Dreamy Vegan Mint and Mocha Truffles

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I grew up allergic to chocolate. While I’ve had brief windows when I could eat chocolate without ill effects, as can sometimes be the nature of a 40-plus year allergy, I’ve returned to being seriously allergic to chocolate.

The thing is, I really love chocolate, especially creamy, dreamy truffles, so I am always looking for ways to enjoy the flavors.

These truffles are really easy to assemble, the dates adding an incredible richness that pairs well with either the vanilla or the mint. I’ve made them in both bar form and these bites, but I particularly like the bites for having a quick snack or sharing with friends.

Enjoy!

Dreamy Vegan Mint and Mocha Truffles
Copyright 2016 Lauren Bradford (aka The Food Puzzler)

Prep time: 1 hour
Servings: approximately 15 for each truffle

INGREDIENTS

– 30 ounces dates, pitted and stems removed (NOTE: If purchasing pitted dates, cut each in half to ensure that there are no remaining pits or stems. In each 10 ounce container, I usually get 10 stems and 1-2 pits.)
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mocha adds:
– 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for rolling
– 1 packet (teaspoon) instant coffee (I used Starbucks decaf Via)
– 1/4 cup brewed decaf coffee, cold
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mint adds:
– 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1-3 teaspoons peppermint or mint extract, to taste
– mint leaves for garnish, optional

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

– food processor
– food safe plastic gloves (optional, but it keeps you from being covered in cocoa)
– 2 parchment-covered sheet pans

STEPS

1. In a food processor, pulse half of the dates and salt until the mixture balls up like a dough. Place in a bowl, then pulse the remaining dates and salt, and place in a separate bowl.

2. In the first bowl, add in the remaining Mocha ingredients, put on food safe gloves and mix thoroughly by hand. Taste, and adjust vanilla to taste if necessary.

3. In the second bowl, add in the remaining Mint ingredients, put on food safe gloves and mix thoroughly by hand. Taste, and adjust mint to taste if necessary.

4. Place some cocoa powder on the first parchment-covered sheet pan. From the Mocha dough, portion out 15 pieces. Roll each into a ball, then roll in the cocoa powder. Set aside.

5. Portion out 15 pieces from the Mint dough, roll into balls and place on the second sheet pan. If desired, gently press mint leaves on top for garnish.

Serve immediately, or place in airtight containers. Will keep one week in the refrigerator, or three months in the freezer.

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