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Fig lollipops

Family Features | 12/8/2010, 5 p.m.

'Tis the season for holiday partie - and that means serving something special to your guests. These festive recipes make the most of golden, slightly nutty-flavored Calimyrna figs and dark, sweet-tasting Mission figs. These appetizers are the perfect blend of sweet and savory that will give your guests something to celebrate. For more festive recipes, visit www.valleyfig.com.

12 large Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Dried California Figs
3/4 cup (about 4 ounces) semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate or white morsels
12 4-inch bamboo skewers
2 oranges or grapefruits
Sea salt, kosher salt, finely chopped toasted nuts and/or colored sugar sprinkles

With scissors or sharp knife, cut off fig stems and discard. Flatten each fig with palm of hand. Place one fig on each skewer to look like a lollipop.

Place oranges in small bowls to hold lollipops while chocolate cools. Microwave morsels in microwave-safe bowl on medium (50 percent) power for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

Dip skewered figs, partially or completely, into melted chocolate. Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt, finely chopped nuts or sugar sprinkles, as desired. Poke skewers in oranges. Chill until set.