It appears I am on a bit of a truffle kick. When I made this batch a couple of weeks ago, I was enamored with the sweet, healthy, and satisfying taste of the truffles, and I was eager to start experimenting with different combinations. This version might be my favorite so far.
Hazelnuts have always been a favorite of mine. I think it stems from the Milka chocolate bars with hazelnuts that my dad used to bring us each time he would leave the country. We would greet him at the door with hugs, questions of "how was your flight?" and immediately following, "what did you bring us?" The chocolate bars seemed so foreign and fancy, I would savor each square I broke off from the whole, lingering over the silky smooth sweetness and ending with the crunch of the hazelnut in each bite. I make sure to grab one of these bars whenever I travel on my own now, and they always take me right back to being a kid again.
These truffles are very easy to make (so long as you have a food processor). The will keep for a few days in the fridge, or a few months in the freezer. They are the perfect snack when you are craving something sweet but not looking for a crash moments later.
Roasted Hazelnut Truffles
adapted from Oh Ladycakes
1 cup plus 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts, divided
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
6 medjool dates, pits removed, soaked in for 15 minutes
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes, until lightly brown and fragrant. Rub the hazelnuts together with a dry kitchen towel to remove some of their skins. Place 1/4 cup of the nuts in a food processor, and pulse several times until you have a coarse mixture. This will be used for rolling the truffles at the end. Set aside.
Clean out the food processor. Add the remaining 1 cup of roasted hazelnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt. Blend for a few minutes until you have a fine meal. Add the dates (drained) and pulse to combine. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until a batter starts to form. Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove from the freezer and roll each ball with your hands until smooth. Roll each truffle in the prepared chopped hazelnuts. Serve at room temperature or store in the fridge/freezer until ready to eat.
Makes about 1 dozen.