Creamy, chewy, crunchy, and buttery cashew clusters covered in sweet caramel and salted white chocolate.
Now that Sally’s Candy Addiction book tour has come to a close (still working on a few random stops through the year, stay tuned Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Canada!) and I’ve made 598 batches of caramels and toffee for all the book tour stops, I have… more candy for you.
I don’t call it an addiction for nothing.
Caramel candy to be exact. In the form of a cluster, similar to a turtle candy but we’ll swap out pecans for buttery cashews and semi-sweet chocolate for creamy white chocolate. All that with a sprinkle of crushed cashew and sea salt on top? No wonder we’re all addicted.
I have a traditional caramel turtle recipe in Sally’s Candy Addiction and while demoing the recipe in front of my Philadelphia readers a couple weeks ago, I felt inspired to shake things up a bit. Maybe it’s all the regular chocolate I’ve been eating or the fact that WHITE CHOCOLATE & CARAMEL IS EVERYTHING in my life. Shouting, sorry. But for real– how incredible are white chocolate and caramel together? You’re going to love them in these easy cashew clusters.
There are a couple ways you can make today’s white chocolate caramel cashew clusters. The first is with a completely from-scratch caramel, in all of its thick and creamy glory. Or you can totally take a shortcut and melt store-bought caramel squares down with some heavy cream. The choice is completely yours and the two taste pretty much identical. I suggest Kraft caramel squares if you go with the second option.
The caramel made from scratch (pictured below) is made with a candy thermometer. Don’t get scared! You can conquer it. A candy thermometer actually makes your candy making adventures easier because it literally tells you when the candy is ready. In fact, I’d be scared not to use it. Know what I mean? You can find the full recipe on page 93 in Sally’s Candy Addiction, so use the book to make today’s recipe. But, again, you can use the cheater’s method with caramel squares. You won’t need the cookbook or a candy thermometer for that!
There’s only 3 easy steps: make caramel, arrange clusters, chill.
The pictures pretty much write the recipe for me.
The caramel sets and becomes that fabulously chewy caramel, stretching as long as can be when you take each bite. Omg, pure candy heaven.
Will you just look at this?! ↓ ↓
This is the candy to make if you’re afraid to make candy. Which you shouldn’t be because if you own Sally’s Candy Addiction, you know just how approachable candy is. It’s candy making, simplified.
What I love most about these white chocolate caramel cashew clusters (say that 3x fast) is all the varying texture. We’ve got smooth and buttery cashews, chewy and thick caramel, sweet and fabulously creamy white chocolate, then a slightly crunch from crumbled cashews and flecks of sea salt on top. They’ll only take about an hour of your time and most of that hour is letting the chocolate set on top. And the best part is that these white chocolate caramel cashew clusters can be made ahead of time and frozen. They won’t lose their texture nor will their taste be compromised.
I loooove them warmed up for about 5 seconds in the microwave. Paired with a cup of coffee. Followed by 6 more clusters because what is self control.
Let me know if you try them this weekend!
An easy no-bake recipe for white chocolate caramel cashew clusters using only 4 simple ingredients. They’re creamy, chewy, crunchy, and buttery!
2 and 1/2 cups (375g) cashew halves*
8 ounces (226g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped*
sea salt for sprinkling
30caramel squares, unwrapped (I like Kraft caramels)
1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Arrange 35 clusters of cashews each with 1-2 inches between them. Use about 11-12 cashew halves per cluster. Set a couple extra cashew aside if you have any. You can crush them up to sprinkle on top of the clusters in step 4.
Place the caramels in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Pour cream on top and microwave for 3 minutes total, stopping and stirring every 20 seconds. It’s a lot of stirring, but it’s imperative to prevent the caramels from scorching. If the caramel seems too thick after 3 minutes, stir in 1-2 more Tablespoons of cream. Spoon 2 teaspoons of caramel onto the center of each cluster. Set aside as you melt the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or use a double boiler. If using the microwave, place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes, stopping and stirring every 20 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Spoon melted chocolate on top of each cluster, then top each with any crushed cashews (from step 2) and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Allow the chocolate to completely set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before enjoying. Store leftover clusters in the refrigerator.
Freezing Instructions: Clusters can made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Cashews: You can use whole cashews instead, though you might need less cashews per cluster.
White Chocolate: Use pure white chocolate. I prefer either Ghirardelli, Baker’s, or Lindt brands, all found in the baking aisle. Do not use chocolate chips; they are not ideal for melting or coating.
Homemade Caramel: If you’d rather make homemade caramel from scratch, use my Caramel For Dipping recipe found on page 93 in Sally’s Candy Addiction. You’ll need the full recipe for these white chocolate caramel cashew clusters. If you don’t have the book, use this shortcut method with store-bought caramels. Both caramels are fantastic! I’ve gotten some questions about using my salted caramel recipe. Don’t use that– it’s liquid caramel drizzle, not thick caramel like the Caramel For Dipping in my cookbook or the Easy Caramel recipe above.
Keywords: caramel cashew clusters, white chocolate cashew clusters
Look at the salted dark chocolate almond turtles I made for Diamond’s blog the other week. Oh my gosh, the texture… the taste… the salted chocolate!