We happily classify dark chocolate as a health food (it's loaded with antioxidants), but store-bought chocolate treats are loaded with refined sugar and hydrogenated oils, both of which obliterate the health benefits. Fear not! Shalane's got your back. She requested that Elyse come up with a crave-worthy chocolate treat free of refined sugar, and these incredible vegan truffle babies were born.
Adapted from Run Fast. Eat Slow.
For the pecan butter
- 2 cups pecans
- 10 Deglet dates, pitted
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the coating
- 2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a Baking Sheet with parchment paper.
- To make the pecan butter: Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and roast in the center of the oven for 8 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes. Allow the pecans to cool completely.
- In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the pecans, dates, and cinnamon. Pulse or blend on high until smooth, stopping as needed to scrape underneath the blade. (Do not overprocess--you want the pecan butter to be thick.) Transfer to a small bowl.
- Use your hands to roll the pecan butter into bite-size balls. (If the nut butter is warm or liquid-y, chill it in the fridge to make it easier to handle.) Place the balls on the baking sheet.
- To make the coating: Place the oil in a small microwaveable bowl and microwave in increments of 10 seconds, stirring in between, until almost completely melted. (Alternatively, the oil can be melted in a small saucepan over low heat.) Stir in the maple syrup and cocoa powder until smooth.
- Drop one ball at a time in the chocolate coating, use a fork to lift out, and return to the baking sheet. Continue with the remaining balls. Top each truffle with a small pinch of the salt.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes or until ready to serve. Use a spatula to transfer to a serving plate.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container, lined with parchment paper, in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.