Bring out a tray of these fancy fruit treats and watch everybody's eyes widen. The pears wear a nut-dusted caramel coating and an elegant drizzle of chocolate. They make a beautiful gift, wrapped in colored or clear cellophane.
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- 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 large firm pears with stems
- 1 cup chopped cashews, hazelnuts or almonds
- 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening, divided
- 1/3 cup vanilla or white chips
- In a heavy saucepan, heat caramels and water over low heat just until caramels are melted. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each pear so it sits flat. Dip pears halfway in caramel; tun to coat and allow excess to drip off. Dip in nuts and place on a greased baking sheet; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until coating is firm.
- In a heavy saucepan or microwave, melt chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon shortening; stir until smooth. In another saucepan, melt vanilla chips with remaining shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle melted chips over pears and stems. Let stand until set. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Chocolate Caramel Pears in Country Woman September/October 2002, p33
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