A delicious and nutritious treat for everyday and holidays. Keep a few in the fridge and freeze the rest in a sealed container to enjoy later.
MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN
1½ cups pecans
¾ cups raw cashews
4 tablespoons raw cacao or unsweetened natural cocoa powder (Navitas Organics or Tcho)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1¼ cups pitted Medjool dates, about 10–12
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Bittersweet Chocolate or Raw Cacao Coating (recipes below)
Maple-Pepita Praline (recipe below)
In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse the pecans and cashews until roughly ground. Add the cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Add the dates, coconut oil, and salt and process until the mixture is thoroughly combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple times. Pinch a bit of dough between your fingers. If it doesn’t hold together, process a little longer and try again or add up to 1 teaspoon of water to help it come together. Roll teaspoon-sized portions into balls and set on a parchment-lined sheet pan or plate. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Coat with Bittersweet Chocolate or Raw Cacao Coating and garnish with Maple-Pepita Praline.
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE COATING
Melt together in a bain-marie 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Dip truffles in melted chocolate, transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan or plate, top with a piece of Maple- Pepita Praline, and harden in the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator.
RAW CACAO COATING
Melt together in a bain-marie 3 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons raw cacao or natural cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Dip truffles, transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan or plate, top with a piece of Maple-Pepita Praline, and harden in the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator.
Heat a medium skillet over moderate heat and add ⅓ cup raw pepitas. Shake the pan as the pepitas brown and begin to pop. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt, drizzle in 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and cook, stirring for a minute to caramelize. Transfer to a Silpat- or parchment-lined plate or sheet pan to harden and cool. Break apart with your fingers and use as a garnish. This recipe, adapted from Anna Jones’s “Maple-Pumpkin Praline” in The Modern Cook’s Year, is a sweeter version of Maple Pepitas.