Make Microwave-Savvy Truffles for a Fun Snow Day Project

MY KIDS LOVE the flavor of Nutella, and I can see why. The nutty combination of rich hazelnuts and chocolate combine to create a classic combo. My hazelnut chocolate truffles aim to achieve that same crave-worthy affect without the unhealthy oils and blood sugar spikes. They are decadent and satisfying, and you can truly be satiated with just one.


The perfect homemade treat for your Valentine, these flavor bombs are full of phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, protein and heart-healthy omega-3a. But let's be honest, I wouldn't share the recipe with you all unless they were good. To make life easier, use good-quality chocolate chips for the coating and just melt them in the microwave. I typically use Sharffen Berger or Guittard brand chocolate. And I don't temper the chocolate here — a process of heating and cooling that makes chocolate shiny and shelf stable. But that's ok since they disappear so fast!

6 Medjool dates, pits removed

3/4 cup hazelnuts, skins removed

2 Brazil nuts

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

1 tablespoon coconut butter

2 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Garnish: Flaky salt, such as Maldon, or unsweetened shredded coconut

Using a food processor with a metal blade, pulse the dates, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, coconut butter, water and salt until a thick ball forms. This should only take about 30 seconds to a minute, but you want the mixture to be smooth. If necessary, break it up with a wooden spoon and then pulse again.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll roughly 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a ball (I use a cookie scoop) and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until you use up all of the mixture. This should make about 12 truffles.

Using a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate. Microwave in increments on high for a minute and then 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between to check if chocolate has melted. If not quite melted, continue to heat the chocolate in 30-second intervals. Work quickly to melt the chocolate without getting distracted, as chocolate can be temperamental.

One at a time, place a truffle in the chocolate. Using a spoon or fork, rotate the truffle around so that it is completely covered. Lift each truffle out of the chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.

Place the chocolate-dipped truffle on the lined baking sheet. Add a pinch of flaked salt to the top of each truffle, or sprinkle with shredded coconut. Let the truffles cool until firm.

You can store in the refrigerator. If you pack them in glass storage containers, add a layer of parchment between layers of truffles.

Marcia Smart is the owner of Smart in the Kitchen and its digital spinoff, Smart in the Kitchen School. Follow her on Instagram at @smartinthekitchen or in Facebook group Smart in the Kitchen, or email her at marcia@smartinthekitchen.com

Food

Artist Wayne Bell with pieces for December’s ‘Trapeze’ fundraising show

"ART IS LIKE love,” says Houston artist Wayne Bell. “When you fall in love with people, you lose yourself in them. But you can also find yourself.” For 36-year-old Bell, whose dramatic, abstract oil paintings, where gradations of rich, otherworldly colors give the viewer the sense they have stepped into an alternate universe, the path to self-discovery has been anything but straightforward. But art, and the impetus to “create and destroy and start over,” has been with him since childhood, and never really left him alone, even as he pursued divergent goals.

Keep Reading Show less
Art + Entertainment

Bella Madre’s new owners, Pia Tolomei and CC Brollier

TWO LIFELONG-FRIENDS-turned-business-partners are breathing new life into a Houston jewelry brand which initially launched in 2013. Pia Tolomei and CC Brollier recently purchased Bella Madre from the founders, one of which is Brollier’s mother, and are gearing up for their first holiday shopping season.

Keep Reading Show less
Style