Easy Holiday Food Gift: Spicy Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters


I have a sweet treat and quick and easy food gift to make for the holidays, Spicy Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters!


These clusters are adapted from the recipe for Spicy Chocolate Almonds in The Forest Feast Gatherings. The addition of the cayenne pepper lightly sprinkled on top to just a hint of heat and pair with the chocolate makes these clusters! I used dark chocolate chips for this recipe but feel free to use milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Substitute gold, silver or colored sanding sugar for the raw sugar sprinkled on top for a little holiday sparkle if you prefer.


The reverse side of my owl cake pedestal, used for Owl-oween, has a faux bois design, ideal for a forest feast!


Whooooo doesn’t like a double-sided cake plate or easy food gift?


Spicy Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters


12 oz. dark chocolate chips (I used Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Morsels)

3 cups roasted lightly salted mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts or nuts of choice)

Raw sugar (Turbinado Sugar)

Cayenne Pepper

Coarse or Flaky Sea Salt



Melt chocolate chips according to package directions or using preferred method. (I used the microwave being careful not to scorch.) Stir nuts into melted chocolate until well coated. Using a spoon, make small mounds of chocolate-coated nuts onto parchment or waxed paper.


Working quickly while chocolate is still warm, lightly sprinkle clusters with raw sugar, coarse or flaky sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Allow to harden at room temperature or place in refrigerate until firm. Store in a cool airtight place. May be made several days in advance.

Makes about 2 dozen clusters.

 You can find a printable recipe, here.


The winner and copy of The Forest Feast Gatherings cookbook giveaway is

Ellen (LNN61)

Ellen, I’ll be in touch with you by email and get your copy to you!


Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

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  Feathered Nest FridayFoodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party

  13 comments for “Easy Holiday Food Gift: Spicy Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters

  1. Ellen Stillabower
    December 2, 2016 at 6:55 am

    YUM!!! 😋😋😋

  2. December 2, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Dark chocolate makes them health food… right? So I’ll have two please:@)

  3. December 2, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Oooh Mary these sound and look delicious!! And so easy too!! Yes, dark chocolate makes them healthy and think of all that good protein from the nuts! :) Your gift presentation in the holiday takeout boxes is perfect. All the recipes from that book are so good and this looks like another yummy one. Linda

  4. Ellen
    December 2, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I am so very happy to be the winner of The Forest Feast Gatherings cookbook! I never expected to win and am “almost” speechless. Dark chocolate is my favorite, so this recipe is a must make. THANK-YOU ! THANK-YOU! THANK-YOU!

  5. Virginia
    December 2, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Wow Mary! Thanks for another recipe to try. I am definitely going to prepare this one to accompany my chocolate martini gift for neighbors this Christmas. The home aloners will join my husband and me at our house this year on Christmas Day for a shared meal. You have just solved my quest for something new for them to take home.

  6. Sue
    December 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Mary, where did you find those cute take home boxes?

    • December 2, 2016 at 10:48 am

      World Market :)

  7. December 3, 2016 at 12:36 am

    I can always count on you for a wonderful and easy recipe!….yes, great gifts! Now off to get some of those cute take-out boxes!

  8. December 3, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I made something similar, Mary, but in the crockpot. I like the idea of the cayenne and the sea salt! Thanks for the yumminess, and I love those darling boxes for gifting. Happy weekend to you!

  9. December 4, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Anyone would love these Mary! Cute boxes and wonderful presentation! I hope Santa brings me this wonderful book :)

  10. frenchgardenhouse
    December 4, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Mary, these sound absolutely divine! Thank you so much for the recipe, these will make fantastic gifts! Xo Lidy

  11. Kathy
    December 21, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Hi Mary,
    Just stopping back in to say thank you for all you do to make our gatherings more festive and easy to do with easy, quick yet classy and tasty treats and appetizers. I have followed you for a couple years and have learned so much from you over the months. Because of the many skills I have learned from you, I feel confidant to host gatherings with ease and style and this year have hosted 5 at my home. I am so grateful to you as I have always wanted to learn and I love your style using element in their most natural form which never goes out of style and is so elegant in its’ simplicity. You are a remarkable artist and my inspiration!!!

    Warm Regards, Always,

    PS, I made these chocolate treats with three types of nuts and two kinds of chocolate. They were quick, easy prep and tasted wonderful made fresh. They look beautiful and everyone enjoyed them. I will never purchase chocolate nuts again I also made the Rosemary wreath and added cherry tomatoes, it was lovely and such fun to arrange!!

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