Sunday, February 11, 2007

Energy Orbs with Dates & Walnuts

Or as I like to call them "Bucky balls" (my husband reads a lot about physics, sometimes aloud, this is one of my favourite descriptions, of which I do not have a clue.) I digress...back to the recipe, which is from Student's Go Vegan Cookbook by Carole Raymond (published by Three Rivers Press, New York). The author provided this recipe as a "melt-in-your-mouth alternative to commercial bars". Just try to eat only is darn near impossible as I have found out this weekend!

1 1/2 c pitted dates, 1 1/2 c toasted walnuts (see below for instructions), 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional...but not in my kitchen!), about 1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened (I used sweetened) finely shredded coconut (optional).

Toasting walnuts: preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Place walnuts on dry baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-6 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove nuts immediately from pan to stop cooking process and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Soak the pitted dates in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain well.
In a food processor, grind the toasted nuts until the consistency of a coarse grain (almost a powder). Add the dates, vanilla and cocoa powder. Puree well; the mixture should be the consistence of a thick cookie dough.

Scrape the dough into a medium bowl. Put the coconut into a shallow bowl. Scoop tsp sized chunks of the puree and roll between your palms into 1/2 "orbs" (mine were more golf- ball sized) and roll the balls in the coconut to coat. This recipe yields 30 - 1/2 inch balls, my golf-sized bucky balls yielded about 26. They will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks, if you are a disciplined, mindful eater!!

P.S. Thanks to my husband for the nice picture - I hope it entices you to try the recipe!

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Anonymous said...

My friend, Marina, makes these. She told me that they are from a recipe she brought with her from Croatia, and that it is a sweet that is commonly made around Christmas time. Dried figs can be substituted for the dates if you prefer. I keep forgetting to ask her for the recipe and she keeps forgetting to give it to me, so now that problem is solved. Thanks.