31. Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies Make Nutty Oatmeal Cookies (No. 30), stirring in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips before forming into balls.
32. Stuffed Apricots Beat 2 ounces almond paste, 2 tablespoons each mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon room-temperature butter and 1/8 teaspoon each almond extract and vanilla extract with a mixer. Use a paring knife to cut a pocket in about 30 dried apricots; pipe the almond-mascarpone filling into the pockets. Chill until set.
33. Stuffed Figs Use a paring knife to cut a pocket in the side of about 24 dried figs. Tuck a small thin strip of orange zest, a blanched almond and a small piece of bittersweet chocolate into each pocket. Dip the bottoms of the figs in 4 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate and chill on a parchment-lined baking sheet until set.
34. Anisette-Almond Balls Crush one 6-ounce package anisette biscotti in a food processor. Add 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds and 2 tablespoons each melted butter, corn syrup, milk and chopped candied orange peel, and pulse until smooth. Form into 1-inch balls and roll in confectioners’ sugar.
35. Sesame Balls Make Anisette-Almond Balls (No. 34), replacing the almonds with toasted sesame seeds. Roll in a mixture of toasted sesame seeds and confectioners’ sugar.
36. Rainbow Petits Fours Pulse one 7-ounce tube almond paste, the grated zest of 1 orange, 3 tablespoons orange juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a food processor until combined. Add one crumbled 11-ounce pound cake and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; pulse until combined. Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions and tint each with food coloring (1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green). Pat each color into a 5 1/2-inch square and stack on top of one another. Cut into 3/4-inch squares. Melt 12 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate and stir in 1 tablespoon shortening. Dip the squares in the chocolate to coat. Chill until set.
37. Fruitcake Bonbons Mash 2 cups crumbled fruitcake with 2 tablespoons milk. Roll into 1-inch balls. Melt 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate; dip the balls halfway in the chocolate and place chocolate-side down on parchment paper. Chill until set. Roll the other side in crushed gingersnaps; chill.
38. Unrolled Cannoli Beat 1/4 cup each ricotta, mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer until smooth. Spread the mixture onto large waffle cookies and top each with mini chocolate chips, a pinch each of cinnamon and sugar, and some grated orange zest.
39. PB&J Cheesecake Bites Beat 2 ounces room-temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup each chunky peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons room-temperature butter and a pinch of salt with a mixer until smooth. Dollop teaspoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture onto pretzel crisps and top each with a dried strawberry.
40. Raspberry Cheesecake Bites Beat 4 ounces room-temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1 tablespoon each grated lemon zest and lemon juice with a mixer until smooth. Pipe onto almond biscuits, then top each with about 1/2 teaspoon raspberry preserves.