Gozinaki is a traditional Georgian candy made of caramelized nuts, usually walnuts, cooked in honey and served exclusively on New Year's Eve and Christmas. I like to make them also for Hanukkah and Purim. This candy is a perfect holiday gift for friends or neighbors; it is versatile, tasty and beautiful. You can make gozinaki with all kinds of nuts or seeds. In our family, I am known for playing with recipes and adding my own touch even to traditional dishes. This time I caramelized the walnuts in a combination of honey and pomegranate molasses, added dried apricot pieces soaked in dark rum and almond extract, and I also made a chocolate layer, which makes the slicing a lot easier and the candy even tastier. —Kukla
Test Kitchen Notes
I used author's recipe for pomegranate molasses, and it had a great taste! This is a wonderful candy, with a subtle tang from the pomegranate. Nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate stud throughout, and they're so simple to make. They'd make a lovely edible gift. —cratecooking
about 2 dozen pieces of candy
For the Gozinaki
3 1/2 cups
shelled walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
12 to 14
dried apricots, each cut in 1/4-inch pieces
Place apricot pieces in a small bowl. Add rum and almond extract, and mix well to coat each piece. Set aside.
Toast walnuts lightly at 350° F for 10 minutes; then chop them coarsely. In a deep saucepan, bring the honey and pomegranate molasses to a boil. Stir in the nuts and apricot pieces. Cook while stirring over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the mixture is thick. Be careful not to burn it.
Pour the mixture out onto a moistened wooden board or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Using a spatula, spread the mixture into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Let stand until hardened.
Chocolate Ganache layer (makes 1 cup)
Place chocolate and espresso powder in a medium bowl. In a saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Pour over chocolate; whisk gently until smooth. Let cool until thick yet pourable, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour over the hardened gozinaki and, using an offset spatula, evenly spread all over the top and cool.
Chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours or until ready to serve. To serve, cut into 2-inch diamonds. Arrange on a platter with the chocolate layer in the bottom, garnish with pomegranate arils, serve and enjoy.
Note: For the Homemade Pomegranate Molasses recipe go to http://food52.com/recipes/19909