I thought I’d pop in with these insanely easy chocolate covered almond stuffed dates. I realized today that Valentine’s Day is next week, and I have not posted a recipe to mark the occasion! The time is flying, and I cannot say I am mad as I look out at the dreary freezing rain pelting my window. Mercifully, February is the shortest month. There’s only so much “wintery mix” one can take. If you live in a perpetually warm climate, then you have no idea what I am talking about, and I am exceedingly jealous. The highlight of February is no longer Valentine’s Day for me, but Rose’s birthday on February 3rd. My baby just turned 2, and she has taken to reminding me often that she is “not a baby” but a “big girl.” And so it begins. Cue the waterworks. I’ve always gotten emotional around my own birthday, but my daughter’s birthday takes it to a new level entirely. We celebrated last weekend with a very chill pizza party for our immediate family at our apartment. Nick made a delicious sourdough pizza dough, and we set up a little individual pizza making station for Rose and her three little cousins, complete with mini rolling pins and aprons. Rose ate half of the mozzarella balls before any made their way onto a pizza. It was all ridiculously cute.
Anyway, back to the recipe. If you are in need of a quick chocolate-y treat for Valentine’s Day — or a little pick-me-up on a random Wednesday afternoon — make these chocolate covered “caramels.” I put caramels in quotes because there is no actual caramel involved, but, rather, dates! The dates, with their caramel-y sweetness stand in for actual caramel here, making the whole process MUCH easier. Think of these as your low maintenance “hot dates” for Valentine’s Day. Hehe. All you do is melt some chocolate (tempering it using a double-boiler or the microwave), pit some dates, stuff said dates with almond butter and sliced almonds, drizzle the dates with the melted chocolate and sprinkle a healthy pinch of flaky salt on top. And some rose petals if you want to get fancy and add a pop of pink (totally not necessary). Five minutes of work yields a rich, chocolate-y candy that is reminiscent of a turtle. No food processor or caramel making necessary. The almond butter oozes out of the caramel-like date and the sliced almonds add crunch — the perfect foil to the rich dark chocolate shell. You could also tuck some frozen raspberries into the dates for a fruity pop of flavor. That’s all you need for a very low-key V-Day treat.
If you’re still in need of some Valentine’s Day gift ideas — for yourself or your partner or your little one — I thought I’d share a few ideas below. Also, for those in need of a slightly more ambitious (but still easy) Valentine’s Day dessert, I am hoping to share the recipe for a grain-free raspberry almond olive oil cake ASAP. Stay tuned.
Valentine’s Day Finds
Have a wonderful day! xo Maggie
- 12 medjool dates
- 2-3 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- 1 3.5 oz bar dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used 85% cacao)
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- Flaky sea salt
- Optional garnish: edible rose petals
- Make a lengthwise cut on each of the dates, taking care you don’t cut all the way through. Pop out the pits and discard.
- Spoon about a half teaspoon of almond butter into each of the dates. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
- Place chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl. Temper the chocolate either by using the double boiler method (a bowl set over a pot of simmering water) or the microwave. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, microwave for another 30 seconds, stir, microwave for 20 more seconds and stir until smooth and glossy. The time may vary depending on your particular microwave. After the last interval, you should still have a few small chunks of unmelted chocolate, which will melt as you continue to stir. Don’t overheat!
- Drizzle chocolate over each stuffed date to cover. Do this on parchment paper, because it’s a messy process! Sprinkle with flaky salt and rose petals, if desired.
- Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set. Remove from freezer and enjoy!