dream: quick and simple. Melt the chocolate, add cranberries and pistachios, and cool in refrigerator. Easy as that, and the result is so so delicious, especially with a quality dark chocolate. With the contrasting red and green of the pistachios, they’re fun and festive without the need for colored sugar or icing. And, dare I say, healthy? (Or maybe, comparatively not so unhealthy?)

Some people just ooze baking and cookies practically fall off of them as they walk…insanely talented friends Annie, Sarah, Ashlae, and Kathryn come to mind. For those of you who don’t consider yourself a natural-born baker (both Alex and I included), these are perfect holiday treats to whip up. They’re also a great gluten-free option if you’re looking for something for the holiday table.

How are you feeling about the holidays so far — do you celebrate? This year, we’re resolved to enjoy and not let stress get the better of us. It can be easy to just go through the motions, or worse yet get so wrapped up in keeping it all together that the season becomes joy-less. Instead, we’re hoping to take a deep breath and enjoy each moment for what it is…with a few of these chocolately morsels in tow :)

These clusters are best when made with a high-quality chocolate. We used Guittard’s Akoma Extra Semisweet Chocolate Chips, which also happen to be Fair Trade certified! Take this opportunity to support a chocolate you believe in.  

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Clusters | A Couple Cooks

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Clusters
 
by:
Serves: 32
What You Need
  • 12 ounces (2 cups) high-quality dark chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup salted pistachios (or substitute roasted salted pepitas)
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
What To Do
  1. Line two baking sheets with wax paper.
  2. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Place 2 cups chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl (metal or glass). Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate in the water, then stir until melted.
  3. Drop a small mound of chocolate onto wax paper, then top each mound with 4 to 5 cranberries and 4 to 5 pistachios.
  4. Cool in the refrigerator until hardened (30 minutes to 1 hour).

 

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Shanna
    December 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I like the hand sneaking in in the bottom pic. : ) These look great, guys!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Haha, yeah, I just couldn’t wait! Thanks :)

  • Reply
    Jess
    December 4, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Love the simplicity and festive look of these desserts. You’re so right – it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle this time of year, but just taking a step back to enjoy the moment is so key. Happy holidays and here’s hoping for little stress and a little extra chocolate. ;)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Cheers to that! Thanks, Jess!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    December 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Love the simplicity to these – they’re super pretty too!

  • Reply
    steph@stephsbitebybite
    December 4, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I can’t even imagine how many of these I could gobble up!

  • Reply
    amy
    December 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Yes, I think you have just provided me with the answer to “what should I make for the neighbors this year?” Simple and festive – thanks!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Great idea! This would definitely be a good one for a gift for friends or neighbors. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Deanna Brzeg
    December 4, 2013 at 10:46 am

    This is a must to make!

  • Reply
    Skye
    December 4, 2013 at 10:53 am

    For some reason pistachios just say Christmas to me. I don’t know if it’s a simple as because they’re green or if there’s just something so very decadent and festive about them. Love the idea of mixing them with chocolate and cranberries. Triple Christmas.

  • Reply
    Susan
    December 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Just this year, I realized that I LOVE pistachios and I’ve long been a dark chocolate fan – I WILL be making these soon!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    December 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

    This is my kind of dessert!

  • Reply
    Linda Wagner @ Linda Wagner Nutrition
    December 4, 2013 at 11:50 am

    These are PERFECT!! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Lisa in Indy
    December 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks for the great idea. So easy. I think I would drop the melted chocolate by teaspoonful into tiny muffin-like paper cups first and then add the pistachios and dried cranberries. That way, you have the same size pieces and you don’t have to handle them to pry them off the parchment. Plus, people eating them don’t get chocolately fingers. (no, I’m not being compulsive like Martha!)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Good idea! Muffin cups would add a fun element. Thanks for mentioning!

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    December 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Ha, you are too kind! I wish cookies really did fall off me as I walked – I’m pretty sure I’d be the most popular person in the office!

    I love the simplicity of these – it’s such a classic and perfect combination of flavours with such a great balance of sweet/salty/tart. Love them.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Haha, wouldn’t that be nice? At least in my head that’s what happens when you walk :) Thanks for being an inspiration!

  • Reply
    Grace
    December 5, 2013 at 12:26 am

    YUM! I’m going to make these this weekend. Love the light in the last picture.

    • Reply
      Linda Wagner @ Linda Wagner Nutrition
      December 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      I agree, great shot, sharing these with my clients and on my blog tomorrow!

      • Reply
        Sonja
        December 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        Wonderful – thanks, Linda!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks, Grace! Let us know how they turn out!

  • Reply
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina
    December 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    These look scrumptious. I love the salty combination of the pistachios with the chocolate!

  • Reply
    sarah
    December 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks, friends! And these look delicious. I’ll have to add them to my Christmas baking list. ;)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      You’re so welcome – thanks for inspiring us!

  • Reply
    Paula
    December 6, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I love the idea of these, but I have a cashew allergy (with pistachios being in that “family”). I was thinking about using pepitas in their place as they are also have a green hue. What are your thoughts on the flavor combination? Just looking for thoughts before I make a huge batch! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Paula, I think pepitas is a great idea! The flavor combination would be perfect (I think), especially if they are salted since it would bring in the salt. I will actually list this as a substitution in the recipe!

  • Reply
    Olivia Lane
    December 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    found you via Fair Trade Certified’s post on FB. Those clusters look incredible! i gotta get my guy to make me some. I’d like cardamon in mine too.

  • Reply
    Rachel (teacher-chef)
    December 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    These are absolutely delicious, I just whipped up a few for a gathering this weekend. I also mixed in some of the nuts and cranberries into the melted chocolate. The flavor combination is not expected, but so perfect!

  • Reply
    Meghan
    December 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I just made these for a French class Christmas party, and they turned out great!! They weren’t difficult to make, and you can’t get much better than just three ingredients. Thank you so much for the great recipe! :)

  • Reply
    Michelle
    December 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Yumm! I’ll be making these to bring to book club this week. Do you get your fair trade chocolate online? Amazon? I’m always wondering where to find more information about where to buy fair trade locally.

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