This recipe is sponsored by Diamond Nuts, a year long partner of Heartbeet Kitchen. I love using Diamond Nuts because they’re super fresh, come from family farms, and available in just about every grocery store. I have fond memories of the signature red bags always found in our kitchen pantry while growing up!
I’m posting this sweet treat on Christmas Eve (!) because I’m betting some of you have holiday gatherings on the calendar all the way through the end of December. (With Brian and I both coming from divorced families, that certainly is the case for us.)
And I’m more of a last minute type of person than you might think.
But somehow I always have time for chocolate. ☺️
Especially when filled with chewy caramel and toasted walnuts.
These mini chocolate cups are the cousin of a Snickers, without the work of a nougat. They use the ease of store-bought caramels, because I wanted these to be painless to make. (There is absolutely nothing wrong with semi-homemade sometimes!)
Dark chocolate because my more mature palette prefers that over milk.
And because all things are better with a little crunch, toasted walnuts tucked inside too. Rich and sweet tasting, they added the perfect touch.
Did you know this is the best way to buy walnuts for long term storage? The shell protects them naturally, so that the fat contents are shielded from air, which is what would normally turn them rancid. For storage up to two years, keep them in their shells, and put them in the freezer.
A few notes about this recipe:
I’ve found this tempering method to be the absolute best. Tempering is what makes chocolate glossy and smooth, without streaks. You can certainly just melt the chocolate without paying attention to the temperature, but in the case, I would sprinkle the tops fully with crushed walnuts so cover the bloom/streaks.
A mini muffin pan was the perfect holding vessel for the baking cups while I was building them! I used these mini cups because I wanted the treats to be bite-sized, and found that any bigger was a little too rich.
If you want to make homemade caramel, BRAVO. I suggest this recipe. I used the Kraft caramels you find in the baking section of the grocery store.
These will last for three weeks, so they’re a great make-ahead treat. Just store them in a covered container, at room temperature.
I tried to include lots of photos to make the step-by-step process more intuitive for you while making them. If you have any questions, leave me a note!
And if you make these Caramel Chocolate Cups, be sure to tag me on instagram, @heartbeetkitchen or with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen!
Merry Christmas, xo.
Mini Walnut Caramel Chocolate Cups
These chocolate christmas candies are filled with caramel and walnuts.
Add chopped chocolate to a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on 60% power, stirring every 20 seconds, until chocolate is completely melted. Or you can use this method to temper the chocolate.
Place mini baking cups in a mini muffin tin. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate to each cup, and use a paintbrush or the back of a spoon to coat chocolate about halfway up the sides of the cup.
Add a few chopped walnut pieces to the chocolate cups. (You don't want to add a lot, otherwise you won't have room for the caramel and second layer of chocolate.)
In a separate microwave bowl, add caramels and cream. Cook on 60 percent power for 20 seconds, stir, and cook again, until just barely smooth and creamy. You don't want the caramel mixture to be too hot.
Let cool for two minutes, then add a 1/2 teaspoon caramel to each mini baking cup. Finally, add more melted chocolate to the top, so you cover everything. Smooth out with back of the spoon if needed. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, or leave them plain.
Let cups sit to harden, or refrigerate for 5 minutes to speed up the process.
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