Dates stand in for refined sugar in this delicious chocolate indulgence. These simple treats are dipped in chocolate and topped with your choice of a variety of nuts.
Holiday prep tip: Assemble batches up to 2 months ahead. Place truffles in individual bonbon cups or papers, separate layers with parchment paper, store in metal tins or gift boxes, then slip into zip-top bags and freeze.
Shipping: Ship with dry ice. For local delivery, transport frozen in a cooler with ice packs. Have your recipient refrigerate or freeze the treats immediately.
4 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped into 1-inch pieces
12 large- or 16 medium-size Date-Coconut Rolls (about 12 to 14 ounces by weight, available at natural food stores or online)
One or more of the following toppings:
30 roasted almond, walnut or pecan halves
1/2 to 1 cup unsweetened, sulfite-free shredded coconut
1 cup roasted pinenuts
1 cup dry-roasted, crushed walnuts, almonds, pecans or pistachios
1. Line one or more baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot–but not boiling–water, or in a small saucepan over very low heat. When mostly melted, turn heat to “warm” setting.
3. Meanwhile, arrange crushed nuts and/or coconut in small bowls. Flatten date rolls to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut each in half and shape into 2 squares or balls.
4. Add 4 to 6 date coconut squares or balls to melted chocolate, turning to completely coat. Drip excess chocolate back into pan.
5. For square pieces: Transfer a chocolate-coated date square to prepared sheet. Press or sprinkle nuts or coconut on top.
6. For round pieces: Transfer a chocolate-coated date ball to a small bowl of the chopped, toasted nuts or unsweetened coconut, turning to coat. Transfer to prepared sheet.
7. Repeat with remaining date-coconut pieces.
8. Refrigerate or freeze until firm before serving. Cover when cooled and refrigerate or freeze for several months.
9. Freeze for at least 48 hours before packing for gift giving. Keep cold.