Heat oven to 350°F.
Combine hazelnuts and liqueur in a medium bowl and let
sit for 10 minutes.
Add sugar and toss to coat.
Spread nuts in a single layer on a parchment
paper–lined baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until
toasted, ~ 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Add apricots and set aside.
Combine chocolate and shortening in a heat-proof bowl
and set over a pot of simmering water.
Heat, stirring often, until chocolate melts and
mixture is smooth.
Remove bowl from pot and let chocolate mixture cool
until an instant-read thermometer reads to 89°F.
Working in four batches, combine ¼ of the reserved nut
mixture and ¼ of the melted chocolate in a small bowl until nut
mixture is coated with chocolate; there should be only enough
chocolate to keep the mixture together.
Using a tablespoon-size measuring spoon, spoon mixture
into mounds on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining nut mixture and chocolate.
If chocolate mixture drops below 86°F, heat it again,
stirring constantly, until it returns to 89°, and then continue
mixing with nut mixture.
Let nut-apricot blocs cool and set before serving.
YIELDS: 24 candies.