I love to give gifts from my kitchen. I’ve been making cookies and candies for almost my entire marriage to give as gifts during the holidays. These chocolate mixed nut clusters paired with some Christmas cookies in a holiday gift tin or on a tray make a lovely gift for offices, neighbors, teachers, and friends or as a hostess gift in a budget-friendly way.
Years ago when I started making holiday tins and trays I did it because I wanted to remember those who help us all year. People like the staff of our pediatrician’s office, our postal carrier, our vet’s office, you get the point. Those you wouldn’t buy an individual gift for typically but still want to remember.
When thinking about food gifts there are a few things to consider like how many will your tray need to serve? Are you looking for a variety or will one type of candy or cookie do? What I love about cookies and candy as food gifts is the recipes make quite a bit so it’s easy to give a bit of variety.
These chocolate mixed nut clusters make about 20 if you make them small, fewer if you make them large like I did in the photos. I’ve made nut clusters many times in the past but I’ve only used one type of nut. Peanuts, almonds, pecans so I had a tin of mixed nuts and decided to try it. I loved this new variety. I’m a milk chocolate lover so I used good quality (Ghirardelli) milk chocolate chips.
But if you like other nuts or dark chocolate feel free to mix it up. My only advice would be to NOT use white chocolate as your primary chocolate. I find it doesn’t melt well. Rather, use it to drizzle on top of your clusters for a nice presentation.
Many of my food blogger friends are also sharing food gift ideas from seasoning mixes to drink mixes to oils and snacks. Something for everyone on your gift list.
- 10.3 ounce can mixed nuts
- 11.5 ounce milk chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon Crisco shortening
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- In a heavy pan over low heat melt milk chocolate chips and shortening, stirring frequently until almost melted. When almost melted continue stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Add mixed nuts and stir to coat all nuts with chocolate.
- Drop by tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator until set. Store covered in refrigerator.