Salted Peanut and Puffed Quinoa Chocolates with Date Caramel

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I started making different forms of date caramel chocolates last summer and, I must say, each variation has been quite delicious. A classic and very well-loved version of my recipe is made with peanut butter. While perusing the grocery aisles a few weeks back, I stumbled upon puffed quinoa and thought it would add the perfect twist to an already delicious dessert.

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Puffed quinoa is very similar to puffed rice, so if puffed rice is more easily found at your local market, it would make a lovely substitute. It adds a bit of crunch and a contrast of texture when mixed with peanut butter atop spoonfuls of date caramel, all wrapped in silky dark chocolate.

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When stored in the freezer, this treat almost takes on a frozen chocolate and ice cream bar sort of consistency, and so my favorite way to serve and eat them is quite cold, left on the countertop to soften only slightly for a minute or two.

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Because the filling has no added sugar and relies only on medjool dates for sweetness, this dessert presents itself in perhaps a more healthful way than other confections. Covered with rich dark chocolate and containing a bit of crunch, these chocolates offer a satisfying richness and make a perfectly decadent little treat.

Sincerely, Adelle

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Salted Peanut and Puffed Quinoa Chocolates with Date Caramel

Makes 10 chocolates

  • Approximately 152 grams / 5.2 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted

  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon salted peanut butter

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/4 cup puffed quinoa (can substitute puffed rice)

  • A pinch of salt for the caramel filling

  • Maldon salt, puffed quinoa, and a handful of chopped peanuts for topping

Place the pitted medjool dates, 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times or until combined and the dates are fully blended. Separately, combine the 1/4 cup peanut butter and puffed quinoa in a small mixing bowl. I generally use a 1:1 ratio with these two ingredients.

Melt the chocolate by simmering a pot of water under a glass bowl or in the microwave, stirring and heating until fully melted.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, dollop a spoonful of melted chocolate until there ten dollops. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons of date caramel onto each dollop, then top each with about 1/2 tablespoon amounts of the peanut butter and puffed quinoa mixture, as shown below.

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Cover each with a spoonful or two of melted chocolate until the date caramel and peanut butter mixture is fully covered. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt, puffed quinoa, and chopped almonds. Place the baking sheet with the chocolates in the freezer for about 20 minutes or so to firm up the chocolate, and they're ready to go! They keep best in the fridge or freezer as they tend to get a little 'melty' if left at room temperature. I personally like to keep them in the freezer as this makes for sort of a chocolate-ice cream-bar texture, leaving them at room temperature for a couple minutes before eating to soften them just slightly.

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