I don't know if it postpartum hormonal volatility, or the raging pandemic I am always craving something sweet. It particularly peaks after a meal. Perhaps I always had a sweet tooth but want to seek ways to deflect the problem. I am also always finding excuses to make these amazing Chocolate Hazelnut Balls. There are the perfect little treat that is the right amount of sweet after a meal or school run or simply when I am hanging out with the baby on the play mat. It is also the perfect treat when you don't want to make anything fancy.
I had an older version of these Chocolate Hazelnut Balls on my blog. That however, desperately needed an update. I found it made too little, that I could eat in one sitting (I have tested this thoroughly). We needed something to last us longer lol. It needs to take us to midweek. No sweet treat in my house has ever lasted beyond that lol.
This recipe only calls for 7 ingredients and makes about 2 dozen of these little chocolate hazelnut goodness. It is a great recipe to make with kids since a lot of it is done in a food processor. Although a lot of the 'Cookie dough', as my daughter calls it, gets eaten even before we shape them into little balls. You can totally make this recipe without a food processor and I have included instructions for it below. These make great edible gifts during the holidays. I also love to take these with me as a hostess gift or make a batch for new mom who, like me might need a little sweet something to cope with sleepless nights.
- 1 cup or 260g cup hazelnut
- 1 cup or 12 Medjool dates
- 3 tablespoons raw cocoa powder + 2 tablespoons for dusting
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Spread the hazelnut in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast it for about 10-12 minutes until the skin darkens and appears crackly.
- Place the warm nuts in a clean tea towel and rub vigorously till the skin comes off. It is okay if you are not very precise, leaving some of the skin on doesn’t impact the recipe.
- Place the dates in a bowl and sprinkle a little water and warm it in the microwave for about a minute. This helps when processing it or mashing it with a fork.
- Place the hazelnut in a food processor along with the sea salt and pulse till it is finely chopped (a little shy of Hazelnut meal), it still has some chunks when you roll it up into balls.
- Now add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor, except 2 tablespoon cocoa powder, and pulse till it comes together to form a sticky dough.
- With damp hands quickly roll the hazelnut date mixture into balls, Each ball is about 20 - 22g and you should have nearly 2 dozen balls.
- Roll the balls in cocoa powder and store them in an airtight container.
For making it without a food processor
- If you are making this without a processor, blend the hazelnut in a blender, don’t let it become too mealy or turn it into hazelnut butter. Mash all other ingredients in a plate using the back of a fork. Add in the hazelnut and mix it in. Shape into little balls and roll the balls in cocoa powder and store it.
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