How to make edible chocolate-caramel pear place cards

Dec 19, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. ET

These gorgeous pears are easy to make and stunning to look at. A simple green leaf tag turns them into place card holders for a fancy tablescape.

Don't be intimidated by making the caramel from scratch. It's actually quite simple, and I've included a tip for perfect caramel in the tutorial.

caramel-chocolate-pears

The first step to making the caramel is to mix together the sugar, sweetened condensed milk and light corn syrup in a pot on the stove. Make sure you have a couple of inches of room in the pot for when it starts to bubble. Heat the pot on medium for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring with a sturdy spatula every 30 seconds or so. Once it starts to bubble, stir it constantly so the caramel doesn't burn.

caramel-chocolate-pears

You can use a candy thermometer to check when your caramel reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees F). If you don't have one, here's the secret to perfect caramel: Once it's nice and golden like the caramel in the photo, it's time to do an ice water test.

caramel-chocolate-pears

Drizzle some caramel into a bowl or glass of ice water.

caramel-chocolate-pears

Once it's completely cool (about 30 seconds), pull out the caramel, and roll it between your fingers. It should form a nice ball. If the caramel cracks and separates in the water, it's not hot enough yet.

caramel-chocolate-pears

Holding your pear by the stem, dip it into the caramel, pulling it out and turning it to dip every side. Hold it up for a minute to let the excess caramel drip away.

caramel-chocolate-pears

Once your pear is dipped, place it onto a buttered, foil-covered baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pears. I put the pears outside to help them cool quickly while I melted my chocolate.

caramel-chocolate-pears

Put your chocolate chips into a small pot, and heat them on medium heat. Once they start to melt, stir with a spatula until completely melted and smooth.

caramel-chocolate-pears

While your chocolate is melting, you can crush your pecans by putting them into a plastic bag and beating them with a rolling pin.

caramel-chocolate-pears

Dip the bottom half of each caramel-covered pear into the melted chocolate.

caramel-chocolate-pears

Then dip the chocolate-covered pear into the crushed nuts. At this point you can place them at the table on dessert plates. The chocolate will harden as people are arriving and getting ready to eat.

caramel-chocolate-pears

The final step is to make some tags. You can simply cut out leaf shapes from green cardstock, or you can print several green leaves onto white cardstock. Use a marker to write each guest's name on their leaf, and punch a hole into 1 end. Place the hole over the stem of your pear, and put a pear at each place.

How to make edible chocolate-caramel dipped pear place cards

Bosc pears work best for this recipe because of their tough skin, elegant shape and superstrong stems. They are also sweet before their flesh has fully softened, so choose very firm pears to work with.

Yields 8

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 8 firm Bosc pears with stems
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Directions:

  1. Cover a baking sheet in foil, and butter it well.
  2. In a pot on the stove, mix together the sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup. Make sure you have a couple of inches of room in the pot for when it starts to bubble. Heat the pot on medium for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring with a sturdy spatula every 30 seconds or so.
  3. Once everything starts to bubble, stir constantly so the caramel doesn't burn.
  4. You can use a candy thermometer to check when your caramel reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees F). If you don't have one, then drizzle some caramel into a bowl or glass of ice water. Once it's completely cool (about 30 seconds), pull out the caramel, and roll it between your fingers. It should form a nice ball. If the caramel cracks and separates in the water, then it's not hot enough yet.
  5. Holding your pear by the stem, dip it into the hot caramel, pulling it out and turning it to dip every side. Hold the pear up for a minute to let the excess caramel drip away.
  6. Once your pear is dipped, place it onto your prepared baking sheet.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the remaining pears. Place the sheet of pears outside to cool while you melt your chocolate.
  8. Put the chocolate chips into a small pot, and heat them on medium heat. Once they start to melt, stir with a spatula until completely melted and smooth.
  9. While your chocolate is melting, you can crush your pecans by putting them into a plastic bag and beating them with a rolling pin.
  10. Dip the bottom half of each caramel-covered pear into the melted chocolate.
  11. Then dip the chocolate-covered pear into the crushed nuts.
  12. Place the pears onto your dessert plates to let the chocolate harden as people eat their meal.

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