Desserts

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Ingredients

  • 30 Maraschino cherries or fresh Bing cherries, with stems
  • 1 ¼ cups good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line a large cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Make sure that the cherries are very dry with no residual moistness; otherwise the chocolate will not stick.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a large pan of just-simmering water. Watch carefully and stir occasionally. Make sure that the chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Holding the stem, dip each cherry into the chocolate and swirl around until it is completely coated with the melted chocolate. Remove from the chocolate and let extra chocolate drip off.
  4. Place the cherries on the cookie sheet, making sure that none are touching. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until set. Serve on a pretty glass or white plate.

Baked Pears in Burgundy and Port Glaze

Ingredients

  • 2 cups burgundy wine
  • 1 cup tawny port wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-inch piece lemon and orange zest
  • 8 Bosc pears, ripe but firm with stems attached

Garnish

  • Fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, bring the red wine, port, sugar, cinnamon, lemon, and orange zest to a simmer and dissolve the sugar. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  2. Core the pears from the bottom and then cut the bottom flat so that they can stand upright. Place the pears stem side up in a large baking pan. Cover each stem with foil. Pour the wine mixture over them. Bake the pears for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a knife, basting every few minutes with the wine mixture.
  3. Remove the pears from the oven and pour off the remaining wine mixture into a medium saucepan. Reduce the wine until it becomes a glaze. Spoon the glaze over the pears on a large serving platter or on individual dessert plates, garnish with fresh mint leaves, and serve warm, with vanilla ice cream if desired. These pears are also excellent served at room temperature.

Advance Preparation

Can prepared up to 8 hours ahead through step 3 and kept at room temperature.

Serves 8 people.