Gingerbread Pecan Date Truffles
Chocolate Gingerbread Pecan Date Truffles
How to Make Healthy Truffles with Dates, Pecans & A Chocolate Coating
These festive pecan date truffles taste like chewy gingerbread, with a creamy chocolate coating! A fun holiday treat to serve at a gathering or to give as an edible gift. Learn how to make healthy gingerbread truffles with pecans, dates, and your choice of chocolate: milk, white, or dark.
Not only are these pecan date truffles gluten free and vegan friendly, but they’re also so easy to make. Simply pulse the ingredients in a food processor, roll into balls, dip in melted chocolate and finish with tasty toppings! They’re chewy, nutty, creamy, and have an irresistible blend of sweetness with ginger spice. (A great holiday companion with my pumpkin pie truffles.)
For a creamy coating that sets on its own (but is more complicated to make), temper the chocolate for your coating. Or, for a simplified coating that will set in the fridge, just melt chocolate with coconut oil. Either way, you’ll end up with adorable DIY chocolate truffles that look and taste gourmet!
Why are chocolate truffles called truffles?
Technically, chocolate truffles are buttery balls of chocolate ganache, rolled in another ingredient like cocoa powder or nuts. They originated in France, and they were named after the dark and rumpled mushrooms known as “truffles” due to their similar appearance. These pecan date truffles are more like a blend between truffles and bon bons—which are molded chocolates with a non-chocolate center.
What are pecan date truffles made out of?
Chocolate truffles are made with a chocolate ganache center, whereas these gingerbread pecan date truffles consist of a doughy pecan and date center. Similar to chocolate truffles, that pecan date filling is then rolled into balls, coated in chocolate, and finished with flavorings like sprinkles, nuts, or cocoa powder.
How to Make Pecan Date Truffles
- Pulse together toasted pecans, pitted dates, molasses, and spices in a food processor, then blend until the mixture forms a dough.
- Portion dough with a 2-tsp cookie scoop, then roll into balls with your hands.
- Transfer to a plate and freeze until firm, ~10-15 minutes.
- Melt chocolate as desired—either temper it over the stove, or simply melt chocolate chips with coconut oil.
- Drizzle melted chocolate onto pecan date truffles until coated on all sides. Allow any excess to drip off and transfer to a plate.
- Finish immediately with desired festive toppings, like sprinkles, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, coconut shreds, etc.
Untempered vs. Tempered Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles
You can make these gingerbread truffles with either a tempered or untempered chocolate coating. Proper tempering gives the chocolate a smooth, glossy finish and keeps it from melting in your hands—which is ideal for dipped treats like these. However, tempering is a more complicated and time-intensive process, involving heating and cooling and heating the chocolate to stabilize it.
Simple Untempered Chocolate Coating
To make these gingerbread truffles with the simplest chocolate coating, just add 1 cup of chocolate chips to a heat-safe bowl with 1 tsp of coconut oil. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler, then coat your pecan date truffles with it. This untempered coating will need to set in the fridge, and it needs to be stored in the fridge.
How to Temper Chocolate for Truffles
- Coarsely chop high-quality chocolate of choice until you have 300g. (You can temper multiple types of chocolate, but you’ll need to temper 300g of each for best results. If you have leftover chocolate, double the filling ingredients to make more gingerbread truffles!)
- Add ⅔ of chocolate to a heat-safe bowl and melt over a double boiler, stirring regularly.
- Heat chocolate to its melt temperature (see below), as measured on a cooking thermometer. Then, remove bowl from heat and stir in remaining ⅓ cup of chopped chocolate.
- Allow to cool, monitoring regularly with a cooking thermometer.
- Once it reaches its cool temperature, return bowl to double boiler and reheat.
- Stir gently until it reaches its reheat temperature. When chocolate is shiny and smooth, it’s ready to use.
Temperatures for Tempering Different Chocolates
- Milk Chocolate: melt to 113°F (45°C), cool to 79°F (26°C), reheat to 84°F (28°C).
- White Chocolate: melt to 104°F (40°C), cool to 77°F (25°C), reheat to 82°F (28°C).
- Dark Chocolate: melt to 113°F (45°C), cool to 81°F (27°C), reheat to 90°F (32°C).
Do chocolate truffles need to be refrigerated?
Generally, yes, it’s best to store chocolate truffles in an airtight container in the fridge. This is particularly true if you use the simple, untempered chocolate coating method. If you choose to make a tempered chocolate coating, you can store them on the countertop—as long as the chocolate was tempered properly. Personally, still choose to store tempered chocolate truffles in the fridge.
Download this & loads of other festive recipes in my FREE 12 Days of Dried Fruit Holiday eBook!
To see how I make these gingerbread truffles, watch my Easy Holiday Desserts video!
Gingerbread Pecan Date Truffles
Gingerbread Truffles Filling
- 1 cup pecans, toasted
- 1 cup (5oz) Sunsweet® Pitted Dates
- 1½ Tbsp molasses
- 1¼ tsp ground ginger, (add ¼ tsp for stronger ginger flavor)
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of allspice
Tempered Chocolate Coating:
- 300 g high-quality chocolate of choice*, (milk, dark, or white)
Simple Coating Option:
- 1 cup chocolate chips of choice
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- holiday sprinkles
- chocolate sprinkles
- chopped nuts
- cocoa powder
- coconut shreds
- Optional: Toast pecans at 350°F (180°C) for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and browned.
- Add all gingerbread truffles ingredients into a food processor and pulse to combine, then let the machine run until the mixture forms a dough. It should hold together easily when pressed.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion the mixture (I used a 2-tsp scoop), then roll into balls with your hands.
- Transfer to a plate or tray and freeze for 10-15 minutes, until firm.
Tempered Chocolate Coating:
- Coarsely chop chocolate of choice. (I used 300g milk chocolate and 300g white chocolate, but you can use any chocolate(s) you prefer. Just be sure to temper at least 300g of chocolate* at a time for best results.)
- Add ⅔ of chopped chocolate to a heat-safe bowl. Melt over a double boiler of gently simmering water, stirring regularly. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water because the chocolate will get too hot.
- Heat milk chocolate until temperature reaches 113°F(45°C) on a cooking thermometer. (For white chocolate, melt to 104°F or 40°C.) Remove bowl from the heat and stir in remaining ⅓ of chopped chocolate.
- Allow to cool, monitoring temperature regularly with a cooking thermometer. As soon as temperature cools to 79°F (26°C) for milk chocolate (77°F or 25°C for white chocolate), return bowl to double boiler and reheat.
- Stir gently until temperature reaches 84°F (29°C) for milk chocolate (82°F or 28°C for white chocolate). When chocolate is smooth and shiny, it’s ready to be used.
- To test tempered chocolate, fold a paper towel in half and dip the folded area into the chocolate. Allow to set in a cool place for up to 5 minutes. If properly tempered, the chocolate should set evenly and feel dry to the touch.
- (For dark chocolate: melt to 113°F or 45°C, cool to 81°F or 27°C, and reheat to 90°F or 32°C.)
Simple Coating Option:
- If you don’t want to temper chocolate, melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 tsp of coconut oil in the microwave or on a double boiler over the stove.
Coat Truffles & Add Toppings
- When melted chocolate is ready, drizzle chocolate onto truffles or dip truffles into chocolate, until coated on all sides. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off, then transfer to a plate.
- While chocolate is wet, add desired holiday toppings—like sprinkles, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, coconut shreds, or whatever you like.
- Allow tempered truffles to set at room temperature, or refrigerate untempered truffles to set.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Store tempered truffles in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for to a week. Store untempered truffles in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.