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Apricot Balls

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Apricot Balls
(c) 2010 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Apricot Balls are chocolate-covered bites of intensely flavored apricot filling. The taste and texture is similar to a concentrated apricot jam, so this is the perfect candy for lovers of that sweet-tart apricot flavor.

Yield: 24 small apricot balls

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (1-1/3 cup) dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 oz chocolate candy coating

Preparation:

1. Finely chop the dried apricots, and place them in a medium saucepan with the water over medium-low heat. Cover the pan, and simmer the apricots until they absorb the water and start to break down. Stir the mixture every few minutes, so that it doesn't start to scorch at the bottom. This process should take about 20-30 minutes. If it does start to scorch, turn the heat lower.

2. Add the sugar and continue to cook over low heat and stir frequently until a thick paste forms and the mixture starts to dry out a little and be less sticky, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove the apricot paste from the heat and spread it in a thin layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the refrigerator to quickly cool the mixture down.

4. Once the mixture is cool and firm enough to shape, roll it into small balls and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. The flavor of these apricot balls are quite concentrated, so smaller candies are better and less overwhelming. Keep the apricot balls in the refrigerator while you prepare the candy coating.

5. Place the candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until the coating is smooth and free of lumps.

6. Using dipping tools or a fork, dip each apricot ball completely in the candy coating and replace it on the foil-lined sheet. If desired, you can top the balls with a sliver of dried apricot or a dusting of chopped nuts while the coating is still wet. Repeat until all of the balls are covered with chocolate coating.

7. Refrigerate the tray to set the coating, for about 20 minutes. Serve Apricot Balls at room temperature, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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