Growing up, my family and I used to snack on a large, sticky sheet of something called Dried Apricot Paste (see photo below). We used to purchase it from a place named Droubi’s (a local Middle Eastern grocery store of sorts) and it has always been one of my favorite snacks. It’s essentially fruit leather, but much more substantial than those little strips you get for fifty cents from your local Whole Foods. This stuff is thick and chewy, tart and sweet, and just so addictive.
The other day, when I was chomping on square after square of this delightful paste, I started getting some ideas. Well, mostly I got the idea to look for recipes using apricots and pistachios. What did I find? About a bajillion recipes for something called an Apricot “Truffle.” I was intrigued, so I did some research and found that no two recipes for this concept were the same. Some used (a lot) of condensed milk, some used lemon, some used honey, some used different kinds of dried apricots and opted for pecans vs. pistachios. Some called for sweet vs. unsweetened coconut, while other just threw a bunch of stuff into a food processor and called it a day.
Now, I tend to get VERY overwhelmed when faced with too many options. If I can’t find one specific recipe that speaks to my sweet tooth, I find it’s best just to create my own based on the best bits and pieces I’ve found from ALL the recipes and make adjustments as I go along.
So, that is exactly what I’ve done with Apricot “Truffles.” These guys are essentially lovely little balls of apricot paste flavored with anything from lemon juice to sugar to nuts and brown sugar. I wanted my truffles to be healthier, so I kept things simple. I really like the final product this recipe yielded, but I still plan on making other variations and will be sure to post standout combinations here or on Instagram in the future! Please post a comment below or tag me on Instagram if you make them!
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of one small lemon
1 tablespoon honey (I used a local clover honey. This gave the truffles a significant undertone of sweet and floral flavors)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (in other words, medium, finely shredded unsweetened coconut) – for rolling
2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped pistachios (we’re talking powder consistency almost) – for rolling
15-17 mini cupcake liners/cups/etc.
Chop up the dried apricots and put them into a food processor. Pulse until the apricots forms a thick, sticky paste.
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey and pulse until combined.
Using your hands, take about a tablespoon-sized amount of the paste and roll into a ball. You can make these whatever size you want – bigger or smaller. It’s up to you!
Take the balls and roll them in either the coconut or the pistachio (or both if you’re feeling adventurous) and put them in your mini cupcake liners.
Place them in an airtight container and put them in the fridge for about an hour before serving. You can keep these at room temp, but I find they taste better cold.
(*Note – This recipe yields a very tart “truffle”. If you want yours sweeter, I’d opt to cut about a 1/2 tablespoon of the lemon juice. You can replace it with a little more honey if so desired. You can also roll these guys in any nut or topping you choose. I think they’d be good with cashews, pecans, or macadamia nuts!)