There are ideas for all seasons, and many recipes for portable dishes that might be a great contribution to the next party you attend. All in all I’m glad I grabbed it, and I’m looking forward to trying out a few more recipes.
The gist of the recipe is this: blend dried apricots, dates, figs, pistachios, Christmas spices, apricot jam and brandy to a sticky, chewy paste. Let sit. Shape into adorable little plums and roll in sanding sugar. Pop into your mouth and be really, really surprised by how much you like them. And how completely they taste of Christmas. Easy and quick, these are definitely worth giving a try before the big day – especially since your guests will be impressed by how pretty they look on a platter. Just be sure that your food processor is ready for a workout – I think this may have been the last straw for my little Ninja processor.
Makes about 30 pieces.
- 2 c. pitted dates, chopped
- 1 c. shelled pistachio nuts
- 1/2 c. dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 c. dried figs, chopped
- 3 TBS brandy
- 2 TBS apricot jam
- 1/4 tsp orange oil, or 1 TBS dried orange peel
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 30 whole cloves (for the stems!)
- 3/4 c. large crystal sugar (sanding or turbinado sugar)
- Place all ingredients except whole cloves and sanding sugar in food processor and rapidly pulse until mixture is evenly ground and forms a sticky paste. If your food processor is too small to do all this at once, process the dried fruit and nuts in batches, then add them all back in (each ingredient should shrink in volume as it is processed) with the remaining ingredients until they are evenly mixed and blended. Knead the dough/paste for 2-3 minutes then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Pull off tablespoon sized balls from the refrigerated dough and roll into small oval shapes between your hands (to resemble plums). Roll in sanding sugar, then stick a whole clove into the end to make a stem. Lay the sugarplums out on a baking sheet and allow to firm up in a cool, dry place overnight. Store in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature.