Inspired by a store's $23 lb. candy, this easy recipe for dark chocolate coconut clusters takes minutes to make at a fraction of the store price and tastes amazing.
Find more ideas on the Quick Healthy Recipes page!
Some links in this article are affiliate links and if you click on them I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
I love chocolate and I love coconut, but I've never thought to put them together as chocolate coconut clusters before. I've combined them with almond for these flourless coconut almond cookie bars and with caramel and shortbread for these Christmas goodies but never just the two of them alone.
Maybe it seemed too simple - too easy.
My eyes were opened, however, during our visit to Leavenworth, Washington. There are lots of shops (as you can imagine) in this cute town and one afternoon we just wandered in and out of them looking for gifts.
Completely off track but here's a tip: if you're like me and don't really like wandering in and out of shops (so many expensive trinkets and STUFF), DO take the time to do it every now and then. I get some great ideas not only for recipes like this, but also for gift ideas. We got an idea for a semi-handmade Christmas gift for our family on this trip, came home, ordered the things we needed, and will be done with them probably before December!
Okay, back on track. Here is what I saw in one of the candy stores:
Yes, they are selling dark chocolate coconut 'haystacks' for $23 a pound! Can I just say my jaw dropped? I don't even care that they saw me taking a picture of it - that's just ridiculous. I mean, look at the candy below - it takes more time and ingredients to make sea salt caramel fudge and it's less per pound. Makes me wonder if they're trying to cash in on the healthy coconut craze?
Now I do have to say I didn't buy one of these (I probably should have, but just couldn't on principle, ha!), but I have looked online and the ingredients for these haystacks or clusters at stores are just chocolate and coconut, though sometimes they'll add a liqueur, cocoa nibs, espresso powder or other flavorings.
So of course I made them at home, just to see - maybe I was missing something? Maybe they were hard or didn't set up or something?
Uh, no. These chocolate coconut clusters are some of the easiest, quickest treats I've ever made. And everyone LOVES them (well, unless they don't like coconut like my son…).
I've talked a lot about what I think is the best part of making food ourselves (no, it's not the money savings, though that's great, too...) and this illustrates it perfectly:
You get to choose the ingredients!
The candy store used coconut with long strands, which I'm going to assume is sweetened coconut since it's a candy store and Americans really like their sugar.
I used unsweetened coconut and combined with the dark chocolate makes a super-chocolatey, only slightly sweet dessert.
And while this is still a candy, it's certainly a candy that is better for you than other choices. But it doesn't taste that way - it just tastes wonderful!
Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters Recipe
- Dark chocolate chopped bars or dark chocolate chips
- Unsweetened coconut (I like Bob's Shredded Unsweetened Coconut the best)
- Coconut oil
You can use chopped dark chocolate or good quality dark chocolate chips for this recipe.
Pro Tip: When melting chocolate to coat things or in recipes like this, I find it melts best when a bit of fat is added. I use coconut oil for this in most recipes, using expeller-pressed refined coconut oil when I don't want a coconut flavor. This recipe of course works well with extra virgin coconut oil since we want that coconut flavor.
Melt the chocolate pieces and coconut together in the way you choose: in a double boiler (a heatproof pan set over a pot of simmering water) or in the microwave (use a heatproof bowl, preferably with a handle like a large glass measuring cup).
When the chocolate is smooth, stir in the coconut.
Scoop the chocolate mixture onto cookie sheets lined with parchment.
Using a small cookie scoop makes shaping the clusters quick and easy, but two spoons would also work. Being able to make the sizes you want is another benefit to making candy yourself (smaller is better here).
Let the clusters set in the fridge and then store at room temperature in a sealed container. Do not refrigerate or they become too hard to eat -#lessonlearned.
That'a all there is to it - melt, stir, and shape. Want to pay someone $23/lb for that? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Are you curious about what this recipe is per pound as I made it?
I was too, so I weighed the clusters I made and found that this recipe makes about 1 pound. The ingredients cost me just under $5 and since this took less than 10 minutes to make, I'm not even going to add labor costs. I'm just going to take my extra $18 and spend it on something fun. 🙂
What about you - are you ready to make a better candy for less, too?
I think bunch of chocolate coconut clusters in a fun container would make a GREAT Christmas gift as well as hostess gift or birthday gift for people who you know would enjoy them.
Of course you can just make them for your family like I've been doing - these are a good option for after dinner chocolates. Yum.
Low Sugar, 3 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters
- 11 ounces dark chocolate chips* or chopped dark chocolate bar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil as you choose: in a double boiler (a heatproof pan set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until smooth) or in the microwave (use a heatproof bowl, preferably with a handle like a large glass measuring cup, heating and stirring at 1 minute and then again for 30 seconds as needed until smooth).
- Stir the coconut into the melted chocolate until well combined.
- Use a small cookie scoop (or two spoons) to drop clusters onto prepared baking sheet in desired size. Aim for about tablespoon-size clusters.
- Refrigerate until clusters are firm. Remove to an air-tight container and store at room temperature for up to a month (do not store in fridge).
Other healthy sweet ideas you may like:
Healthy Maple Sweetened Chili Pecans
Healthy No-Bake Fudge Oatmeal Bars
Healthier Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
Disclosure: affiliate links in this post will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price. Click here to read my full disclaimer and advertising disclosure.
My daughter can't have dairy or wheat so these were a huge hit because there was no dairy in the extra dark chips I happened to have in my freezer! I had to save some back for her because everyone was eating them up. They are delicious. Keeper recipe for sure for our family. Life is always better because of An Oregon Cottage! 🙂
Do you have snow? Here in Salem we do and more coming down. Very pretty and our rescue dog who just came from Guam on Halloween is tearing it up in the back yard!
I'm so glad to hear this, Mary!! And your sweet comment - thank you. 🙂
Yes! We have a ton of snow (10-12 inches over the last two days!) and our little Maltese mix is loving it and jumping around in it like a jack rabbit!
Jan Forbes says
Absolutely love your recipes. So appreciate lower fat and sugar. Will not print or use a recipe without nutritional information.....so enjoy your follow through in every thing you do. Thank you
Oh, how sweet - you're welcome, Jan!
And thank you for your encouraging comment. 🙂
OH, MY, what an old favorite of mine. Thanks for the memories.
I love these:); but then so do my hips. 🙁 Why is it; a person eats a couple ounces of cookies and yet you end up gaining pounds? (that just ain't right)
No, not right for sure! 🙂
Where can I find the measurements? Can’t wait to make these!!
Follow the arrows (either top or bottom) to the full recipe!
These sure do sound good I will be enjoy some for Christmas
Definately making these!! Thanks!
Diena Cameron says
Well i can't rate until I make them so I will wait but they sure look good Jami. Thanks 😍
Thanks, I sure think so. 😉
Laurie Rogers says
Oh, so excited to make these!!! I have everything on hand to make them RIGHT NOW!
Yum! I like the idea of the unsweetened coconut with the dark chocolate!! I can't wait to make these. Thank you!
$23.00 a pound.....phooey!! 😉
I know, crazy, right? Hope you like these (I've already made 3 batches, ha!).