Pecan Caramel Baked Apples

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Directions

INGREDIENTS:

Apples:                                                                       
4 Rome apples of equal size (Gala, Stayman, and Cortland apples also work well)
Butter, unsalted
Cinnamon
Topping:                                                                                  
8 heaping tbsp light brown sugar 
20 pecan halves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp golden raisins (optional) 
½ tsp cinnamon
dash of pumpkin pie spice (important)
3 tbsp Half & Half
Heavy whipping cream
DIRECTIONS:
Core and peel apples, leaving a ring of skin around the bottom quarter of each apple.
Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each apple (so they don't roll) and place apples in glass baking dish.
Into each core hole, place a thick pat of butter and a dash of cinnamon.
Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and poke several air holes.
Microwave apples on high setting for 1½  minutes.  Flip each apple upside down and microwave for 1 minute.
Turn apples right-side-up, and if necessary microwave extra time to reach the desired softness (poke with fork to test).  Note: Microwaves vary, so experiment with cooking times to achieve the apple softness you desire.
Combine topping ingredients (except the heavy whipping cream) in a small saucepan.
Heat on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved, then set on low to avoid burning.  Topping should be thick & syrupy. 
Place each apple into a dessert bowl, and spoon a generous amount of topping over each apple (try to avoid the core hole).
Fill each core hole with heavy whipping cream.  Serve hot, and bask in the glow of your family's smiles!
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