Sesame seeds, cocoa, and coconut adorn these no-bake date truffles from Mab Abbas, an Iranian cooking instructor with the League of Kitchens in New York City. Abbas learned this recipe from one of her sisters who owns a dried fruit and nut shop and a pistachio farm in Tehran. Traditionally, dates and nuts were consumed at spiritual gatherings and celebrations—many Muslims break their fast with a date during Ramadan. These desserts showcase these important ingredients in a creative, festive way: Not overly sweet, the truffles are nicely balanced with the sweet dates, bitter tahini, and rich walnuts. They firm up after chilling but remain fairly soft to bite.

December 2021 / January 2022

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Credit: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Purcell

Recipe Summary test

active:
25 mins
total:
55 mins
Yield:
24 to 26 balls
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Process almonds in a spice grinder until powdery and finely ground but not to a paste, about 30 seconds; transfer to a medium bowl. Process 1/4 cup walnuts in spice grinder until nuts are finely ground and form a dry paste, about 30 seconds, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of grinder. Add walnut paste to almond powder in bowl. Add dates, tahini, and honey. Using a flat wooden spatula, mash mixture together to combine. Using your hands, knead and mash until dates are broken up into small pieces, the natural oils are released, and mixture can be formed into a ball, 8 to 10 minutes.

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  • Pound pistachios and remaining 1 tablespoon walnuts using a mortar and pestle, or in a sealed ziplock plastic bag, until coarsely ground. Add to date mixture, and knead to combine, about 30 seconds.

  • Place coconut, sesame seeds, and cocoa in 3 separate small bowls. Divide date mixture into 1/2-ounce balls (about 2 teaspoons each) to yield 24 to 26 balls. Working with 1 ball at a time, roll in 1 topping; transfer to a plate. Repeat process with remaining balls and toppings. Let rolled truffles stand, uncovered, at room temperature 30 minutes.

Make Ahead

Truffles can be stored between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 month.

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