Turkish Apricot Bites – A perfect hors d’oeuvre!

In the city of Istanbul, Turkey, spices, dried fruits and nuts of all sorts imaginable are sold by the barrel in dozens of stalls throughout the Egyptian Spice Market! The Turkish dried apricot is the perfect size for a delicious, slightly sweet and savory one-bite hors d’oeuvre. A yummy cream cheese and chutney filling topped with crunchy candied pecans fills the cavity of the apricot, and one of your favorite things about them will be that they’re actually better if you make the chutney mixture the day before your party.

Pair Turkish Apricot Bites with any fruity cocktails or white wine. Besides an evening cocktail party, Miss Party also likes to serve them as a light hors d’oeuvre for a brunch, or afternoon event.

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Recipe makes approximately 4 dozen hors d’oeuvres:

1 Tblsp. unsalted butter
1 Tblsp. brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (Miss Party Smarty prefers pecans, but walnuts would work as well)

1 12 ounce Pkg of sun-dried Turkish apricots (around 4 dozen)
4 oz. cream cheese, *softened to room temperature so it’s easy to cream (1/2 of an 8 oz. block)
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup chutney (Miss Party loves Stonewall Kitchen’s “Farmhouse Chutney”, and uses only that particular chutney with this recipe.)
Dash of Kosher salt and pepper

1 day ahead:

1) In a small skillet, begin melting butter over medium heat, add brown sugar and nuts. Cook and stir nuts for 2 minutes until butter begins to foam and nuts are toasted. Transfer nuts to a foil-lined baking sheet to cool. Break up nut clusters and bag.

2) In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, chutney, salt and pepper. Cream together until very well combined and smooth. Refrigerate the cream cheese mixture overnight.

3) Spoon 1/2-3/4 teaspoon of the cheese mixture onto the less flat side of each apricot. Repeat for each apricot until you run out of mixture or apricots. Store in a plastic container, refrigerate overnight.

Before serving:

About 30 minutes before serving, lightly press 3-5 pieces of the candied nuts into the creamed mixture. Keep Apricot Bites covered until ready to serve.

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