White Chocolate Apricot-Hazelnut Truffles

** 1 1/4 C hazelnuts (aka filberts)
** 1/4 C finely chopped dried apricots
** 24 ounces imported white chocolate
** 6 Tbl heavy cream

1. On a baking sheet, spread out 1 1/4 C hazelnuts. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, or until nuts are light brown and the dark skins are cracked. Remove as much of the skins as possible by rubbing nuts in a terrycloth towel. Finely chop nuts in a food processor.

2. In a 1-quart glass container, combine 12 ounces imported white chocolate, cut up and 6 Tbl heavy cream. [Note: I used the Nestle white chocolate chips that are available in my local supermarket. It worked well, but I am sure it would be better if you use a good import instead.]

3. Microwave mixture on MEDIUM (70% power), 3 to 4 minutes, stirring twice, until chocolate is melted and smooth. [You can do this step in a double-boiler if you don't have a microwave.] Stir into melted chocolate 3/4 C of the chopped nuts and 1/4 C finely chopped dried apricots.

4. Cover the mixture and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or until mixture is firm enough to hold its shape. (If mixture gets too hard, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or so, until firm but soft enough to shape.)

5. Form 28 smooth 1 1/4-inch diameter balls, either by using a 1 1/4inch automatic-release ice cream scoop, or by rolling 1 Tbl of the mixture between your (clean!) hands. Place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or longer.

(makes 28 truffles)

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