Friday afternoon treats – Dates with chocolate and walnuts. Simply put this is a pitted date stuffed with walnuts, then dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. If you use milk chocolate it will be too sweet. Dates are filled with natural sugars and don’t need any added sugars, however a dip in a bit of dark chocolate makes a nice simple treat. This is an all California treat too! California dates, chocolate made in California, and best of all, California Walnuts.
What’s really great is the nutritional analysis you can do: Date are high in potassium, higher even than bananas. Walnuts are heart healthy, sloughing crummy stuff from your veins as they are digested, and dark chocolate has also been shown to be heart healthy due to the antioxidants. The raising of endorphins always is a benefit too! So any way you want to spin this, these little morsels are a heart healthy snack! Much better than a candy bar and it tastes much like a snickers!
The great part is that they are so easy to make! The dates above are Deglet Noor dates. They are grown in the Coachella Valley in the desert of Southern California. They are grown by America’s largest date grower – Hadley’s Inc. I’m also showing you some Medjool Dates also grown in the Coachella Valley. They are grown by Oasis Date Gardens and they are organic. Not all Medjools are organic so if you want organic dates, buy from Oasis! Now that you’ve got the dates. You’re going to cut a slit in them, remove the pits and you’re ready to stuff them.
Grab a handful of California Walnuts. Why California? Well, they’re the best walnuts you can buy. And, I’m from California, it’s that be true to your school kind of thing you know. ;o) Take a walnut and begin filling the walnut cavity. Fill it up nicely and squeeze the date around the walnuts to encase them. You still want a small amount of the walnuts peeking out though.
Now melt or temper some chocolate. Chop it up into small pieces and melt it in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once your chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat, making sure to keep the water away from it. Place the bowl on a kitchen towel to help keep it warm while you dip your dates. One by one dip about 3/4 of the date into the chocolate. Place on a silpat sheet or a piece of waxed paper. If you have tempered your chocolate, they should firm up on their own, if the chocolate does not firm up, place them in the fridge to give them the chill they need. Once cooled I like to use small candy cups to set them in individually. Place on a platter and serve.