Chocolate-Dipped Monogrammed Apricots

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Many symbols and practices associated with Christmas are of Pagan origin: holly, ivy, mistletoe, the giving of gifts, decorated evergreen tree, magical reindeer

I hate to deflate those who get their energy in the darkest days of the year from rage about "the war against Christmas," but how mainstream culture celebrates the "holiday season" in America and Europe is largely based upon Pagan traditions.

And the Pagans had the right idea— what better way to deal with the darkest day of the year and dipping Serotonin levels than presents, bright colors, feasting and magical reindeer! I like to observe the Solstice season with natural brightness— candles, oranges, cranberries and chocolate covered apricots. These are super easy and easy to make in bulk and in advance for gifts and parties. For a brief discussion of gluten-free chocolate see my truffle post. For the white chocolate I like the Whole Foods brand white chocolate chunks which have a 24% Cacao content and are gluten-free, but they are not vegan.

Pastry bags can be purchased from craft stores and many grocery stores for around $6-7. I use my trusty mechanical pastry bag from William Sonoma. If you don't want to bother monogramming them, dipped chocolate apricots are also a great gift. But, don't underestimate the fun of initialing and drawing snowflakes and other fun winter designs on bright orange!

Chocolate-Dipped Monogrammed Apricots

1 lb. dried apricots
1.25 C. gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
.5 C. gluten-free white chocolate chips
Pastry bag or press with writing tip.

1. Lay out wax paper on counter.
2. Melt chocolate in saucepan over low heat stir constantly and do not leave unattended.
3. When Chocolate becomes a creamy consistency pour carefully into a bowl next to wax paper.
4. Lightly dip half the apricot into chocolate and place on wax paper until hardened.
5. Once all apricots are dipped, repeat steps 2 with white chocolate.
6. Once white chocolate is melted, allow it to sit for a minute.
7. Carefully spoon the chocolate into the pastry bag or press and write initials or designs on apricots.

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