Simple, delicious, wholesome and nutritious. Serve these Holiday Almond Raisin Clusters at your holiday table and watch them disappear!
For the Recipe Redux challenge this month, we were asked to create a holiday recipe featuring raisins that’s both delicious and includes extra nutrition for a little less indulgent of a holiday. My Holiday Almond Raisin Clusters definitely fit the bill! These scrumptious morsels will satisfy any sweet tooth and they’re healthy. Plus, they have a total of five ingredients- it doesn’t get much easier than that!
These nutty clusters actually won first place in a recipe contest sponsored by California Raisins! I make them with sliced almonds and raisins. The cookies are held together by a mixture of egg white and a touch of coconut palm sugar. For the perfect finishing touch, I brush on the thinnest layer of dark chocolate. These cookies are also gluten-free.
Eating healthy during the holiday season doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself! Raisins are a great way to add natural sweetness to your savory or sweet dishes. They also add a boost of nutrition. Raisins are fat-free and cholesterol-free and they’re packed with several important nutrients. One quarter cup serving supplies 9% of your daily fiber and potassium, and 6% of your daily iron. Plus, they’re naturally sweet so when you incorporate them in your recipes, you can significantly cut down on the amount of additional sugar.
Why these cookies are better for you
- Because the natural sweetness of the raisins shines through, I use only a small amount of sugar. I use ¼ cup sugar for a whole batch of cookies. I like to use coconut palm sugar, which is a natural, unrefined sugar that’s made from dehydrated sap of the coconut palm tree. It has a rich, almost molasses-like flavor and can be substituted for granulated sugar in most recipes.
- Almonds are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. They provide heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that have positive health benefits.
- Dark chocolate adds rich flavor as well as powerful plant nutrients called flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Not all chocolate is created equal though! Be sure to use dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) as it has the highest concentration of these powerful compounds.
Holiday Almond Raisin Clusters
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 ¾ cups sliced almonds
- ⅔ cup raisins
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Whisk the egg white in a bowl until frothy. Add the sugar and whisk until incorporated. Add the almonds and raisins to the bowl and stir everything together making sure all of the almonds and raisins are coated with the egg mixture.
- Spoon clusters of the mixture (about 1 ½ tablespoons each) onto the prepared baking sheets. Form them into small mounds with your hands. The clusters won’t stick together but they will once they’re baked.
- Bake in the oven, one tray at a time, 18-20 minutes until set. Remove from oven and let the clusters cool completely on the baking sheets. When they’re completely cool, carefully lift the clusters from the baking sheets with a spatula.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread a thin layer of chocolate over the bottom of each cluster. Lay each cluster down on a plate (chocolate side up) and refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Flip the clusters right side up before serving.
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