Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fruit-Nut Balls

I found this recipe in a fun cookbook/memoir A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg who also food blogs at Orangette. I loved her book. It was full of funny family stories, mostly centering around food, and then each short chapter ended with a recipe or two. As I was reading it I kept feeling so in sync with Molly. There were so many stories I could relate to or just thought were hysterical. I wish we could be friends. Based on her book, I think we have a lot in common. She said she avoided these balls for years and years and then one year made them and ever since they've been a holiday must-do!

If you've kept track this is my 5th ball recipe for my holiday plate- excessive, I know. What can I say- it just kinda happened...
Fruit-Nut Balls
Adapted From: A Homemade Life
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cup walnuts
2/3 lb pitted dried cherries
1/3 lb dried figs
1/2 lb pitted dried apricots
1/3 lb pitted prunes
1 or 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, or brandy
1/2 cup powdered sugar
10 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Finely chop the walnuts in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Check the prunes for pits! One pit in the processor will turn into billions of tiny rocks.

3. Add half of the dried fruit to the food processor bowl and pulse until finely chopped. Pieces should be the size of pea or smaller. Do not turn the fruit into gummy paste! Add the fruit to the large bowl an repeat with the remaining fruit. When all the fruit it chopped stir the fruit and nut mixture well.

4. Add one tablespoon of the Grand Marnier and stir to incorporate. Pinch off a small wad and check to see if it holds together in a tight ball. If it does not add another tablespoon of Grand Marnier.

5. Form into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Set on a baking sheet and let stand uncovered for 24 hours at room temperature.

6. Line a second baking sheet with a silicone line (or parchment). In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate.

7. Bring the chocolate and balls near the sink. Take one ball at a time and spoon a dollop of chocolate on top. Coax the chocolate down by shaking the ball slightly. Do this over the sink as not to contaminate your chocolate. The chocolate will not cover the ball completely. Set the ball, chocolate side up, on the baking sheet and repeat.

8. Slide the baking sheet into the fridge and chill until the chocolate has hardened, about 2 hours. Place each ball in a paper candy cup. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

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