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Wisconsin Blue Cheese Balls With Winter Fruit

the.instructor's picture
  Dried apricots 30
  Water 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Pure vanilla extract 4 Teaspoon
  Coarsely chopped pecans 2⁄3 Cup (10.67 tbs)
  Cream cheese 4 Ounce, cut in to chunks (At Room Temperature)
  Blue cheese 3 Ounce, crumbled (3/4 Cup, Wisconsin Brand)
  French brandy 1 Tablespoon
  Grated yellow onion 1⁄2 Tablespoon

Place the apricots in a sauce pan.
Add water barely to cover.
Stir in vanilla.
Bring the apricots to a boil, uncovered, and simmer until tender, 1-4 minutes, depending on the dryness of the apricots.
Test with a fork.
The apricots should be tender but not limp.
Drain and dry well.
Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet.
Toast the pecans for 4-5 minutes, until aromatic.
Stir after 2 minutes and watch so the nuts do not scorch.
Remove and pour pecans on waxed paper to cool.
Whirl the pecans in a blender or food processor until very fine.
Set aside.
Place the Cream Cheese, Wisconsin Blue cheese and brandy in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until all ingredients are well blended.
Add the onion and pulse briefly to incorporate.
Remove mixture to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Remove cheese mixture from refrigerator.
Form miniature balls and dip tops in pecans.
Place on an apricot, nut side up.
Repeat until all mixture is used.
The mixture is soft - if too soft, spoon onto apricots, rounding the top and sprinkle with apricots.
Makes about 30 miniature balls.
This mixture is a terrific filling for stewed dried plums (prunes) and Majool dates.
Make a party plate with all winter fruits - apricots, dried plums and dates - for variety.
If a nonalcoholic mixture is preferred, substitute sherry extract.
Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add to taste.

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Wisconsin Blue Cheese Balls With Winter Fruit Recipe