September 18, 2010
I am back in business with a mostly healed eye, and I wanted to share this recipe with you, the same one that caused me so much trouble yesterday. I picked up a carton of little sugar pears at Sam's Club the other day, the tiny versions of grown up pears were too cute for me to resist. Pears are a perfect fall fruit, and I just had to turn these little guys into Caramel-Chocolate Dipped Pears. What better way to welcome the upcoming new season.
The first day of Fall is quickly approaching and the crispness in the air is easily recognizable. This time of year is like reacquainting myself with an old friend, as I pull out chunky sweaters, patterned rain boots and my favorite pair of jeans.
The dappled sunlight glinting off the burnished leaves, and the lengthening darkness of the cooler evenings, makes me switch gears from the energy and excitement of summer, and slow down for the simple pleasures of this season. Visiting the pumpkin patch in a favorite knit sweater, sipping warm apple cider, or roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire. It's a time for scarves and cozy hats, pumpkin pie lip balm and spiced lattes, reading a new book in that oversized stuffed chair in the corner, and sniffing the calming scent of the crisp, new pages.
Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year, as I get to relax, unwind and let the pleasures of this season wash over me. For me, it's about slowing down and enjoying the little things in life, spending time with my family and building memories for my son. If I could, I would make it fall every day of the year, with the exception of one snow filled day for Christmas. What do you love about this season? Do you have a favorite activity or a family tradition? Apple picking, canning preserves, making pies, camping, making Smore's over a bonfire, falling into a pile of golden leaves with your kids? I'd love to hear what fall means for everyone.
Caramel-Chocolate Dipped Pears
15-20 ripe sugar pears
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup corn syrup
1 cup cream
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp coconut oil
In a large heavy bottom pan, mix the sugars, butter, corn syrup, cream, salt, and vanilla. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter melts and mixture reaches 246 degrees (Fahrenheit) on a candy thermometer. Stir constantly to prevent burning the mixture. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Holding the pears by the stem, dip them into the caramel and twist until they are evenly covered. Let the excess drip off into the pan, and quickly roll the caramel dipped portion in garnish of choice; nuts, sugar, sprinkles, etc. This caramel will set quickly, so the garnish needs to be applied as soon as possible. Place the pears on waxed paper and let dry. Refrigerate until completely set, before drizzling with melted chocolate.
Put the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small microwavable bowl, microwave on low in 10 second intervals until the chocolate has melted and is a pouring consistency. You can add more coconut oil to get the right consistency if needed. Place chilled pears over waxed paper, and using a spoon drizzle the chocolate over the pears. Return to the refrigerator to allow chocolate to set up. If desired, you can remove the stems and cut a little slit in the top of the pear. Firmly insert a cookie stick into the slit and push into the pear to form a handle. Serve and enjoy!
Poke a stick in 'em, and kids will gobble them up...or just eat all the candy coating off like my son did:)
(caramel recipe adapted from Fresh)