Trust me, there are no real cockroaches in the recipe. There are no roaches anywhere. To say I despise and loathe roaches is a vast understatement. I wasn’t going to make this recipe purely because of the name, but when I started searching online for what others thought about cockroach clusters, I found some amazing recipes.
In the books, they are described as looking similar to peanuts, but I can’t stand peanuts, so I went a slightly different route with these instead.
“How about these?” said Ron, shoving a jar of Cockroach Clusters under Hermione’s nose.
“Reckon Fred’d take a bit of Cockroach Cluster if I told him they were peanuts?”
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
For both of the boy’s birthday parties lately, I’ve been making some type of puppy chow to go with their theme (see the delicious Banana Creme Puppy Chow I made for the Banana Party) and that has left me with some leftover Chex cereal. Since that’s been in the pantry for a while, I wanted to do something that would use up some of that at the same time.
Since roaches are usually dark brown or black, I figured it needed to be covered in chocolate, and caramel would help hold everything together. I did put pecans in these, but if you prefer peanuts you could substitute for those easily.
These clusters get very sticky, so prepare your pan by lining them with wax paper and spraying that with a bit of nonstick spray.
In a large saucepan, over low heat, combine the caramels and water and stir constantly until it’s smooth.
Stir in the chopped pecans and cereal until they are coated in the caramel. I didn’t buy chopped pecans, so I used a meat cleaver to crush them. This worked to chop them up and made them smaller pieces so they stirred in really well.
Use a spoon or cookie scoop to drop clusters of the mixture onto the prepared pan and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes, until they are cooled and firm.
While they cool, microwave the chocolate chips and butter until it’s melted. Do it in short bursts of 20-30 seconds, stirring each time, to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Dip each cluster into the melted chocolate, one at a time, turning to completely coat in chocolate.
Return the clusters to the pan and keep cool until you are ready to serve. They can be kept in the refrigerator, or in an airtight container on the counter for a few days. I kept mine in the refrigerator because it’s too warm in Houston and the chocolate would be a bit melty if we left them out.
Chocolate and Caramel Cockroach Clusters
- 14 oz caramels
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups pecans (chopped)
- 1 cup Chex cereal
- 3 cups chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tsp butter
- Prepare two baking sheets by lining with waxed paper and spraying with nonstick spray
- In a large saucepan, over low heat, combine the caramels and water and stir until they are smooth
- Add in the pecans and cereal and stir until they are coated with caramel
- Drop small scoops onto the prepared pans into small clusters
- Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, until they are firm
- Meanwhile, microwave the chocolate chips and butter in 20-30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted
- Dip each cluster, one at a time, into the chocolate and turn to coat
- Return to the pan and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve