The secret to the success of these raw brownie trues comes down to one ingredient: dates. But not just any dates. According to Sonja Overhiser, who blogs and podcasts about food with her husband, Alex, “Medjool dates are the star of the show because they have a gooey texture and a nuanced, complex flavor like caramel.” The walnuts, on the other hand, can be substituted if necessary. “Any large nut would work—almonds or pecans would be delicious!” she enthuses. Rounded off with a dusting of crushed pistachios—“a sort of fluorescent yellow- green confetti”—these balls of goodness add color to any spa or home setting. They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or kept frozen for up to one month (simply wait a minute or two for them warm to room temperature before serving). Plenty more meat-free meal and snack recipes can be found in the pair’s new book, A Couple Cooks: Pretty Simple Cooking (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2018).
In a food processor, grind pistachios for about a minute into a very fine dust. Transfer dust to a plate or flat dish. Wipe out processor, then add walnuts and process for a few seconds until very finely chopped. Add dates, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract, and process for another few seconds until fully combined and crumbly. Turn out mixture into a medium bowl. Take a small handful, squeeze it together and roll it between your hands to form a ball about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Repeat to make 30 trues in total. Roll each in pistachio dust, then serve or store in a sealable container.
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