The perfect storm of mishaps created these clusters. I was missing ingredients, didn’t have a recipe to follow and thought they would turn out to be a disaster 100%. Luckily for me, they turned out and now I’ve got a new bite-sized treat!
Compared to most store-bought cookies, these are actually relatively healthy. They have no butter which reduces a ton of sodium and cholesterol. On top of that, the mix of walnuts and cocoa powder adds a huge iron boost (and protein too).
I made these for a friend’s birthday who is always reading my blog and telling me to bring food to her, so I finally did! Happy birthday Chelsea!
When I was mixing all the ingredients together, the batter seemed really runny—almost like for cake. That’s why I ended up adding flour at the end. The finished texture, once they’re baked, is a little bit chewy on the inside. Kind of like a merengue just not as crunchy. Be warned though: your hands will get super dirty rolling them up into balls. You can try to use a spoon but I recommend just washing your hands afterwards, it’s inevitable.
Makes 24 clusters
- 1 heaping cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, salt and walnuts until well combined.
In a separate smaller bowl, beat together vanilla extract and eggs with an electric mixer until bubbly. Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, scraping excess dough off the sides as you go. Once mixed, the dough will appear very runny. Add flour, mixing with the electric beaters to ensure everything is evenly combined. Beat in peanut butter until blended in with the dough.
Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Form the mixture into balls, using roughly a tablespoon to be your guide for sizing. You should have 24 clusters evenly distributed once this is done. Bake for 14 minutes and allow to cool completely before eating, or transferring to an airtight container for storage.