With the turn to December, the holiday season is now officially here…bringing a load of sweets and rich, tasty foods right along with it! For better or for worse, our natural and whole foods diet has us craving natural sugars instead of refined ones. So, instead of passing up the sweets table altogether, we set about to find a delicious holiday treat made of natural, nutrient filled ingredients.
Enter – the gingerbread truffle. They’re not a true truffle (surprise!), since there’s no chocolate, cream, butter, or white sugar. Yet another riff on the raw brownie (like these pumpkin seed truffles), these truffles are made only of dates (of the Medjool variety), walnuts, and a few spices. Our goal was to recreate the taste of gingerbread dough, one of my favorite cookies of the season. With a bit of molasses and a bunch of ginger, I think we made it work! (There’s only one way to find out!)
These were a hit with our unofficial taste testers, and we can’t wait to bring them to the holiday gatherings ahead!Print
Medjool dates are a type of date that is exceptionally large and sweet; it is important to find the real thing for this recipe (other types of dates don’t lend the right taste or texture). We were able to find them sold in bulk at our local grocery; they are also available for sale online.
- 1 cup Medjool dates
- 2/3 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Dried cranberries and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to garnish, if desired
- Remove the pits from 1 cup Medjool dates.
- In the bowl of a food processor, place 2/3 cup walnuts. Process on high until the nuts are finely ground.
- To the food processor, add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon molasses, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Pulse to combine.
- Turn on the food processor. As the processor is running, add the dates one at a time. Stop once all the dates have been added; the mixture should be crumbly but easily formable. At this point, you can take a taste and see if you want to add additional spices to your liking.
- Take small bits of the dough and form it into bite-sized balls. If desired, top each truffle with a dried cranberry and two pepitas.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.