Chocolate Covered Dates
Dates are a delicious and nutritious fruit that Muslim's eat upon opening our fast (Iftaar). They are known to help with digestive health, are anti-inflammatory, reduce blood pressure, help with pregnancy/labor/delivery and the list goes on. Because of the high sugar content, dates help with raising the blood sugars in the body from a long day of fasting. This is why it was the Sunnah (teaching and practices) of our holy Prophet (peace be upon him). As much as I love dates on their own and use them year round, getting festive during the holidays and stuffing them with cheese or nuts, dipping them in chocolate, etc. is something I also enjoy. They are always raved about at Iftaar parties and give a unique festive twist to the good ol' date fruit.
Things you will need:
Toppings of choice
Mini cupcake liners
My favorite kind of dates are Sukkari dates. They are much smaller than the Medjool Dates and have a more creamy caramel flavor which I love.
Start by pitting them. The easiest way to do this is by using a straw. Just push the straw through the center of the date to help the pit come out. (Kids love helping with this kind of stuff, get them involved)
Then just gently remove the pit and stuff with your choice of filling. I enjoy adding almonds or walnuts to the center of mine.
If you were to stuff them with a filling like cheese, I would cut a slit along the top half of the date, remove the pit and using a piping bag fill it with your desired cheese. Here are a couple filling favorites I love:
Cardamom Rose Cream Cheese (ground cardamom, rose water, cream cheese mixed and filled topped with dry edible roses)
Orange Blossom Cream Cheese (orange blossom water or orange juice mixed with cream cheese garnished with orange zest)
Dill Goat Cheese (goat cheese mixed with dill, salt & pepper, garnished with candied pecans and more dill)
Next you want to get your toppings ready. This is where you can’t really go wrong. Pick your choice of garnishes and have them ready to coat your dates once dipped in chocolate. Here I’m using: •Ground Pistachios •Ground Almonds •Dry Edible Roses •Cocoa Powder •Crushed Oreo
Now you will want to melt your chocolate. I like using baking morsels because I feel they are not only easy to melt but also give a nice thick coating to the dates. I melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10 minute increments. If you prefer not to use a microwave I would boil some water and add a larger stove safe bowl over the boiling pot of water. Add your chocolate and melt your chocolate on the double boiler you just created until you have a smooth melted chocolate.
Now just dip your dates using the help of a fork and gently place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle extra chocolate with your fork to get beautiful ripples on the dates if desired.
Top with your choice of toppings. I like to only add them along one edge but you’re welcome to decorate to your liking. Pop them in the freezer to solidify and enjoy!
Pack them up as gifts for the holidays and your friends are sure to enjoy a treat!
Got some left over chocolate? No problem, dip strawberries or my boys favorite, Oreos and create some more delicious masterpieces to enjoy!
I hope I got you inspired and you give these delicious chocolate covered dates a try. If you loved these, be sure to check out my Espresso Date Truffles which is also another great hit!