- Holiday Stroopwafel Bark
On a large sheet of nonstick foil, arrange 3 Stroopwafels close together in a triangle. Repeat with the remaining Stroopwafels, forming 8 triangles spaced apart. Place 1/3 cup white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe custard cup. Microwave in three to four 10-second intervals until the chocolate is softened but not hot. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth, microwaving a few more seconds as needed (do not overheat or chocolate may stiffen and seize).
- Working in 4 batches, spoon the melted chocolate into the center of 2 triangles. Gently spread/push the chocolate out into a rough circle, leaving about ½ inch of each Stroopwafel uncovered (the chocolate layer will be thick and uneven). Press the Stropwafels back into a triangle if they have moved. Sprinkle each bark with a large pinch of sea salt. Top with pieces of dried apricot, cranberries, and nuts, pressing lightly to anchor in chocolate. (toppings could also be crushed or chopped) Repeat to make 6 more Stroopwafel barks, 2 at a time.
- Let the barks stand at cool room temperature several hours, and up to 1 day, so chocolate will set and become firm (do not refrigerate or chocolate may crack when cut). To serve, cut each in half and arrange the pieces alongside a slice of pie.
- Apricot-pumpkin pie
Bring the nectar and apricots to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cover tightly. Adjust heat to low and simmer until the apricots are tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Using a fork, transfer the apricots to a blender. Pour the nectar into a measuring cup. Add enough water to measure ½ cup liquid and pour over the apricots. Cover and blend until very smooth, scraping down as needed and adding more water by tablespoonfuls if the puree is too thick to blend. Scrape the puree into a 1-cup measure. If needed, mix in enough water to bring yield of the puree to 1 cup. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
Position a rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish lightly with nonstick spray. Blend the first 4 ingredients in a processor until a fine meal forms, about 15 seconds. Add the sour cream. Pulse until moist clumps form, about 30 times. Gather the dough into a ball. Set aside and reserve 3 tablespoons of dough. Drop the remaining dough into the pie dish in small clumps. Using moistened fingertips to prevent sticking, press the dough evenly over the bottom, up the sides, and up onto the rim; shape a decorative high-standing edge.
- Fold a 36-inch-long piece of foil over several times into a 36×4-inch strip. Place the pie dish on the oven rack. Stand the foil on the rack and snugly around dish (like a fence) to protect the crust. Secure the overlapping ends with a paper clip. Bake the crust until cooked through and the edge begins to brown, checking occasionally to pierce any bubbles with a toothpick, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil. Maintain the oven temperature. Cool the crust completely.
- Gently patch any tears in the crust with small bits of the reserved dough. Brush the inside of the crust (not the edge) with the apricot preserves.
Sift the first 6 ingredients into a large bowl to remove cornstarch or brown sugar lumps. Add the pumpkin, cream, eggs, sour cream, and ¼ cup apricot puree. Whisk until the filling is blended and smooth. Scrape the filling into the prepared crust.
- Place the pie on the oven rack. Re-attach the foil ‘fence’ around the dish. Bake until the filling is set and puffed around the edge, and the center is set but still moist looking, about 55 minutes. Remove the foil. Transfer the pie to a rack; cool completely. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover loosely with foil and chill.)
- Cut the pie into wedges; transfer to plates. Top each with a large dollop of whipped cream. Cut an individual Stroopwafel Bark in half and stack alongside as a garnish.
Times and expectations