The nutty, blue cheese mixture makes aterrific filling for stewed dried apricots, plums (prunes) andMajool dates. Make a party plate with assorted winter fruitsfor variety.
Recipe: Miniature Blue CheeseBalls with Winter Fruit
30 dried apricots
Place the apricots in a sauce pan. Addwater barely to cover. Stir in vanilla. Bring the apricots toa boil, uncovered, and simmer until tender, 1-4 minutes, dependingon the dryness of the apricots. Test with a fork. The apricotsshould be tender but not limp. Drain and dry well. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Toastthe pecans for 4 to 5 minutes, until aromatic. Stir after 2 minutesand watch so the nuts do not scorch. Remove and pour pecans onwaxed paper to cool. Whirl the pecans in a blender or food processoruntil very fine. Set aside.
Place the cream cheese, blue cheese andbrandy in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until all ingredientsare well blended. Add the onion and pulse briefly to incorporate.(You may also blend the mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer.)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 issoft – if too soft, spoon onto apricots, rounding the topand sprinkle with nuts.
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
4 ounces cream cheese cut in chunks and room temperature
3 ounces (3/4 cup) Wisconsin blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon French brandy*
1/2 tablespoon grated yellow onion
Makes about 30 miniature balls.
*If a nonalcoholic mixture is preferred,substitute sherry extract. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add totaste.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesyof Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.
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