Makes 24

1 ½ cups ground almonds

200g prunes, pitted

50g dried New Zealand apricots

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100g icing sugar

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

2 Tbs dark chocolate, finely chopped [optional]

¼ cup brandy or fruit based spirit

Almond oil for rolling

Caster sugar

1

Preheat oven to 180C. Spread the ground almonds on a lined baking tray and toast for 5 minutes, stirring once until golden.

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2

Put the prunes, apricots, icing sugar, lemon and chocolate into a food processor and pulse until pureed. Add the brandy and pulse again briefly.

3

Put the mixture into a bowl and stir in the almonds. Lightly oil your hands then roll the mixture until smooth balls. Refrigerate until well chilled. Before serving, pour some caster sugar onto a plate and roll each sweetmeat ball until covered.