It seems like today most desserts have chocolate in them, but back in the day we had a lot more desserts that were centered around fruits and nuts, like this apricot nugget candy. Sometimes made only for holidays homemade candies like these were treats we looked forward to all year!
These candies are easy to make, require no boiling or cooking, and for a candy are relatively healthful. There’s only a handful of ingredients in this simple recipe, but the flavor will have everyone going “ooh” and “ahh”. Trust me- I’ve taken them many places at this point and the reaction is always positive.
The flavor is fruity, with a little hint of something extra from a little almond extract and a splash of orange juice. The oj enhances the fruity flavor without turning these into orange candies. They aren’t too sweet and still taste like fruit and nuts- the two main ingredients in these treats.
Using a food processor will make this recipe go super quick. First add the dried apricots to the processor and chop until fine. You can also mash them using a mortar and pestle or chop them with a knife. Whichever way you cut them they need to be very uniform in texture with no large pieces.
Then you can add the remaining ingredients (minus the nuts to coat with) to the food processor until you’ve got a smooth texture. Or mix by hand in a mixing bowl.
Roll it into balls and then you’re ready to coat each candy piece in chopped pecans.
I got the small size of cupcake liners to place each candy in. The ones in the photos are 1.37″ across (the mini size) which is perfect since you’ll be making these candies about 1″ across.
Personally I think these are best cold from the fridge as they firm up a little at cooler temperatures. These candies are naturally gluten-free and if you use vegan butter then they’ll be vegan as well.
It can be hard to satisfy different diets and tastes around holiday time, but anyone who can have nuts can have these wonderfully crunchy and fruity candies.
Apricot Nugget Candy
Makes 50-60 candies
25m prep time
- 11 oz dried apricots
- 1 lb confectioners sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups finely chopped pecans
- Pulse apricots in food processor until fine in texture. Or mash using mortar and pestle.
- Combine apricots, sugar, butter, orange juice, extracts, and 1 cup pecans in medium bowl. Roll into balls 1” across.
- Roll each ball in remaining pecans and store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Recipe Tips.