Toffee Espresso Chocolate Clusters

Any kid will tell you: October is just one long countdown to Halloween. The whole month revolves around first choosing a costume and then, of course, concocting a plan for cashing in on as many sweets as possible. That second piece was even more crucial in our house because my mother was a dental hygienist and candy was taboo for most the rest of the year. So, when trick-or-treating season rolled around, you can imagine how driven I was to fill my pillowcase to the brim. Of course, if I were an adult, I probably would’ve wanted these Toffee Espresso Chocolate Clusters.Back then, at the end of the night, I’d run home, hide in the closet (to avoid having to share with any of my five siblings), and blissfully taste-test my loot of gooey gum drops, tacky caramels, and overly-sweet chocolates. The bag was then taken away and we were each doled out one treat a day until it ran out or Thanksgiving arrived, whichever came first.

That said I figure it’s only natural that, like clockwork, my sweet tooth goes into overdrive this time of year — particularly for something chocolate. On the off chance that I haven’t made it abundantly obvious, I have more than a passing thing for chocolate. It can be milk, bittersweet, or dark but it has to be the good stuff.

And when the slightest hint of Halloween is in the air, I crave a treat. The latest treat I’ve been tweaking are these Toffee Espresso Chocolate Clusters, which is a simple recipe for coffee and toffee-flecked ganache that is more or less a grown-up take on a Hershey Kiss. I’ve tried to glamorize them a bit by coining them chocolate clusters, but the name is irrelevant, they’re still my Halloween loot that I’d just as soon not share — except perhaps just this once.