A no-bake, four-ingredient dessert recipe that’s a mashup of your favorite healthy energy bite and dreamiest dark chocolate dessert truffle. These Earl Grey Chocolate Date Balls are a great gluten free, paleo and vegan dessert option for all your holiday parties. They make a great edible Christmas gift, too.
I can’t get enough dates!!! (Oops. Do I sound like Taylor Swift???) What I mean to say is, this holiday season, I’ve finally discovered the wonder of these wrinkly, sticky, surprisingly versatile gems. I’ve used them with goat cheese. Put them in smoothies. And now, I’ve infused them with Earl Grey tea to make these awesome chocolate date balls.
If you’re looking for ways to decrease the refined sugar in your diet, dates are the answer.
This healthy dessert recipe’s filling is not as silky as your average dessert truffle. But it’s shape and glossy chocolate coating make it dessert-ier (totally a word) than your average energy ball snack. It’s basically the best of both worlds.
These chocolate date balls are technically a no bake dessert. But there is some steeping involved. The dates and pecans steep in an Earl Grey tea concentrate infusing the filling with subtle floral notes and hints of bergamot.
Earl Grey Chocolate Date Balls: Dessert or Snack?
These babies are not as picture perfect as some of the fancy dessert truffles you see out there. I’d call them ‘rustic.’ But, come on. The word “truffle” is derived from the Latin word for “lump.” So, I say they qualify and I’m placing them firmly in the dessert category. Feel free to argue with me in the comments section. The worst that can happen is I change my mind, call them a snack and therefore eat them more frequently. Winning!
These chocolate date balls are vegan, paleo and gluten free. If YOU are not vegan/paleo but are preparing these for someone who IS, this is a great article from PaleoPlan on how to be certain there is no milk or milk by-product in your chocolate. It even names specific brands that are paleo approved.
Ok, now that we’re almost done I can ask. Did that owl in the background bother anybody else? I tried to edit him to be less shiny but he was just determined to steal focus. Hard to be mad at him though cuz he’s super cute.
All right. Without further ado, let’s dig in! Shall we?
- 8 oz dates
- 4.5 oz raw pecans
- 3 cups boiling water
- 10 Earl Grey tea bags
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 oz paleo/vegan dark chocolate chopped
Combine dates and pecans in a shallow bowl with the water and tea bags. Let steep 15 minutes.
Strain, reserving tea liquid.
Remove date pits and any skin that is begging to be removed. I don't fuss about the skin. If it's easy I pull it away. If not, I leave it.
Add dates, pecans and salt to bowl of food processor and pulse, scraping down sides, until things are pretty well chopped up.
Add 1 to 3 Tablespoons of the reserved tea as needed to bring the mixture to a paste-like consistency. It doesn't have to be super smooth. Bits and pieces of date and pecan are fine.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop small balls of the pecan mixture onto the paper. I use a melon baller but you can use a spoon or even just form balls with your hands.
Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes while you melt the chocolate.
Using a double boiler melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. You can remove it from the heat source before it's fully melted and stir until it's completely smooth.
When chocolate is cooled a little, remove balls from fridge. Use two spoons to coat the balls evenly with chocolate and replace onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
Freeze until chocolate is set. About 10 minutes. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
These date balls can sit at room temperature without getting too melty. But some finger licking may be required 😉
Calorie information is approximate for 1 ball but will vary according to exact ingredients used and serving size.
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