The fresh pears at the grocery store have looked so good for the last two weeks; I decided to do a pear cookie. The pear I chose was the Bartlett Pear. Here are some fun facts about pears. Pears have a subtly sweet taste that I love. I buy all kinds of pears, but the Bartlett's looked ripe and had the yellow skin I love.
This is a perfect spring, summer, or fall cookie. Fresh pears are a welcome flavor for any season. If the pears look good, this cookie will work all year.
Caramel goes very well with pears. But my favorite caramel chip has been discontinued, so I am trying caramel bits made by Kraft. They have the caramel taste I am looking for, which I was not finding in some chips shaped like chocolate chips.
My cookie also needed a little crunch but not a strong nut taste, so I chose the blanched almonds. It would give just enough hint of the almond taste to compliment the caramel and pears. So, all in all, this is a pretty tasty cookie.
Caramel bits - Hershey has discontinued the caramel chips with sea salt, so I decided to go with Kraft's caramel bits instead of chips.
Making Caramel Pear with Almond Cookies
There is some prep work in making cookies with fresh fruit. The main thing is absorbing some of the natural juices so your cookies do not get soggy.
Weigh or measure both sugars into a bowl and set it aside. Next, weigh or measure the flour and baking powder in a bowl. I always run a whisk through the dry ingredients to blend them.
Now for the lemon, I cut the knob off at each end. This makes it easier to zest around the lemon's top and bottom. I only go over the same spot no more than twice, so you are just getting the rind and not the white underneath.
I do the lemon first before cutting up the pear because I need a little of the lemon juice to sprinkle over the cut-up pear. This stops the browning process of the pear.
Cut the pear into quarters and peel the skin and take out the center part that holds the seeds. I sliced the quarter piece into four strips and then cut across to get bite-size pieces.
Add all the cut-up pear pieces to a bowl, spread ½ teaspoon of lemon juice over the pieces, and stir. The acid from the lemon juice will stop the browning process.
Lay paper towel sheets on any flat surface and add the cut-up pears. Spread them out so they are not bunched up. The goal is to let the paper towels absorb the juices from the pears.
Now, lay a layer of paper towels on the pears and press down gently. This way, you get juice from the top and the bottom of the pieces.
Let the pears on the paper towels while you mix the cookie dough.
Mixing the Cookie Dough
Sometimes my butter is not as soft as at room temperature, so I cream the butter in the mixer for a minute before I add the sugars. After adding the sugars turn the mixer to a medium speed for about three minutes.
Now, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest into the butter sugar mixture. Next incorporate the flour mixture. don't over mix the cookie dough will be a little dry.
Finally, add the almonds, caramel bits, and cut-up pears. Mix just until the pieces are mixed with the cookie dough. The pears bring moisture to the dry cookie dough.
You can use a spatula to finish mixing if you think the pears need to be distributed more. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Baking the Pear Cookies
Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C or 180°C), and line two cookie sheet pans with parchment paper. If you love baking cookies, you might want to look at these sheet pans and parchment paper sheets from the Webstaurant Store. LOVE them!
Roll a scoop of cookie dough using a medium cookie scooper and place 12 on one of the prepared sheet pans. I pressed down lightly on the top of each mound to help them from moving around.
Bake at 350°F (175°C or 180°C) for 13-15 minutes. After the cookies come out of the oven, I let them sit on the pan for a few minutes. This gives the caramel a little time to set. If you are using a rack to transfer the cookies to for cooling, I lay parchment paper on top of the rack.
If the caramel is still warm as it cools, it will stick to the wire rack. So, when you go to take them off, part of your cookie may stay on the rack.
The short answer is they discontinued the product. I called Hershey to find out why since several large companies were reselling them. There, of course, was no clear answer, so I have been hunting for a replacement.
No, unfortunately canned pears are full of juice and so soft that when you mix them into the cookie dough they will not hold their shape.
Yes, you can use a variety of nuts instead of almonds for the caramel pear with almond cookies. For example; walnut, pecans, and hazelnuts are excellent substitutes.
Even after you use a paper towel to absorb the juices in your fruit, there will still be some left in the fruit. I do single layers of cookies separated with parchment paper. I also do not seal the lid. Leaving air to surround your cookies helps to keep your cookies moist without getting soggy.
Other Cookies with Almonds
Caramel Pear with Almond CookiesBarbara Hall
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted room temperature
- ½ cup (110 g) Light brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) Sugar white
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) packed Lemon zest
- 2 ¾ cups (343.75 g) All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Baking powder
- 1 cup (161 g) Pear diced small
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Lemon juice for diced pears
- ½ cup (146 g) Caramel bits
- ½ cup (71.5 g) Almonds blanched
- Juice and zest one lemon into separate bowls and set aside. You should get at least one teaspoon of lemon juice. Use ½ teaspoon over the diced pears and ½ teaspoon for the cookie dough.
- Dice 1 Barlett pear into small pieces and then sprinkle ½ teaspoon of lemon juice over the pears. Lemon juice will stop the browning process. Next, weigh or measure the white and light brown sugars into a bowl and set aside. Next, weigh or measure the flour and baking powder into a bowl and whisk to blend.
- Add the butter and sugars in a stand or hand-held mixer and blend on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest till incorporated. Turn the mixer down to a low setting and add the flour mixture for about a minute. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom, and finish blending. Don't over-mix; incorporate the flour.
- Add the caramel chips, almonds, and pears and mix for about a minute until everything is blended. Don't over-mix; pears are soft. You can always hand mix with a spatula if you think it needs to be incorporated more throughout the cookie dough. Loosely wrap and refrigerate for ½ hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C or 180°C), line 2 cookie pans with parchment paper, and set aside. Pull dough from the refrigerator, and using a medium cookie scoop, place 12 scoops on a lined cookie pan. I roll the scooped cookie dough into a ball and press down lightly on the top, so they don't roll.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. I leave the cookies on the sheet pan for a minute to let the caramel set. If you are going to move the cookies to a cooling rack, I lay parchment paper on top of mine. The caramel on the bottom of the cookies will stick to the wire rack.
I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist. The nutrition amounts given below are provided through a program and are only a guideline.