MUSIC PAIRING: The Lumineers, The Lumineers
Dude, my mom is cooler than me. It’s honestly true. She’s here in town right now and proving with each day that she would probably have more friends on Facebook than half the world if she could figure out how to accept friend requests. She’s just fun and full of life, even as she works through the sorrowful season of losing my father, her husband of 43 years. She is an inspiration to me.
One of my favorite things about Mom is that she still sends me articles that she cuts out of the local paper in Marietta and lots of times, those articles are about food. Since she was coming to visit, she brought a few articles with her and I got really stoked when I saw one outlining date truffles. I’ve been looking for something unique to make and when I realized how easy these would be – AND that they wouldn’t require me turning on anything related to my oven during these sweltering summer days – I jumped on making them.
These little truffles make me feel like I’m eating something good for me. They’re pretty much all natural, aside from the thin layer of chocolate that they’re rolled in, and that’s about as good as it gets when you’re looking for “healthy” treats.
Toasted almonds give a little depth and fragrant cardamom provides a nice zip.
They literally couldn’t be easier to make and they take no time at all.
Then, when you tell all your friends you made truffles, they just look at you with admiration in their eyes as though you’ve created a way to lose weight by eating biscuits. You can go ahead and pat yourself on the back after you make these, pretending they took hours. Your secret is safe with me.
Why The Lumineers? I recently introduced them to Mom and she loved their music! It’s fun to pair these truffles, that she brought me the recipe for, with a band she’s come to really enjoy.
Recipe adapted from: Aarti Sequeira
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup moist, pitted dates
- 1/2 teaspoon tangerine zest
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 12 ounce bag dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Maldon or other flaky salt for finishing
- In a dry skillet, toast the almonds over medium-high heat until just fragrant; about 3-5 minutes. Immediately transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely minced but not powdered.
- Add the dates, citrus zests and cardamom and process until a cohesive ball begins to form.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With your hands, roll desired sized balls of the date mixture and place on the baking sheet. Repeat.
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and place a large stainless steel or heatproof bowl over the top. Add chocolate chips and coconut oil to the bowl and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Turn off the heat.
- Drop date balls into the chocolate in rounds and cover on all sides. Return balls back to the baking sheet and top each with a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Refrigerate until chilled through, at least one hour. Overnight is best.
- Just a quick tip that very slightly wet hands will help with some of the stickiness while rolling out the date balls. Otherwise, you can lick your fingers clean when you're done and that's just fine by me.