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WHITE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT-APRICOT TRUFFLES
(makes 28 truffles)

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

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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