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Orange Chocolate Coconut Clusters

orange chocolate coconut clusters

New Year, new school.  Wow, this week has been busy.  The boys have settled miraculously into their new habitat and I can feel the relief flowing through my body.

My favorite comment this week was from Melissa, a reader who said, “It’s hard, but before you know it, they will adjust and be just fine. Kids are so resilient! It’s probably harder on mom. :-)”   Well, yes, Melissa, I couldn’t have said it better myself and the smiley face was much appreciated.  Seriously, you cheered me up when I needed it!  As did so many of the other comments I received.

To celebrate making it through this week, I found it only appropriate to create a candy recipe, this being of course my favorite category of recipe and possibly my favorite food group.  Yes, for some of us, candy is a food group.

Orange Chocolate Coconut Clustersprint
2 cups chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup almonds, toasted then coarsely chopped
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate over very low heat
  2. Stir in the orange extract
  3. Allow the nuts and coconut to cool, 10-15 minutes, then stir them into the melted chocolate
  4. Drop by heaping tablespoonful onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Allow to cool
  6. If need be (as in it’s too hot in your kitchen for these to set) transfer clusters to a plate and cool in freezer
  7. Serve

I think these clusters would be great with any type of nut.  You could also try substituting some orange zest (in an amount of your choosing) in place of the orange extract.  I think that would be delicious.

Since it is October I have started to think about Halloween treats.  I am looking for something fun (no fruit rolls), organic and not too sweet.  Do any of you have good store bought well wrapped (yes for trick or treating safety) ideas for Halloween candy?  If you do, please drop me a line in the comment section below.  I do have something in mind and will do a post on it, though want to collect others ideas before I get going.


posted on October 3, 2008, 35 comments

  1. Alison @ Wholesome Goodness @ wholesomegoodness.net

    These would be perfect to give away as little gifts around the holidays! Maybe I’ll make some for my mother-in-law’s visit next month too. She loves orange and chocolate together, and she (like me) has trouble with grains. Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Mmm, those clusters look wonderful!

  3. Kelly

    Hi – long time reader, first time comment. I love your blog :) You’ve inspired me to take up GF baking again after many, many expensive failures. So thanks for that.

    As for Halloween I think Amy’s is offering new fruit gummies in Halloween shapes in individual baggies for kids so that might work. Hope you find something yummy!

  4. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I am not celiac, but on a friend’s recommendation, started to do as little wheat as possible and do lots more organic. The asthmas I mysteriously developed 2 yrs. ago just about went away. I suspect something to do with GMO and processing.

    Suggestion for Halloween candy, although not cheap, is the bars made my KIND. Cheaper through Amazon. Also saw some organic lollipops, but haven’t tried them. Another option is small toys, such as offered by Oriental Trading Co. and they are offering many sales now.

  5. Anina

    Dear Elana, I am so happy for you that it went so well with the boys this week. These clusters look absolutely delicious, I will definitely try to make them this week. Thank you again for all the wonderful recipes that you share with us !

  6. Elana

    Yes, another Elana. I affectionately call you my doppelganger in CO (same name, brunette, Jewish, gluten-free, mid-thirties, etc.)! I am a culinary specialist in Morris County, NJ. As a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health, I too work with people who have food allergies/restrictions or those just looking for a whole foods/healthier way to eat- everything from food tours to one-one-one instruction and restaurant consulting to corporate seminars.

    Relatively new to your site, I love your easy presentation format, recipes and stories. Here’s a great suggestion for HALLOWEEN candy- YUMMY EARTH organic lollipops and drops. They are flavorful, fun, COMPLETELY allergy-free and easily found (Whole Foods, Toy’s R us, Babies R’ us, Linens N Things, Vitamin Shoppe, Costco.com, HSN, etc.) The company owners are TERRIFIC people who truly care about/monitor all that goes into their products and welcome feedback from their customers; I LOVE to support them!

    Also, as a fellow fan of Pappadini pasta, I thought you (and your readers) might be interested in helping to SAVE their products. Help keep it available to us all by signing this petition. The link is: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-papadini-lentil-pasta.html

    Thanks for all your great work!

  7. Jen

    Hey, these sound great! i did find some great lollipops for my girls the other day at the health food store. a good option for halloween. they’re “college farm organic naturepops” and they’re as good as those crappy ones they give away at restaurants!

  8. Christianne

    Since these clusters look so mouthwatering, I immediately made them here too. (I totally agree that candy is a food group Elana. Chocolate is simply an essential nutrient) I made some adjustments since I neither had orange essence or almonds. Mine contained hazelnuts and lemon zest. Very fresh and exciting! Next time, I will also experiment a little with cranberries, or freshly grated ginger (one of my favorite spices because it is so warming). Thanks Elana for your inspiration! have a lovely sunday!
    xox Christianne
    PS I tried photographing the clusters, but allhough they taste great, they don’t look as good as yours… I need more practice, what a pity! :-)

  9. Wow, those look so good! Orange is tied with raspberry as my favorite flavor pairing with chocolate.

  10. Lisa

    I’m an avid reader of your website (love it) from Australia and have made many of your recipes and have had much success. I am looking for a christmas cake and pudding recipe, using perhaps almond flour and/or coconut flour. Do you have any you would share?
    Thanks in anticipation!

  11. Kristin

    My roommate and I were inspired to go on a late night grocery store trip to get the coconut to make these. They’re currently still cooling, but licking the bowl was certainly tasty, so I have great hopes for the clusters as well!

