Fruit nut balls.

A couple of months ago I was browsing the cookbooks at a local bookstore and was taken by the title and cover of a book. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table. I picked it up and started reading, bought the book, took it home, and realized it was written by a well known blogger. I was new to the blog world and had no idea who Molly Wizenberg was. I love her lovingly written stories about her family and food. And of course as an added bonus I love her recipes at the end of each story.

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
This book is so wonderful because as many of us know, many of our fondest memories are in some way tied to food. Like how every year when I was a young girl, my mom, sister and I would don homemade aprons to make fudge and divinity with my grandma. And how I distinctly remember coming home from elementary school and having my older sister fry potatoes with lemon pepper and ketchup for snack. Weird huh? But so good. Especially when you are 8. Food is what brings us around a table, together so that we can make moments and memories last. So I urge you this holiday season to sit around the table and make memories. And make these too, they are simple, delcious, and no need to turn your oven on.

Fruit Nut Balls
Molly Wizenberg of Orangette
45-50 balls

1C walnuts
1/2 pound pitted dried cherries
1/2 pound dried figs
1/2 pound pitted dried apricots (I used 1/2 apricots and 1/2 dried cranberries here)
1/2 pound pitted prunes
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, apple cider may be used here
1/2C powdered sugar
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Put walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steele blade and pule to chop finely. Transfer to a large bowl. Return bowl to base without washing. Add half the dried fruit and pulse to chop finely. You want the fruit pieces to be no larger than a pea, but be careful not to turn it into a paste. Add to the bowl with walnuts. Repeat with the remaining dried fruit. Stir all the chopped fruit and walnuts well. Add the Grand Marnier. Pinch off a small ball, does it hold it's shape? If not add a bit more Grand Marnier.

Put the powdered sugar in a small wide bowl. pinch off bits of the mixture (i used a coffee scoop here) and gently roll into balls. Roll each ball into powdered sugar, shake off excess, and place on a lined baking sheet. Set aside, uncovered, for 24 hours at room temperature.

To finish line a second sheet with parchment. Melt chocolate either over double boiler, or in the microwave like I did (15 seconds at a time, stirring between until just melted).  Dollop the top of each ball with chocolate and shake to coax the chocolate down the sides. It will look like a "chocolate hat" as Molly describes it. Slide the sheet, uncovered in the refrigerator and chill until hardened, about 2 hours. Tuck them into small paper candy cups and enjoy. Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.



Pretty Mommy said...

I've been wanting to buy that book!! These look delicious...

Torrie said...

I discovered this book in a similar way, and had no idea who she was either, and hadn't yet discovered the blog world. Unfortunately, I have yet to read it, but it is at the top of my list!

I'm Danielle said...

Ladies- The book is so sweet. I really love the stories...Until you read/get your copy, I am sure to share the recipes :)

Anonymous said...

Love that book. I just made these too, and love that they're not overloaded with sugar! Score! -Rosy

I'm Danielle said...

Rosy- I love that they are not too sugary as well. Gotta love the Grand Marnier! Thanks for the comment :). Have you tried any other recipes from the book?

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