This is the time of year to roll out the sweet stuff. Even if you never indulge at other times of the year, holidays seem to give natural immunity. I can eat this, it's so small. With various family parties work gatherings and religious celebrations, it seems The World and his Uncle are shoving food at us 24/7. And if the food shoving and eating weren't enough, there are the demands to "just bring something for pot luck". That pot luck table seems to be the final resting place for all those tins of Swedish Butter Cookies one sees at the Dollar Store this time of year. The road to hell is paved with Dollar Store Swedish Butter Cookie tins. So what to do when one wants to try bringing a homemade treat that doesn't take a day and a half worth of prep? These little bites may just be the answer.
The little truffles you see above are a twist on Kajur Pak, aka, Date Burfi, aka Date Fudge. I've made various versions of burfi over the years, but strangely enough I've never made simple American style fudge. Life is strange that way, go figure. When I saw these Date Truffles on my friend Perna's site Indian Simmer I knew I was going to have to make them. Of course, I wanted to try adding my own twist, which I did. I added some grated orange zest to the mixture and then since I prefer things less sweet than spicy, I used unsweetened dark cocoa powder along with some ground spices as a coating. They were delicious and the easiest thing ever to make, perfect to bring as a holiday party gift or just to keep around for movie nights with family and friends.
Date Pistachio Orange Truffles
Here's What You Need:
1 lb of pitted dates coarsely chopped
1 Tbs of melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup of raw pistachios
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 and 1/2 Tbs of unsweetened good quality cocoa powder (I used Valhrona which seems to always be available at Whole Foods)
A pinch of ginger powder
2 pinches of cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
2 pinches of ground cardamom
3 Tbs of powdered sugar
Here's What To Do:
Chop the dates coarsely.
In a small pan melt the butter.
When the butter has melted, add in the dates and the orange zest.
Stir things around on a medium heat until they start to get pulpy. This doesn't take too long.
Let the mixture cool a bit, then scoop out the date and orange mixture and put it in a food processor or blender. Save what's left of the butter in the pan.
Add the pistachios to the butter that's left in the pan, stir them around until they're coated and slightly toasty.
Add them to the mixture in the food processor.
Blend everything together until you have a thick paste.
Roll the paste into small, truffle-sized balls and set them aside.
In a bowl mix together the dark, unsweetened cocoa powder and the sugar until you have a blend that tastes right to you. I like things with a bit of bite you might like yours sweeter. The measurements I've given are what worked for me. This is the creative part.
Add in the spices. As with the cocoa use your judgement.
Pour the cocoa sugar spice mixture into a bag.
Drop in the truffles.
Shake them around for a bit then take them out and place them on a baking rack.
Serve them up!
They're great with coffee or tea. Moist and delicious. If you're storing them, keep them in an airtight container until serving them. I use a cake dome. I'm planning on making these again and experimenting with what they're rolled in. I'm thinking mandarin orange ganache made with some of this stuff from CocoaPlanet.
On the home front we've been dealing with parental illness issues, so it's great at times like this to be able to stick something sweet in your pie hole. Comfort food, you know? Coming up next, it's a gluten free Good Cookie For Kids Cancer courtesy of the good people at OXO. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori