2 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter — chopped
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar — scant
1/2 cup brown sugar — firmly packed
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups nuts
14 ounces semisweet chocolate — chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Lightly oil two baking sheets. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium
heat, cook the first six ingredients until the sugars dissolve and the
butter melts. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1
hour, until the caramel reaches 238 degrees.
Place the bottom of the saucepan in a pan of cold water to stop cooking or
transfer the caramel to a smaller saucepan. Cool slightly, then stir in
the vanilla extract.
Stir the nuts into the caramel until well coated. Using an oiled
tablespoon, drop spoonfullsof the nut mixture onto the prepared sheets,
about 1 inch apart. If the mixture hardens, return to the heat to soften.
Refrigerate the clusters for 30 minutes until firm and cold, or leave in a
cool place until hardened.
Using a palette knife, transfer the clusters to a wire rack placed over a
baking sheet to catch drips.
In a medium saucepan, over a low heat, melt the chocolate and begetable
shortening, stirring until smooth.Cool slightly.
Spoon chocolate over each cluster being sure to cover completely.
Alternatively, using a fork, dip each cluster into chocolate and lift out,
tapping on the edge of th esaucepan to shake of excess.
Place on the wire rack over the baking sheet. Allow to set for 2 hours,