  12. Heather @ Life, Gluten Free @ lifeglutenfree.com

    Wow, these look so amazing. I am salivating. I happen to love chocolate and coconut, especially together. Orange too :) These would be a nice holiday treat indeed. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Alison – I like the idea of using these for holiday treats!

    Lauren – Thanks.

    Kelly – Thanks for leaving a comment! And also for the Amy’s gummy idea –great :-)

    Sandra – That is so great that your asthma has cleared. Also, I like the idea of the KIND bars; thanks.

    Anina – Great to hear from you; I hope you are doing well. Miss you.

    Elana – Love the doppelganger thing! Thanks for the lollipop suggestion

    Jen – Thanks for suggesting the College Farm brand lollis!

    Christianne – That sounds AMAZING –hazelnuts and lemon zest, yum.

    Andrea – Thanks for your comment, I think orange and raspberry are tied for me too when it comes to pairing with chocolate.

    Lisa – Thanks for writing all the way from Australia. I must confess, I have no idea what Christmas cake is. If you give me some hints, I will try to come up with something for you.

    Kristin – What a great comment; makes me hungry!

    Heather – You are very welcome; thanks for your comment.

    • Louise Humphris

      Elana, I am from Australia also and love your website & books. Christmas cake here is simply fruit cake, and tradition is we cook it several weeks before Christmas and store it often putting a little brandy on it regularly to soak n, but that is only optional. Last year I made a cake with g/f flour, but this year we are grain free so either/or coconut flour & almond meal/flour should do the trick. Cheers

  14. Paulette

    I’m new to your site and enjoy it very much. I would like to try to make the orange chocolate coconut clusters but can’t have chocolate. Would carob work?

  15. Dear Paulette,

    Thanks for stopping by. Please see my faq’s regarding your question.

    Thanks,
    Elana

  16. Sorry for my english, I’m italian. I’m coeliac and always visit your blog.This recipe is wondwrful.
    Kiss Anna

  17. Dear Anna,

    Your English is great! Thanks for leaving me a comment; I really appreciate it!

    xo Elana

  18. magda

    I made the clusters, they were so delicious, I also made them with unsweetened carob chips, and they were perfect for my sweet tooth. Thank you!

  19. Sarah

    These candy recipes (as well as all the others!) look amazing! Your blog has honestly been a ray of sunshine – as my family and I contemplated going gluten- and sugar-free for health reasons, I felt like our dietary future was dismal! We enjoy food very much, and I particularly have a big sweet tooth. But as I’ve looked through your blog, I felt like rejoicing – we can do it! And enjoy ourselves! And all while having food that’s even better for us! :) So thank you for guiding our family as we enter this new territory. It looks like it’s going to be a fine ride after all.

    I have one question (so far) – can I substitute unsweetened baking chocolate for the “dark chocolate” in many of these recipes? And simply add more agave nectar? Or would that change it/mess it up? Would it also need more oil? Thanks so much!

  20. Pratiba Bhat @ cookpratiba.blogspot.com

    Wow I’m going to make these :) I was Googling for a recipe involving chocolate. :) Thanks so much :) I’m a newbie to the cooking world. So just started my food blog too :) Thanks again :) Take care : :)

  21. Pflugerville Dentis @ brightsmilestexas.com

    wow these look so good, I love chocolate! I bet peanuts or cashews would be great also. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  22. Abrie

    I have these babies in the freezer right now…and I just finished whipping up some of your Fudge Babies earlier tonight. I have a feeling my boyfriend, friends and coworkers are going to LOVE them.

    I have been reading your blog for the past 10 months and it has really helped me and my boyfriend through our new grain-free lifestyle. If it weren’t for your silver dollar pancakes, cinnamon bun muffins and chocolate chip cookies, we probably would have given up on this lifestyle long ago. Of course, we don’t indulge in these treats everyday, but it’s so great to have a delicious option at hand. Your recipes also really help when trying to introduce our friends to a Paleo/Primal lifestyle.

    Your latest book is awesome by the way! Have a Happy Halloween!

  23. Such a yummy looking treat! I’ve had chocolates similar to these but not made this way. Definitely want to try this version – thanks!

  24. Sophie

    Hello, I will try this recipe and maybe a version with Lemon as my mother is absolutely crazy about chocoalte and lemon zest.

    Thanks for all the great recipes,

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  26. Karen

    Fantastic recipe ill give it a try, though my cooking skills are pretty limited!

  27. mikaya

    A bit expensive but healthy and delicious wrapped treat for the kiddos at school: http://www.abesmarket.com/delights-brownie-jar.html

  28. Judy

    More chocolate and orange, please! I’m obsessed.

  29. Karen

    What kind of chocolate chunks would you recommend? Any dark chocolate you can recommend? Thanks!

  30. Diba

    Could you use powdered cocao instead of the chocolate chunks, and if so, how much? Thank you!

  31. Donna

    Sounds yummy! Why not toast off the nuts and coconut then put them in a bowl with the chocolate and let the heat from the nuts melt the chocolate for you?

  32. The timing of your post is perfect. My new diet, the Oxfordhealth’s Loaded Gun diet allows just what you prescribed, coconut is my favorite and chocolate, well, let’s just say I’m an addict on a rehab.

  33. glutenfreealaska @ gravatar.com/glutenfreealaska

    Instead of orange essence use Wild Orange essential oils. Absolutely delish! (except you only need a drop or two of the orange depending on your taste)

  34. Judy

    I made these over the weekend. Wow, they are delicious and I will be making them again! Thank you for the recipe.

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