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Chocolate Almond Pinecones

 Chocolate Almond Pinecones
Our Test Kitchen suggests this clever way of dressing up any winter dessert. Make these "pinecones" when you have some time, then use—and reuse—them on a variety of desserts...or even on a pretty plate piled with candies.
6 ServingsPrep: 25 min. + standing

Ingredients

  • 1 tube (7 ounces) almond paste
  • 4 ounces sliced almonds
  • 1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

Directions

  • Divide almond paste into six equal portions. Form each into a cone
  • shape, about 1-1/2 in. tall and 1 in. in diameter. Beginning at the
  • base, insert pointed end of almonds into paste to resemble a
  • pinecone.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir
  • until smooth. Insert a toothpick into bottom of each cone. Holding
  • over bowl, spoon melted chocolate over almonds (if needed, use
  • another toothpick to spread the chocolate to completely cover
  • almonds). Place on a wire rack over waxed paper; let stand until
  • firm. Yield: 6 pinecones.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 447 calories, 31 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 7 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein.