Hi Vegetarian Carnivores! The holiday season isn’t over quite yet- we’ve still got New Years to plan for. And while this year the holidays looked quite a bit different than previous years, there is no reason to not cook up a storm. After all, Covid isn’t spread through food, so go ahead and deliver the love to everyone you know. These vegan dark chocolate peanut butter truffles are the absolute best for sharing and doing the whole “no contact” thing. And though they are rich and indulgent, they are actually pretty healthy as well (details below- read on!). Your friends and family will thank you for these delicious bite sized treats- trust me. And the best part? They use ingredients that you are likely to have already in your pantry and come together in around half an hour. They’re sure to be a (Zoom) party favorite.
What are truffles?
No, not the fancy mushrooms (though I am sucker for those as well! Seriously, shave truffles on anything and I will devour it!). Truffles also happen to be a delicious and chocolatey bite sized dessert. Traditionally made with heavy cream, truffles are notorious for being time consuming and finicky- the chocolate ganache can crack or require a whole day of cooling prior to coating. Then once the ganache can be rolled into small balls, they are coated in sprinkles or cocoa powder and cooled once again.
Most truffle recipes claim that the heavy cream is absolutely irreplaceable and a must have- but you all know I don’t play by the rules. I created a work-around that lets you get from start to finish in around half an hour so you can enjoy your truffles without having to wait ages for them. And my method is (relatively) foolproof- no more dealing with finicky ingredients or botched batches of dessert. Follow it exactly and you will end up with the perfect texture and even taste.
Why you will love these vegan truffles
During the holiday season, I crave slightly more rich desserts, slightly more indulgent and savory foods. These truffles take the indulgence over the top. Delicious creamy peanut butter is the dominant flavor, married with a generous portion of dark maple syrup. Add even more sweetness with some soaked Medjool dates. And then blend these all together with coarsely food processed rolled oats for a beautifully workable dough that holds its shape, ready to be dipped in chocolate.
The slightly coarse texture of the food processed rolled oats contrasts the completely smooth texture of the peanut butter, dates, and maple syrup blended puree. The oats texture is a welcome contrast to the smooth chocolate coating we’ll be adding.
Complete your truffles with a melted chocolate coconut oil dipping. Decorate with kosher sea salt or sprinkles.
Peanut butter – The dominant flavor of these truffles is peanut butter. When choosing your peanut butter, look for a brand that has just peanuts (and maybe salt) in its ingredient list. Any other additives are totally unnecessary. You want creamy peanut butter to create the level of indulgence these truffles deserve. If you are allergic to peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter are wonderful substitutes that will work as well.
Coconut oil – I bet you are wondering why coconut oil made the list here- especially when I told you we are only using one teaspoon of it in the whole recipe. The reason is that this tiny amount is my secret weapon to make this recipe foolproof. Coconut oil solidifies at room temperature- this is great news for making anything that needs to chill and stay solid. So when we mix coconut oil into the chocolate and use that to coat the truffles, we are creating a virtually permanent solid barrier. Else the truffles risk falling apart and turning into a pile of melted chocolate.
Dark chocolate chips – Choose a high quality melting chocolate (ideally over 60% cacao) to use as your coating. Anything sweeter could turn the truffles a bit too sweet (at least in my taste). The beauty of the maple syrup and dates are likely to shine through brighter with a chocolate that is on the more bitter side.
Rolled oats – I told you this recipe was healthy, and one of the reasons is of these oats. Oats are not only an awesome ingredient to sub out white flour in baking, but also to use as a binding agent for no-bake recipes. Its mild flavor makes it an incredibly versatile ingredient in several recipes. Rolled oats are blitzed and chopped finely into coarse flour to bind the wet ingredients for these truffles.
- 1 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup high quality creamy peanut butter (see note above)
- 8 Medjool dates (pitted and soaked in warm water for 1/2 hour)
- 1/4 cup dark maple syrup
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Kosher sea salt or sprinkles, to decorate
- In a food processor, process rolled oats until as fine as possible. Remember this will not be as fine as oat flour, and that is the point. In my high power food processor this took 2 minutes, but if you are using a machine with a little less oomph, I would go for 3-4 minutes. The correct texture will be just barely un-siftable.
- Add in peanut butter, soaked daktes, and maple syrup and pulse until it comes together as a dough. It should be workable and stay in any shape you press it into without smearing onto your hands. If it is smearing, add some more coarsely ground oats. Remember to take the dough out first so you can ground the oats up.
- Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and lay them on a cookie tray. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, melt chocolate chips with coconut oil in microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring in between.
- Coat truffle balls with chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt and sprinkles.
- Chill for 5 more minutes in the freezer.