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White Chocolate Hazelnut apricot Truffles

  • 1 1/4 cup hazelnuts (aka filberts)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 24 ounces imported white chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

(makes 28 truffles). On a baking sheet, spread out 1 1/4 C hazelnuts. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, or until nuts are light brown and the dark skins are cracked. Remove as much of the skins as possible by rubbing nuts in a terry-cloth towel. Finely chop nuts in a food processor. In a 1-quart glass container, combine 12 ounces imported white chocolate, cut up and 6 Tbl heavy cream. Microwave mixture on MEDIUM (70% power), 3 to 4 minutes, stirring twice, until chocolate is melted and smooth. [You can do this step in a double-boiler if you don't have a microwave.] Stir into melted chocolate 3/4 C of the chopped nuts and 1/4 C finely chopped dried apricots. Cover the mixture and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or until mixture is firm enough to hold its shape. (If mixture gets too hard, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or so, until firm but soft enough to shape.) Form 28 smooth 1 1/4-inch diameter balls, either by using a 1 1/4-inch automatic-release ice cream scoop, or by rolling 1 Tbl of the mixture between your (clean!) hands. Place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or longer. In a small glass dish, place another 12 ounces imported white chocolate, cut up. Microwave on MEDIUM (70% power), 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until chocolate is melted, smooth, and warm. Work quickly so the dipping chocolate does not harden before you are through. If it does, pop it back into the microwave for a few seconds. Using a fork to 'hold' the truffle (do not 'spear' the truffle. I found 2 forks worked better for me. Maybe you are not as clumsy as I am), dip the truffles, 1 at a time, into the melted chocolate. Tap on edge of dish to remove any excess. Place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and, before the dipped layer can harden, sprinkle with the remaining chopped nuts. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks, or in freezer 1 month. Serve in paper candy cups.

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