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Fruit and Nut Christmas Wreath

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Fruit and Nut Christmas Wreath
(c) 2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
This Fruit and Nut Christmas Wreath is a beautiful candy showpiece for the holidays. Candied fruit and many different types of nuts adorn this crispy chocolate wreath. I recommend using large nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, and brazil nuts to make the assembly faster, but you can whichever nuts you enjoy eating.

Yield: 1 large fruit and nut wreath

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chips, divided use
  • 2 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 1 cup red candied cherries
  • 1 cup green candied cherries
  • 3 cups toasted, salted mixed nuts

Preparation:

1. If you have a 9-inch ring mold, spray it lightly with nonstick cooking spray. If not, you can make a freeform wreath shape on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

2. Place 2 cups of the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until the chocolate is melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating.

3. Add the crisped rice cereal to the melted chocolate and stir until it's evenly coated. Spread the chocolate-cereal mixture into the ring mold in an even layer, or if you're using a baking sheet, spoon it into a 9-inch wreath shape. This layer will be covered by fruit and nuts later, so it's not important that it be perfectly even. Refrigerate the tray or ring mold to set the chocolate, for about 20 minutes.

4. After it is set, remove it from the ring mold by rapping it sharply on the counter several times. Melt the remaining 1 cup of chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl.

5. Decorate the wreath by dipping the cherries and mixed nuts halfway into the chocolate, then pressing them on top and on the sides of the wreath. The melted chocolate will act like glue and adhere them to the wreath. Fill every empty space with fruit and nuts, and try to vary the placement so the wreath is full of different colors and textures.

6. Refrigerate the fruit and nut wreath to set the chocolate, for another 20 minutes. Once set, it's ready to be displayed, gifted, or eaten. Store your Fruit and Nut Christmas Wreath wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container, and serve it at room temperature.

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