There was a fancy chocolate store near the house I lived in in my teens, and some Christmases, if we were lucky, my father would bring home a sampler box of their offerings. I hate to play favorites, especially when it comes to chocolate, but for me, pecan clusters were always the highlight of those special occasions.

These candies feature toasted pecans in chewy, salted caramel and coated with chocolate. While they definitely aren’t replicas of store-bought pecan clusters, they are easy to make and totally awesome in their own right. And since the caramel layer is sweetened with raw agave nectar, which is low on the glycemic index (but 1.3 times as sweet as sugar), they’ll give you your sweet fix without putting you in a sugar-induced coma.

These are perfectly chewy (and not too hard) right out of the freezer. They do melt into a sticky mess quickly, but you probably want your candy cold this time of year anyway!

Pecan Clusters
Recipe type: Dessert
inspired by the Macadamia Caramel Clusters over at Elana’s Pantry
  • ½ c unsalted almond butter
  • ½ c agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • scant ½ tsp salt
  • 1 c pecans, toasted
  • 1 c vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp vegan creamer
  1. Line a mini muffin tin with 24 mini muffin cups.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together almond butter and agave, stirring until smooth.
  3. Stir in vanilla, salt and pecans.
  4. Spoon mixture evenly into cups, leaving a little space for chocolate.
  5. Stick pan in freezer while you prepare the chocolate.
  6. In a double boiler, slowly heat chocolate chips and creamer.
  7. Stir frequently until all of the chips are melted.
  8. Drop a dollop of ganache on top of each caramel cup.
  9. Freeze until firm and store in freezer.