Taste of the South

Festive Seasonal Sweets

Apricot-Date Snowballs

MAKES ABOUT 24

Rolled in confectioners’ sugar or sweetened flaked coconut, these no-bake cookies are hard to resist.

1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup whole pitted dates, chopped
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
2 cups crisp rice cereal*
½ cup chopped toasted pecans
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1. In a large saucepan, stir together granulated sugar, dates, apricots, butter, salt, and egg. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal, pecans, and vanilla. Let stand until cool enough to handle. (Mixture should still be slightly warm.)

2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar and coconut, and place on prepared pan. Let stand until cool. Store in an airtight container.

*We used Rice Krispies.

White Chocolate-Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

MAKES 1 (10-INCH) CHEESECAKE

This lovely treat combines the beloved flavor of pumpkin pie with the richness of cheesecake for one indulgent dessert.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup finely ground toasted
pecans
¼ cup English toffee bits
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 (4-ounce) bars white chocolate, melted and cooled
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 300°. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; spray again. Wrap bottom of pan with foil.

2. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, pecans, toffee bits, and butter. Press into the bottom of prepared pan.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with a

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