Borders is closing numerous stores in Chicago, so I thought it would be a great excuse to expand my book collection. An impulse purchase was the Biggest Loser’s Dessert Cookbook. I certainly love (and usually prefer) the real stuff– most likely filled with butter, cream, and sugar. But, I will admit for those looking to maintain or lose weight, sometimes it is a smarter choice to limit the high fat/high sugar content typically found in traditional desserts. The recipes found in this cookbook (versus my beloved Tartine recipe collection) are a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your calorie budget.

I found this recipe because I went on vacation with my sister in the desert of California, Palm Springs, and came home to Chicago with a bunch of local dried dates from a date farm.  I wanted to create something with them– I found the recipe below and I was pleasantly surprised by their sweet, gingerbread taste. The gingerbread truffles are easy, fast, and require no baking or refrigeration. As long as you are not expecting a traditional truffle, meaning chocolate, I have a feeling you will also be quite pleased. This is the perfect satisfier for an afternoon sweet tooth!

Gingerbread Truffles

1 cup pitted dates
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Two pinches ground cloves
Two pinches ground nutmeg
2/3 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

This truffle mixture is sticky, so I recommend removing rings from your fingers before shaping the truffles.

Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Process dates until they are very finely chopped and stick together. Add the molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg and process until well combined, stopping the processor to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add 2/3 cup of oats and process until the oats are slightly chopped and the mixture sticks together (but be careful not to over-process the mixture or it becomes too sticky and difficult to work with). Transfer the mixture to a bowl with a spatula.
Place the remaining oats in a bowl. Divide the mixture in approximately 12 equal amounts. Shape each into a ball, then gently roll the truffles in the oats one at a time until the outside is coated. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutritional Information (for each truffle, assuming 12 are made): 151 calories, 3 g of protein, 34 g carbohydrates (4 g sugar), less than 1 gram of fat, 0 g of saturated fat and cholesterol, 3 g of fiber, 3 mg of sodium.

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