I have had a hankering for truffles lately, but I just have not been able to find the time (or the energy, really) to make any. Then I started thinking about dates…Linda always has them at her house, I assume she keeps for that time when you need something sweet. Admittedly, dates are pretty high in sugar (16g for 1) but compared to a chocolate chip cookie made of white granulated sugar, sneaking one of these for that sweet tooth is not so bad. So I had these dates in my cupboard…then I saw the unsweetened coconut chips sitting next to them and I got to work. These date nut balls are a snap. They go together quickly and there’s no need to heat up your oven or turn on your stove during this blistering July, which is definitely a perk. I started combining these in my food processor while Zoe was going down for a nap (perfect timing, I know) but they were finished just as she was drifting off about 25 minutes later.
Chocolate Date Nut Balls
6oz pitted medjool dates
1/2 c unsweetened coconut shredded or flaked
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c dried cherries sweet or sour (optional)
1/4 c strongly brewed coffee
1/4 c+an additional 1/4 c for rolling unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process or natural)
2 c walnuts, finely diced
In the bowl of your food processor, place the dates, coconut, vanilla, salt, cherries, and 1/4 c cocoa powder. Pulse for 30 seconds. Add the coffee and pulse until combined. Place the date mixture into a medium mixing bowl and add the walnuts, incorporating them thoroughly (at this point it is probably best to mix with your hands…don’t worry, you will get even stickier later.)
Place the remaining 1/4 c of cocoa powder in a small bowl or on a salad plate. Scoop up a tablespoon of the mixture using a small ice cream scoop (or just a spoon).
Roll the date nut ball between your hands to form a nice, even shape. Then, roll it in the cocoa powder, shaking off the excess.
Repeat until you have a nice full plate of chocolaty date nut balls like this:
These are very rich and I definitely feel satisfied eating just one. I love that bitter chocolate taste! If you do not share my opinion, however, feel free to go without rolling them in the cocoa powder.