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Pecan mocha truffles

I'll be whipping up a batch of these swoon-worthy treats this Valentine's Day as an act of self-love.

Sure, I'll share with my husband, but since he doesn't buy into the holiday and I am a firm believer in the BYOV (Be Your Own Valentine) approach to life, they will really be a gift to myself.

They are two-bite chocolate-covered confections, which not only offer pure, sensual pleasure, they do so in a better-for-you way, without much added sugar, making them all the more lovable. 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. Since each ingredient is so familiar, you might think you could easily imagine how a combination of them would taste together. But when I first bit into one, my eyes widened with surprised delight.

Exponentially more than the sum of their parts, the truffle ingredients enhance one another in the most magical, mouthwatering way - just the kind of thing that speaks my love language.

Pecan mocha truffles

Active time: 40 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

6 servings; makes 12 truffles

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.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (120 grams) pecan pieces
  • 3 full sheets graham crackers (50 grams)
  • ¼ cup (35 grams) coarsely chopped pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup (70 grams) chopped dark chocolate

STEPS:

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.

Nutrition | Calories: 270; Total Fat: 21 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 103 mg; Carbohydrates: 24 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 14 g; Protein: 4 g.

From cookbook author and licensed dietitian Ellie Krieger.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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