Oh, hey, Yikes. These things are dangerously good.
Take half of a sticky date, with all of its natural dark-brown-sugar, caramel-candy-like sweetness…
Stuff it with as much gooey rich almond butter as you can possibly manage…
Dip this drupe dumpling into a decadent pool of melty dark chocolate…
Liberally coat the whole thing-a-ma-whats-it in a shower of crunchy, salty, finely chopped nuts….
and you just may fall prey to what’s known on the streets over here in my hood as the “crack turd“. I mean, seriously, these little logs of luscious are nothing short of amazement IN YOUR MOUTH, but they are not going to win any prizes in the best-looking category any time soon.
So yeh, they sorta look like a turd, okay? True as that may be they are like culinary crack and that is all you need to know. Your new addiction awaits.
Fortunately for all of us, this is NOT bad news.
A date is a funny looking little powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are truly too numerous to list (if you are at all interested, check it out here). Almonds are rich in protein, antioxidants and omega-3 fats (good for heart health, people), and oh, the chocolate? Well, you gotta have a little vitamin H (happiness) in your life! These will give you your daily dose.
Healthy in body and mind, right? Better than a snickers bar any day!
Start with your dates. You want to use the larger (and most commonly found, as luck would have it) medjool dates, and you want nice soft ones if you can possibly manage it. I find when I shop where they have bulk bins (like Whole Foods) I can get exact quantities, and they are perfect. You need about a dozen. They will have pits in them but that is not a problem.
Because you just slice them lengthwise and that little bugger practically falls right out.
Now get out that jar of your favorite almond butter. I am a freak over the stuff (um, gee, ya think? – almond butter is smeared all over this site, like here, here, and here) so I have tried many different brands and I always go back to this one.
Yep! The Costco “Kirkland” house brand of almond butter, how about that? No added sugar, gorgeous texture, fairly priced? I am all over that, are you kidding me? (Just a little heads up for you, in case you are a Costco shopper and wondered if this stuff was any good.)
Anyhoo, get a teaspoon out, and “fill” each of your date halves with a dollop of almond butter. Just schloop it on in there, this is not rocket science, and don’t be shy! Pop these down onto a sheet pan that a/ will fit in your freezer and b/ you have lined with wax paper (or foil…..that works too). Into the freezer they go to set up.
While that’s happening it’s time to melt the chocolate. No biggie, you just need a cup of dark chocolate chips and a glass bowl. Zap this in your microwave for one minute, and then let it sit for a few seconds before you stir it up to let the residual heat run through and get everybody feeling the warmies. If you have a few morsels that are resistant give ’em another trip through the microwave, but just for a ten seconds or so. That should do the trick.
Chop up about a half a cup of almonds…..you want these pretty fine, so get out the food processor and make your life a little easier. I know, I know, its a tough call, but in the end I chose to wash out the food processor as opposed to standing there chopping by HAND for a few hours….okay, I maybe exaggerate a leetle beet, but still.
Set up your dipping station. Bowl of chopped nuts (add some salt to these guys now), bowl of melted chocolate love, tray of frozen almond butter stuffed dates. Check check check.
Let the mess commence.
Stab a stuffed date with a fork or tip of a knife and dip it almond butter side down into the chocolate, tap or smear off the excess and then quickly hold it over the chopped nuts and with your free hand, liberally sprinkle the nuts all over your melty date. If you attempt to roll the chocolately date around in the almonds, you will get the nuts all gunked up with wet chocolate and you’ll very quickly run out of your crunchy coating (it will get too soggy). However….
No matter how you do this it is still a BIG FAT MESS but I can promise you it’s worth it! Don’t worry about perfection when assembling these guys because that’s all built in when you bite in; looks DO NOT matter here, I promise.
Back into the freezer these go.
But just for a little while, maybe fifteen minutes or so, to let that chocolate harden nicely. Then pop them in a container of your choice, and store them covered in the refrigerator…..they last forever! But they won’t last forever.
And this is why right here. Chewy dates, luxe almond butter, crunchy nuts, salty sweet gooey goodness. All schmoozed up together in a treat that is full of nutrients that your body can actually use.
Dip it in chocolate and I’m all about it.
Even if it looks like something that I pulled out of the cats’ litter box. 😜😬😏
- 10 medjool dates, sliced in half lengthwise, pits removed
- 1/2 cup (approx) almond butter
- 1/2 cup of almonds, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup of dark chocolate morsels
- Line a sheet pan or tray that will easily fit in your freezer with wax paper or foil.
- Take each date half, and with the tip of a small teaspoon, smear as much (or as little) almond butter as you like in there to fill it up. Lay these out onto the prepared sheet pan and then into the freezer to harden. Leave them to it for about 45 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl by zapping them in your microwave for a minute. Give them a few seconds to let the heat do its thing, and give them a stir. If they are still not completely melted pop them into the microwave for an additional ten seconds at a time, until completely melted.
- Have your bowl of melted chocolate, bowl of chopped nuts (mix that kosher salt into these) and the frozen dates lined up. With a fork, or tip of a knife (or even your fingers, it's messy no matter what you do) dip each date, almond butter side down, into the melty chocolate. Tap off or use a knife to wipe off the excess, and then hold the date over the bowl of nuts as you sprinkle them all over your date. Place your nutty chocolatey date back onto the sheet and continue until everyone is dipped and coated.
- Place the dates back into the freezer to set, 15 minutes.
- Store your "crack" in a covered container in the refrigerator. When you are ready to indulge, let it set out at room temperature just for a few minutes before you dive in. The date will be chewier and even yummier with a bit of the chill off.
- This is not a recipe as much as it is just a really nifty idea. I used ten dates to end up with twenty little individual goodies; obviously you can use as many or few as you like, and that will require more or less almond butter. Speaking of....use peanut butter if you prefer! Coat the whole thing in hemp hearts, or cacao powder if you like.....or any other crushed nut that gets you jazzed, or that you happen to have back there in your pantry.
- Just make some! Share the love.