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The idea of truffles sounds so very fancy, but the secret is: they’re actually really easy to make (don’t tell the fancy chocolatiers we let the cat out of the bag on that one!). Food Network Kitchen‘s truffle cookies are made with naturally sweet ingredients like dates and honey, instead of the milk and sugar used in traditional truffles. And you can roll them in whatever you like: chopped nuts, cocoa powder, coconut, or a combination for the prettiest presentation. Get the kids to help with these, it’s fun to roll the ingredients up into balls, and tiny helping hands make for fast work.
Add these to a cookie tray, or package them up by themselves in a box lined with tissue paper, and tie it up with ribbon or red twine. Don’t forget to keep a few for yourself!
Makes 24 cookies
1 cup dried pitted dates, 4-ounces, chopped
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
2 tablespoons reduced-fat or no-stir natural chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 full sheets whole wheat graham crackers, finely ground, about 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, not instant
For coating: unsweetened coconut flakes, crushed graham crackers, finely chopped peanuts, low-fat granola, about 1/2 cup of each, optional
Combine the dates, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat breaking up any large pieces of dates with a spoon, until the mixture resembles a thick paste, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder, butter and salt until evenly combined. Stir in the graham crackers and oats. Remove from heat.
Lightly mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. Drop level tablespoons of the cookie mixture onto the prepared pan. Refrigerate until just chilled and set, about 20 minutes.
Put desired optional toppings in small bowls. Roll each cookie in desired topping and flatten slightly into a plump disk. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.
Nutritional analysis per cookie (does not include optional coatings)
Calories 67; Total Fat 1.5g (Sat Fat .5g, Mono Fat 0g, Poly Fat 0g); Protein 1g; Carb 13g; Fiber 1g; Cholesterol 1mg; Sodium 59mg
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Keep your portions in check with a digital scale that displays not only fat and calories, but carbs, sodium and protein too.