(they taste much better than they look!)
For many years now I have been making a chocolate candy recipe called “Tortoises”, a basic crunchy nut cluster* that appeared in many a Christmas gift tin. I had written it into my recipe book so long ago that I don’t remember where it even came from, but it is super easy and can be made really quickly on top of the stove. I have no real idea why they are called tortoises, except maybe aside from the fact that they are rounded, lumpy looking things.
Anyway, that recipe came to mind when I was trying to think up something to do with a bag of apple chips I picked up this week. So I dug out my little recipe book, mixed up the ingredients, and gave them a name that spoke tortoise to me.
The original recipe calls for peanut butter, but I was thinking apple cinnamon flavors, so I went with a home-made walnut butter. You can also buy walnut butter, but really, this recipe was so quick to whip up that it wasn’t a bother or extra time. (I based my walnut butter off this recipe, adding extra cinnamon for the purpose of this recipe)
This makes about 30 clusters and can easily be doubled. Start by making your nut butter:
- 2 cups toasted walnuts
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp walnut or hazelnut oil (I used the hazelnut as I had it on hand)
Place warm walnuts in food processor and mix until pureed. Add salt, honey, cinnamon and oil and puree some more. This yields slightly under one cup of nut butter. Set aside.
To a saucepan over medium heat, combine:
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- walnut butter from ^
Once everything is melted together and smooth, reduce heat and mix in:
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 cups rice krispies
- crunched up apple cinnamon chips from a 2.5 ounce bag (I used Seneca brand and just opened the top and scrunched them up in the bag, easy!)
After everything’s mixed in, drop the chocolate mixture by tablespoonfuls onto a sheet of parchment paper and leave them to set up (if you want to speed the process up, you can always stick them in the fridge or freezer even). I like to keep them in the fridge once they’re done as they can soften a little in warmer temps.
*to make the original recipe, use 1 cup plain peanut butter instead of the walnut recipe, omit the apple chips and raisins, and add in a 1/2 cup slivered almonds.