When the weather starts to take on a bitter chill, and the city is covered in a blanket of beautiful white snow, I know it’s time to break out the gingerbread. There’s just something about the warm, fragrant spices that’s so comforting. I often turn to this tried and true recipe for gingerbread cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting when I need my gingerbread fix.
That’s the thing about winter. You just want to cuddle up in big, bulky sweaters – unaware as to what all that comfort food is doing to your waist line. Which is why I set out to disguise my favorite winter comfort food as a healthy truffle that’s chocolate-free! Medjool dates have a great fudgy quality that makes them the perfect raw and healthy base for decadent truffles. They’re virtually fat free, rich in potassium, and a great source of dietary fiber.
Sure, there was a time when dates looked like cockroaches, and I wouldn’t go near them with a ten foot pole. But when I finally took he plunge, there was no going back. How can you go wrong with sweet syrupy chews that are virtually guilt-free? They make a great addition to smoothies, granola bars, and even salads.
If you haven’t picked up on this month’s link-up theme just yet, it’s all about comfort food! Read on for a collection of decadent comforting recipes that are sure to keep you warm all winter long!
1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (see healthier alternatives below)
1/4 cup ground almonds
15 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tbsp molasses
To make gingersnap cookie crumbs, add a few gingersnap cookies to a food processor and process until crumbly. Remove and set aside. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and mix until a ball forms (see picture). If the mixture does not pull away from the sides of the bowl, add a little more ground almonds. With wet hands, form the dough into balls and roll in gingersnap cookie crumbs.
Makes approximately 10 truffles.
NOTE: If you don’t have gingersnap cookies, you may use speculoos cookies, cinnamon cookies or any spiced biscuit.
VARIATION: For a no-added-carb version, roll the truffles in cocoa powder, cinnamon, coconut or chopped nuts.
PACKAGING OPTION: for a play on rustic homemade toffee, add a bit more ground almonds to make the dates less sticky. Do not roll in crumbs. Wrap portions in parchment paper, twisting the ends to resemble candy wrappers.