Some call dates "nature's candy," and given the fruit's sweet caramel notes and tender chew, it's easy to see why. But unlike commercial confections, they're rich in nutrients -- including potassium and calcium -- and full of fiber.
Here, they're stuffed with homemade chocolate hazelnut paste, dusted with cocoa and cinnamon, and topped with a crunchy roasted hazelnut. The result is a lush, multi-textured bonbon that's healthful and elegant. They're perfect for capping off a special meal or for celebrating Tu B'Shevat, or harvest holidays like Sukkot.
Tip: Want extra chocolate hazelnut paste for snacking? Make a batch of homemade Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread instead of the filling below. You'll have plenty leftover after stuffing the dates for slathering on bread or fruit.
- For the Dates:
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil or grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup dry roasted hazelnuts
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
- Cinnamon to garnish
- 15 to 20 whole Medjool dates
- To Decorate:
- 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 15 to 20 whole roasted hazelnuts
- Dark chocolate chunks to taste
1. Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-proof bowl and heat on medium (50%) for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate. Continue heating in 30 second increments, stirring after each heating, until the chocolate is melted and no lumps remain. Alternatively, melt in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Set aside.
2. Place the hazelnuts into the work bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse several times, until very finely chopped.
Run the processor about 20 to 30 seconds more, until the hazelnuts release their oil and are ground into nut butter. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a spatula, add the melted chocolate and oil, and process until well mixed. Add the cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, and a generous dash of cinnamon. Pulse a few times to combine.
3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir with a spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed in, and season to taste with additional cinnamon, if desired.
4. With a sharp paring knife, carefully split the dates just enough to remove the pits, and create a little boat for the filling. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of chocolate hazelnut paste into each date (the amount you use will depend on the size of the date).
5. In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Dip the dates, filling side down, in the sugar mixture. (For a more varied presentation, dip only half of the dates, and alternate them on the serving plate.) Press a roasted hazelnut or chocolate chunk into the center of the filling in each date. Arrange on a serving plate. Enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For the best flavor, bring to room temperature before serving.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||37 g|
|Saturated Fat||7 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||23 g|
|Dietary Fiber||16 g|