Some of the best recipes are the most simple. These are a simple, quick sweet that actually only has naturally occurring sugars (from the dates). You get to choose what flavorings and coatings you add to make your favorite combinations.
These are good as a guilt-free dessert, an unexpected lunch box treat, or an afternoon project/snack for the kiddos.
Original recipe found on BonAppetit.com
Yield: Makes about 20 - 30 depending on how generous your scoops are
5 tablespoons cocoa powder (really yummy with black cocoa)
16 oz (about 2 cups) dates, pitted (preferably fresh, like Medjool; please don't use the kind that are pre-chopped as these are coated with powder to help them from sticking to one another and this will make your truffles kind of gloppy)
1 oz toasted walnut halves (like REALLY toasted, borderline burnt)
3 tablespoons (or more) unsweetened shredded coconut or quick-cooking oats (both can be toasted to add an extra element of flavor; be sure to let it cool completely before adding to the dates in the food processor)
Pinch of sea salt
Flavoring options can include (probably best to just use one):
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 T powdered freeze-dried fruit like raspberries
Coating options can include (use one or any or all):
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted or not
½ cup cocoa powder (maybe add just a hair of cinnamon?)
¼ cup lightly toasted sesame seeds
½ cup crushed lightly toasted nuts (e.g pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, etc)
½ cup jimmies or sprinkles (any flavor)
1. Purée cocoa powder, dates, walnuts, 3 Tbsp. coconut, and salt in a food processor until almost smooth, adding water by teaspoonfuls if too dry and crumbly and coconut by teaspoonfuls if too wet and sticky. Add desired flavoring and pulse to combine.
2. Decide what kind of coating option(s) you are using, and set them up in shallow bowls beside your workspace. You’ll want to get this ready ahead of time because once you start rolling your date mixture, you will be a little sticky.
2. Scoop date purée by the tablespoonful and roll into 1" balls.
3. Roll truffles in desired coatings to cover.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.