Chocolate-Drizzled Apples or Pears with Date Caramel

Chocolate drizzled apples or pearsChocolate drizzled apples or pears

Two or three crisp apples or firm pears plus vegan chocolate chips add up to a seriously good dessert. And if you have a few dates on hand (and a machine to blend them up) you can make a caramel-y sauce to dip them into, though this is entirely optional.

Serves: 4

2 large or 3 medium crisp, sweet apples,
or 2 large firm, sweet pears, thinly sliced1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips1 tbsp unsweetened nondairy milk

Date “Caramel” Sauce (optional)

1/2 cup pitted dates (medjool or deglet)1/4 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (very good with almond)1/2 tsp vanilla extractArrange the apple or pear slices on a platter, slightly overlapping.Combine the chocolate chips and nondairy milk in a heatproof bowl for microwaving, or in a small saucepan. Microwave for 45 seconds, then whisk until smooth. If cooking on the stovetop, heat slowly until the chocolate is melted, whisking occasionally.With a cake spatula, scrape the chocolate mixture in to a frosting piping bag, or, if you don’t have one, a medium-sized Ziploc-type plastic storage bag. Cut a tiny hole in one of the bottom corners (about 1/8 inch). Drizzle the chocolate across the fruit in one direction, then turn and drizzle in the other direction.Refrigerate the platter of fruit for at least 30 minutes, or until the chocolate hardens.If you’re making the date sauce, you can do so at this point. Place the dates in a mug or bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes, then drain.Combine the dates with the nondairy milk in a food processor, or in the container that comes with an immersion blender. Process until quite smooth, either in the food processor or with the immersion blender (I don’t recommend a blender, because it’s a very small amount and more difficult to get out from the bottom of the container). Transfer to a small serving bowl.Serve the chocolate drizzled fruit with the date sauce on the side.

Variation: Instead of the date sauce, if you’d like to make this even more decadent, serve cashew, almond, or peanut butter as a dip.

Chocolate-drizzled applesChocolate-drizzled apples

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