January 9th is National Apricot Day. We’re not sure why, since apricot season in the U.S. is from May through August (any fresh apricots found in the winter months have made a long trip from the southern hemisphere).
Yet, you can toast the day with an apricot brandy sour, have apricot jam on your toast or sandwich (cream cheese, goat cheese, ham, turkey), make a pork roast with dried apricots, or use the jam as filling in a Sacher Torte.
Here’s a quick and easy way to turn dried apricots into something festive. If you don’t want to make your own, you can order chocolate-dipped apricots from Bissinger’s or Lake Champlain Chocolates (the latter are kosher-certified).
Don’t like chocolate? There’s another recipe below for glazed dried apricots.
These are delicious with tea and coffee, as a petit-four after dinner, or whenever a chocolate yen beckons.
Ingredients For 24 Pieces
1. For best results, temper chocolate in a chocolate tempering machine. If you don’t own one, melt the chocolate in a chocolate melting pot, microwave oven or double boiler.
2. Place the chopped nuts on a plate or in a shallow bowl, for dipping.
 Make your own or buy them (photo © Bissinger’s).
3. Holding an apricot by the rim, dip about half of it in the chocolate. Give it a quick twist, shake off excess chocolate and tap the apricot against the rim of the bowl if excess chocolate remains.
4. Before chocolate dries, dip the top of the apricot into the chopped nuts. Place on parchment paper to set up and cool. If the set up seems slow, place in refrigerator for 3 to 5 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen pieces.
1. BOIL the water in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves and a syrup is created. Boil until the syrup reaches 310°F on a candy thermometer (do not stir).
2. PLACE the pot in a pan of cold water to instantly stop the boiling; then immediately remove the pot and set in a pan of hot water. (This keeps the syrup at the right temperature.)
4. DIP each apricot in the syrup, using a skewer. Shake off the excess syrup and and place the apricot on wax paper to dry.
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