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Apricot-Almond Muffins

(by Aimee Lee Ball)

1 c. dried apricots

1/4 c. brandy

2 c. flour

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter, frozen or very cold

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. milk

1 egg, beaten

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. almond extract

1/2 c. sliced almonds

In a small pot over medium-low heat, cook apricots with brandy until softened.

Chop apricots and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda together.

On the large holes of a box grater, grate the butter into the sugar.

With two knives, cut the butter and sugar together.

Combine milk, egg, and vanilla and almond extracts.

Stir dry mixture into butter and sugar.

Stir in wet mixture.

Stir in brandied apricots and almonds, just until combined.

(Batter will be somewhat stiff.)

Line a 12-cup muffin tin or 6-cup jumbo muffin tin with paper cups, and distribute batter evenly.

Bake smaller muffins for 20 - 25 minutes, larger muffins for 25 - 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

(The brandied apricots all by themselves are great over ice cream.)

(Read Travels With My Mom, the story that accompanies this recipe.)