Miniature WI Blue Cheese Balls with Winter Fruit
Serving Size: Makes 30 balls.
30 dried apricots
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped pecans
4 ounces Cream cheese cut in chunks and room temperature
3 ounces (3/4 cup) Wisconsin Blue cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon Brandy
1/2 Tablespoon grated yellow onion
Adapted From: eatwisconsincheese.com
A colorful appetizer for anytime of year.
Place the apricots in a saucepan. Add water barely to cover. Stir in vanilla. Bring the apricots to a boil, uncovered, and simmer until tender, 1-4 minutes, depending on the dryness of the apricots. Test with a fork. The apricots should be tender but not limp. Drain and dry well. Set aside.Preheat the oven to 375Âº. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast the pecans for 4-5 minutes, until aromatic. Stir after 2 minutes and watch so the nuts do not scorch. Remove and pour pecans on waxed paper to cool. Whirl the pecans in a blender or food processor until very fine. Set aside. Place the Cream Cheese, Wisconsin Blue cheese and brandy in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well blended. Add the onion and pulse briefly to incorporate. (You may also blend the mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer.)
Remove mixture to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Remove cheese mixture from refrigerator. Form miniature balls and dip tops in pecans. Place on an apricot, nut side up. Repeat until all mixture is used. The mixture is soft if too soft, spoon onto apricots, rounding the top and sprinkle with apricots. Makes about 30 miniature balls.