~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chocolate Covered Pears... with toasted almonds.

Chocolate Covered Pears... with toasted almonds. A great Christmas gift idea.... for a healthier option. With Christmas right around the corner, I thought I'd share a  recipe for a healthier alternative when it comes to gift giving. Well, ok, you can also make this for yourself:). But the gift looks festive and can please most folks. It is gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free... and if you want, you can even make it nut-free by substituting the nuts with maybe some mini white chocolate chips or brittle.... even bits of dried cherries or other dried fruits. Oh, and it's also bake-free... well, if you don't consider toasting the almonds as baking per se, though you could buy toasted almonds and then it would really be bake -free:). It's also a make-ahead sort of gift.... so, it's great all around. Makes a rather nice gift, that looks pretty, and doesn't cost a ton... edible, too.   

While I was planning on posting this idea later on, I decided to introduce it now rather than later. This way, if any of you would care to try it, you'd have ample time to make it before Christmas. And I'm really posting this more of an idea, because you can easily add your own personal touches. I'm thinking you could easily substitute all sorts of nuts. Pistachios(being green) would be nice for the season.... and you could even bring in some white chocolate for contrast. In any case, it's a fun little project. Hope you enjoy...

Tip #1: Depending on how fresh your pears are, the dipped pears can be made quite a few days ahead. Just keep them refrigerated.  

Tip #2: If, and only if, you have too many dipped pears, you can opt to make the Gluten-Free Pear Buckwheat Cake... in mini version. Just slice pears and place on  top of cake batter... and sprinkle any pieces of chocolate that may have crumbled when cutting.  Funny thing is I really didn't have any "leftover" pears... it's just that my husband has been wanting me to re-make the cake for some time now. As much as gluten-free cakes aren't his favorite, this buckwheat cake is one of his absolute favorites:)!  Here's a photo of the mini cakes... another option for gift giving.
 You will need:
  • red and/or green pears, organic if possible
  • good dark chocolate(I used callebaut), melted
  • raw almonds, toasted and chopped
  • clear treat bags
  • ribbon  
  • and a parchment/plastic covered cookie sheet/plate
1. Wash and thoroughly dry pears. Set aside. Line a cookie sheet/plate with plastic/parchment... set it aside. 
2. Toast  raw almonds in oven/toaster oven for  a few minutes(5-10) at 350 deg F... keep an eye on them as they can burn easily. Time is approximate... check on them frequently. Allow almonds to cool and chop finely. Set aside.... you can place the chopped nuts in a bowl if you like.
3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler... I like to take chocolate off heat when there are still some bits of chocolate that haven't completely melted... the residual heat will eventually melt all the chocolate. Overheated chocolate will  be clumpy and not as shiny.  
4. Holding pear by stem, dip pear in melted chocolate... rocking it from side to side to form tulip petals all around. Lift up and allow excess chocolate to drip back... make sure you let most of the excess chocolate to drip off, otherwise the nuts will be too heavy with the chocolate and the chocolate and nuts can slide off.
5. Place chocolate dipped pear  gently into chopped nuts... making sure to sprinkle some of the nuts all around to cover almost to the top. I like to leave some chocolate showing. At this point, you can also drizzle some melted chocolate on top of the pear if you like.
6. Place dipped pear on parchment/plastic lined sheet/plate... and repeat with extra pears.
7. Place pears in refrigerator until chocolate hardens. Wrap in clear bags. Tie with ribbon.
8. Store in refrigerator.


Speranta said...

Foarte frumos ti-au iesit:)ce idee grozava!mereu ma suprinzi cu retete interesante!

Da, poti sa bucuri pe oricine cu aceste pere...si un batran s-ar bucura de ele.
O zi binecuvantata sa ai!

siggy said...

Beautiful. What a great idea for a gift. I may do this with apples.

Ellie said...

Speranta, Multumesc mult! Chiar am facut niste pere sa duc la un om in varsta care este in spital.. i-am dus doua ca sa poata da si lui sotia:). Sotia a remarcat, "Sunt adevarate?" :) Sper sa fi bucurat... O zi buna!

Siggy, Thanks so much. I really love the idea of using chocolate instead of caramel. For me, chocolate seems easier(and is more readily available in my pantry)... interestingly, it actually goes exceptionally well with pears.
I haven't tried the apple version, but it's definitely worth trying. Great idea. Thanks for stopping by...

Anonymous said...

Ellie, you are still so amazing! Been awhile since I dropped by your blog.I always love seeing how talented and creative you are. Blessings to you!


Ellie said...

Mommamindy. Oh, it's nice to have you drop by:).... thanks for your sweet comment. I really appreciate it!

I see you've moved on in the world:).... you're at wordpress now, and have 2 sites! Will have to go by and check it out:)...

Christmas blessings to you and your family!