What is your cooking grove?
Do you get in the kitchen, whip something up and hurry out? Linger a bit and start exploring the depths of your pantry and/or freezer? Maybe even pour a glass of wine, put on really loud music and start getting creative?
I certainly do all of the above but more often than not, I find myself on cooking binges.
I will go into the kitchen with plans to cook something specific, like a soup or a casserole and be having such a good time, I start thinking about what else I can make. This usually happens when I have a bit more time than a typical weeknight at 5PM offers but nonetheless, I am always grateful for an opportunity to get creative and just cook.
It’s in these times where I am both relaxed and invigorated that I tend to create new things, have interesting ideas or make good use of what is left in my pantry.
That is how these little chocolate dipped gems developed – a lonely bag of dried apricots, a mason jar of organic, fair-trade semi-sweet chocolate chips, some leftover Hawaiian Sea Salt from our honeymoon, organic almond extract and just enough raw almonds to make it work.
Combine all of that with a glass (or two) of chardonnay, some loud music, a baking sheet and a bit of patience and you can have Chocolate Covered Apricots with Crushed Almonds too.
- If you are lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, they have great prices on nuts and dried fruit. They also have a lot of unsulphured options like the Dried Apricots that I used. If you don’t live near them, check the bulk bins or order online. I included a link to an Amazon search in the recipe and here is a supplier who sells organic, unsulphured apricots as well. Why Unsulphured Dried Fruit? Read here for more!
- I wanted to make some nut-free for a friend who doesn’t eat nuts so I only used 1/4 cup. If you want all the apricots dipped in nuts, use 1/3 cup. It will not change the Points Plus value.
- Begin by processing the raw almonds in the food processor until finely ground but not powdery. You want little granules. Spread the crushed almonds out on a flat plate and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Next, add pinch of sea salt and almond extract to chocolate chips and melt over a double boiler (or very carefully in the microwave).
- Working quickly, dip each apricot into the melted chocolate, covering about ½ of the apricot. Next, dip the chocolate covered apricot into the ground almonds. Set on baking sheet and repeat. If you find that the chocolate begins to harden, you may need to warm it up just a bit to continue.
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!