Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post
These swoon-worthy treats not only offer pure pleasure, they do so in a better-for-you way, without much added sugar at all. At their center is a finely ground blend of buttery, toasted pecans, dried dates and graham crackers spiked with a bold, warmly fragrant combination of maple syrup, cocoa powder, strong brewed coffee and vanilla extract. That heady mix is rolled into balls and then coated in melted dark chocolate for a truffle-like presentation. Exponentially more than the sum of their parts, the ingredients enhance one another in the most magical, mouthwatering way. Feel free to substitute another nut, or sunflower seeds, for the pecans.
Storage Notes: The truffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
1 cup (120 grams) pecan pieces
3 full sheets graham crackers (50 grams)
1/4 cup (35 grams) coarsely chopped pitted dates
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee or espresso
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup (70 grams) chopped dark chocolate
In a dry medium skillet over medium-high heat, toast the pecans, stirring frequently, until fragrant and darker, about 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate and let cool completely.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cooled pecans, graham crackers and dates and process until finely ground. Add the maple syrup, cocoa powder, coffee, vanilla and salt and process until combined.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet or large plate with wax paper. Using your hands, roll the pecan mixture into 12 balls, each about 1 inch in diameter, placing them on the wax paper as they are formed.
Place a large bowl over a pot with an inch or so of barely simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Add the chocolate to the bowl and let it melt, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave by warming it in 20-second intervals, stirring well between each.)
Using two forks, roll each ball into the chocolate, letting any excess chocolate drip off before returning the truffles to the wax paper. Refrigerate, uncovered, until set, about 20 minutes, before eating or storing.
Makes 6 servings
Per serving 2 truffles: Calories 270; Total Fat 21g; (Sat Fat 4g); Protein 4g; Carb 24g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 103mg; Total Sugar 14g