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Date and Walnut Haroset Balls

Date and Walnut <em>Haroset</em> Balls Related:   desserts & sweets, gluten-free, kid-friendly, pareve, Passover, vegetarian

Prep time: 15–20 minutes

Cook time: 5–7 minutes

Yield: 28 walnut-sized balls

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My mother has been making these date and walnut balls, a variation on traditional Jewish-Iraqi haroset, which is made with chopped walnuts and silan (date honey), for years. They’re not only perfect for Passover and Tu b’Shevat, but are also healthy and tasty year round. Pressed baking dates are available in Middle Eastern and some kosher markets. To keep the recipe pareve, simply use pareve dark chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 13-ounce package pressed baking dates
  • 8 ounces dark (semisweet or bittersweet) chocolate, chopped

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Shake the baking sheet, then toast for 5 to 7 minutes longer, until walnuts turn darker in color and are fragrant. Let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, if the dates seem dry, place them in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Otherwise, soften an opened package of the dates for 15 seconds or so in the microwave.
  • Place the walnuts in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped; reserve some of the more powdery nuts (a tablespoon or so). Add the remaining chopped nuts to the chopped or softened dates; use your hands to press the mixture together until the nuts are evenly incorporated. Pinch off pieces and roll them into 1-inch balls, placing them on a baking sheet.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 seconds segments. Stir the chocolate until it is smooth. Let cool for about 1 minute.
  • Use a fork or skewer to dip each ball in the melted chocolate until completely coated. Return them to the baking sheet as you work; sprinkle the reserved chopped walnuts on top. Allow the chocolate to set before serving. You can put the date balls in the fridge for about 20 minutes to help the chocolate set, but keep in mind that this may cause the chocolate to lose its shine.

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