One of my sweet friends recently shared an amazing recipe with me - The Crockin' Girls Slow Cookin' Companion's Peanut Clusters. These clusters were incredibly tasty and hearkened back to my childhood days of eating Girl Scout Tagalongs, albeit, I think these might be a bit healthier. I didn't share one bit of these delectable morsels with my family. I basically snarled, "Back off, these are mine!"
Once I had this Holy Grail of recipes in my hands, I set off to my newest favorite grocery store - Aldi. If you haven't been there yet, it should be a definite to do for the holidays (just note, it does get busy from time to time). Aside from having wonderful cheeses, gourmet meats, olives, and chocolates, the store also carries a variety of goods and staples that I have found to be great quality for less money. There are countless blogs dedicated to shopping at Aldi, so I won't bore you with the details, but I have added a link to my Aldi Pinterest Board if you'd like more information.
I was on a mission to save extra money this month from groceries and Aldi definitely helped. My husband and I shaved $150 off our grocery budget and we ended up purchasing more food for less. I'm not sure how that happened, but I chalk it up to an Aldi miracle.
The Chocolate Peanut Clusters recipe has a few pricier ingredients than your average chocolate chip cookie, but I knew Aldi would be a great place to get my creative and cheap cooking (well, in this case, super easy cooking) started.
Here's my cost breakdown:
$2.19 1 (16 oz.) jar unsalted peanuts
$2.19 1 (16 oz.) jar salted peanuts
$1.49 1 (12 oz.) package of semisweet chocolate chips
$2.49 2 pounds of white almond bark (Aldi has their servings already broken apart for you)
$1.49 4 (oz.) German sweet chocolate
Total Cost: $9.85
Compare these prices to those at Wal-Mart:
$2.48 each for Great Value Peanuts peanuts
$2.48 Nestle semi sweet chocolate chips
$2.98 Plymouth white almond bark
$2.00 Baker's German chocolate
Total Cost: $12.42
(Which is really saying something, because Wal-Mart use to be the cheapest place in town!)
This recipe made an amazing amount of clusters - plenty for me and to share with friends and family! And, I didn't have to deal with all the holiday shoppers at Wal-Mart!
Chocolate Peanut Clusters
Ingredients:1 (16 oz.) jar unsalted peanuts
1 (16 oz.) jar salted peanuts
1 (12 oz.) package of semisweet chocolate chips
2 pounds of white almond bark
4 (oz.) German sweet chocolate
Directions:Use a slow-cooker liner to keep the mess to a minimum. Pour the peanuts into the cooker and mix well. Place all of the chocolate on top of the peanuts. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. After that time, remove lid and blend all the ingredients well. Scoop out even portions of the mixture onto wax or baking paper. Cool until the chocolate has hardened. This will make several dozen clusters depending on your cluster sizes.