Creamy hazelnut and apricot nougat bonbons, covered in semi-sweet chocolate and topped with chopped hazelnuts.
1 1⁄2 lb. (31⁄8 cups) sugar, divided
1 1⁄2 cups water, divided
1⁄2 cup corn syrup, divided
3⁄4 cup egg whites, beaten stiff
1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
9 oz. (2 cups) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and finely chopped
6 oz. dried apricots, finely diced
2 oz. (1⁄3 cup) whole hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 oz. (1⁄3 cup) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, very finely chopped
1. Boil 1 cup sugar, 1⁄2 cup water, and 3 tbsp. corn syrup to 290°F. Beat syrup slowly into egg whites, continue until cool.
2. Boil remaining 1 cup sugar, 1⁄2 cup water, and 3 tbsp. corn syrup to 290°F. Slowly beat into first mixture, until cool. Mix in vanilla, 2 cups chopped hazelnuts, and apricots.
3. Spread nougat mixture into buttered 8x8-in. pan. Smooth surface, cover, and set overnight. Cut into 32 pieces.
4. Shape each nougat around a whole hazelnut; roll into ball. Set balls on waxed paper.
5. Melt chocolate; use to coat balls. Sprinkle with 1⁄3 cup chopped hazelnuts; let set.