Friday, January 12, 2018

Apricot Cheesecake Bites

I made these in the summer when we were being inundated with apricots. Lillooet grows some of the most amazing apricots in the world. We even have an annual Apricot Festival to help celebrate them!
This recipe came about because I wanted something simple, elegant, and delicious that made enough for a crowd. This met all the criteria and then some. 
I used large apricots and got about 30 pieces. Smaller apricots would work just as well, you would just be dipping and filling for a while longer!
Fresh fruit, fluffy cheesecake filling, and decadent dark chocolate - yes, yes, and yes. 
Also, they are soooo pretty. So, there's that. 

Apricot Cheesecake Bites

15 large apricots, halved and pitted
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups Cool Whip

2 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs

Place prepared apricots on a cookie tray lined with a Silpat or plastic wrap, pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

Place the dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe glass and melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring in between, until smooth. 
Dip each apricot halfway into the melted chocolate, gently shake off excess, then place back on cookie sheet. Repeat until all the apricots are done. If the chocolate starts to harden up simply microwave for a few seconds again. 

Set aside to solidify while you make the cheesecake filling. You can pop them in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the chocolate hardening. 
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add in the brown sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.
Stir in the Cool Whip. 

Place filling in a piping bag (or a large Ziplock bag). Pipe filling into each apricot half.

Sprinkle each with a pinch of graham cracker crumbs to finish.

The crumbs are optional but really add to the cheesecakeyness. 

The larger apricots are perfect 2 bite desserts to bring to a potluck. No cutlery needed!
Chill until ready to serve. 

In the above photo you can see I left a few without chocolate just to see how they looked. I think they look naked. Definitely go with the chocolate. It adds all the right things! Of course, if you have people that don't like chocolate then this is always an option. But, I don't really think those people exist. Do they?
Anyway, These may be a bit fidgety to make with all that dipping and piping but they are not at all difficult. If you have a helper it goes even faster. 
FYI - I think the sprinkle of graham crumbs looks like gold sparkles. Don't you think?

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