Chocolate-Hazelnut Truffles

November/December 1998

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Chopped pitted dates are the secret ingredient in these healthy chocolate-hazelnut truffles.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Truffles

Makes: About 32 truffles

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  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted (see Tip)
  • 2 cups chopped pitted dates, (10 ounces, see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Place 2 ounces chocolate in a small bowl. Set bowl in a small skillet of barely simmering water until chocolate melts. (Alternatively, melt chocolate in the microwave.)
  2. Combine hazelnuts, dates and orange zest in a food processor; pulse until very finely chopped. Add the melted chocolate, corn syrup, orange juice and orange liqueur; pulse until mixture clumps together.
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Sift cocoa into a pie pan or shallow dish. Coat hands with cooking spray. Pinch off pieces of date mixture and form into 1-inch balls. Roll truffles in cocoa to coat lightly and place on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Melt remaining 1 ounce chocolate. Spoon into a paper cone or small plastic bag. Cut a tiny hole in the tip of the cone or corner of the bag. Pipe chocolate decoratively over truffles. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the chocolate has hardened, about 10 minutes. Serve in paper candy cups.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To toast chopped hazelnuts: Place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Note: Be sure to use chopped pitted dates rather than whole dates, which are too sticky for the food processor.


Per truffle: 61 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 97 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate

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