Celebrations like Cinco de Mayo come and go, but certain specialties that make up a delicious fiesta could…and should be enjoyed all year long. A perfect example; chocolate pecan “cigars.” They are so simple to make and just the right little “something something” when you’re having a chocolate craving or you want to surprise you dinner guests with a unique twist on dessert! With southwestern grocery stores so plentiful in Arizona, it’s easy to pick up the most important ingredient, corn husks. The next things you’ll need are delicious, decadent white and dark chocolate and some pecans. You’ll caramelize the pecans, chop them up, stir them into the melted chocolates and then spoon the chocolate into the corn husks. Then you wrap them up like little edible gifts and tie a corn husk bow around them. I originally made these for special occasions, but now I keep a container of them in my frig to satisfy my sweet tooth. Some southwestern traditions are just too good to make only once a year!
- 12 tamale corn husks
- 12 ounces white chocolate or white melting wafers
- 12 ounces dark chocolate coating or melting wafers
- 2 cups whole pecans
- 1/3 cup brown or white sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Cover a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Place corn husks in large pot with hot water. Place a plate over the husks to keep them submerged. Let the husks soften at least 5 minutes. While husks are softening, make the sugared pecans. In a small pot over high heat, add the water and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir until sugar dissolves. Boil until mixture comes to a syrupy consistency, about 3-4 minutes. Add the pecans, and stir until the liquid cooks off and the nuts are completely coated. Spoon the nuts onto the prepared sheet pan, separating them so they don’t clump. In a small sauce pan or microwave, melt the white chocolate coating and spoon into a bowl. In another sauce pan or microwave, melt the dark chocolate coating and spoon into a bowl. (If using a microwave melt at 30 second intervals so chocolate won’t seize up.) Add half of the chopped pecans to the white chocolate and half to the dark chocolate. Remove softened husks, dry with paper towels and tear them into 2 inch strips. With a spoon spread 2-3 teaspoons of white chocolate/pecan mixture down one side of the husk then carefully and tightly roll the husks into cigars, wiping off any chocolate that might seep out of the husk. Repeat the process with the dark chocolate. Tie a thin strip of corn husk around the cigar. Place the chocolate cigars on the parchment covered baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden. Unwrap the corn husk and enjoy! Makes 24 cigars.