If you're looking for an easy, healthier chocolate treat, these Chocolate Covered Dates Stuffed with Almond Butter might just fit the bill!
Every once in a while, I buy a big box of dates from the grocery store. I usually buy them to make my favorite Kale Salad, but after I make 2 or 3 batches, there are always lots of dates leftover.
Sometimes I'll use the leftovers to make a batch of date caramel. But this time I wanted to try something different. I was craving chocolate and knew that the caramel-like flavor of dates would taste great with chocolate.
And I wanted to add a little bit of nut butter because nut butter is always great with chocolate. I ended up with these Chocolate Covered Dates Filled with Almond Butter.
How do you make Chocolate Covered Dates?
Making these dates isn't difficult and takes few ingredients, but it does take time. Making them requires separate steps to ensure that the almond butter doesn't melt out of the dates during the chocolate dipping step.
Chocolate Covered Dates Ingredients:
- Dates: look for the soft, fresh ones in the produce department. Avoid using the dried dates you would find packaged with the baking goods.
- Almond butter
- Dark chocolate: Choose your favorite high quality dark chocolate, or simply use chocolate chips.
- Coconut oil: This is used to thin the chocolate and make dipping easier. Beware that depending on the type of coconut oil you have, it might impose a coconut flavor on your chocolate. If you don't want that, choose shortening instead.
- Kosher salt: This is completely optional and used only for sprinkling on top of your chocolate covered dates before the chocolate sets.
Prepping the dates:
The first step to making these delicious chocolate-covered morsels of goodness is to prep the dates. After all, the last thing you want when you're biting into a chocolate is to bite down on a rock-hard date seed!
Using a paring knife, carefully cut the date in half lengthwise then remove the seed and any bits of stem that may be attached.
Alternatively, you can keep the dates whole (this will result in a higher date to chocolate ratio). Carefully cut a slit down the length of the date and pull out the seed.
Filling with nut butter:
I thought this part was going to be difficult and messy. But it turned out to be quick and easy.
I went with the simplest method I could think of. I used the tip of a butter knife to spread a small amount (about ¼-1/2 teaspoon) of almond butter into each date half.
After I was done, I stuck the tray of filled dates into the freezer to make the chocolate covering step a little easier.
Covering with Chocolate:
To prepare the chocolate, you will need to use a double boiler. If you don't have one, don't worry. You can simply use a glass or metal bowl that fits into a medium saucepan.
Fill the saucepan with a small amount of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the pot to a gentle simmer, then place the double boiler or bowl into the saucepan. Ensure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water - you're going for gentle warming.
Tips for successful chocolate dipping:
- Dip the dates ONE AT A TIME.
- Holding a date with your fingers, quickly dip the flat (almond butter) side of the date in the chocolate first. Quickly flip the date with a fork and keep the almond butter side up for the rest of the dipping/chocolate removal.
- Avoid keeping the date in the the melted chocolate for an extended period, as it can cause the almond butter to melt and run out of the date.
- To keep the chocolate coating thin, gently shake and tap the date against the side of the bowl on the fork after scooping it out of the chocolate (ensuring that the cut/flat side is facing UP).
Once your chocolate-covered dates are complete, put them back in the fridge or freezer to set the chocolate.
Once they're set, you can transfer them from the baking sheet to an airtight container or zipper bag.
Store them in the fridge or freezer if you don't plan to eat them right away to prevent the chocolate from melting.
Chocolate Covered Dates Variations:
If you are curious to try chocolate-covered dates but want to do it a little differently, there are lots of delicious variations to try!
- Substitute another type of nut butter. I used almond butter simply because I had some, and I thought it would taste great with dates (it does). However, if you don't want to use almond butter for any reason, try any other nut butter (peanut butter or cashew butter would be great too!)
- Skip the nut butter altogether. This makes the process easier and saves time, as you're cutting out a whole step of the process. It also works if you're not a fan of nut butter, or don't want to overpower the delicate flavor of the dates.
- Use a different type of chocolate. If you're not a fan of dark chocolate, simply swap milk chocolate in the recipe.
Want more chocolatey treats?
Chocolate Covered Dates filled with Almond Butter Nutrition Notes:
If you need these dates to be vegan and/or dairy-free, choose chocolate that does not contain any milk ingredients.
The nutrition information in the recipe below is for 2 pieces (2 halves) of chocolate-covered dates.
The nutrition calculations assume that you will use all of the chocolate in the recipe. If you have lots of chocolate left over, the calories, sugar, fat, etc. will be lower per serving.
Chocolate Covered Dates Filled with Almond Butter
- 24 dates
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 8 ounces dark chocolate chopped (or 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips - see note)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- kosher salt (optional)
- Using a paring knife, cut the dates in half lenthwise, and remove the seeds, and any stems that may be attached.
- Spread almond butter inside the hollow where the seed used to be using the tip of a butter knife.
- Place the baking sheet containing the almond butter stuffed dates in the freezer to prevent the almond butter from melting during the chocolate coating step. Keep them in there for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Prepare a double boiler by fitting a small glass bowl over a saucepan. Add just a small amount of water (ensuring that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl) and bring to a simmer.
- Add the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and the coconut oil. Stir gently with a spatula until it is completely melted together. Turn the heat off, but keep the bowl over the hot water.
- Holding one date with your fingers, dip the flat side in the chocolate, then quickly flip with a fork and remove from the chocolate. Ensuring that the date is cut (flat) side up, gently shake and tap it against the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place it cut (flat) side up on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with a small pinch of kosher salt if desired. Repeat with remaining dates.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer to set the chocolate again for 30 mintues. Transfer chocolate covered dates to an airtight container and store in the fridge or another cool place.
Nutrition Disclaimer: I try my best to make sure the nutrition information I provide is accurate to provide you with the best information possible. However, due to ingredient discrepancies and other factors, the above nutrition information should be considered an estimation only.