Prep 15 mins
Cook 0 mins
"...while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads..." Make these up to 1 month in advance; store, refrigerated, in an airtight container with parchment or waxed paper between the layers. From Saveur magazine, December, 1999.
- 2 cups whole almonds
- 1⁄4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup finely chopped dried apricot
- 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates
- 3 drops orange liqueur or 3 drops orange juice, if mixture is too dry
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then finely chop.
- Meanwhile, combine honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Add almonds, apricots, and dates and mix well; (add a few drops of liqueur or orange juice if mixture is too dry).
- Pinch off rounded teaspoon-size pieces of the mixture and roll into balls. (Rinse your hands often, as mixture is very sticky.) Roll balls in sugar, then refrigerate in single layers between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers for up to 1 month. Their flavor improves after ripening for several days.
These are delicious! Using a food processor is a must (IMHO)--I just wish I'd known the tip about using wet hands to roll the balls before making the recipe. :-) I rolled mine in unsweetened, shredded coconut and I'll definitely be making them again!
These are fab! I did not need the liqueur. Using wet hands is the key to rolling these out successfully and not having it all over your hands. I did use regular white sugar instead of the confectioners as I think it is prettier (and a lot less messy). Thanks for the recipe!
These are excellent! I've been making them ever since I got that issue of Saveur. If you coarsely chop the almonds, then put them in the food processor with the dried fruit, it chops them up finely, without gumming up the processor. I do it in three small batches. Then, I microwave the honey (til runny) and add the spices and orange zest to that so it mixes with the fruit/nut mixture easier. I put these in goodie bags for my friends. I always stick some in the back of the fridge to find after Christmas, just for me. Thanks for posting this!