In case you've ever wondered about the name of this blog, Addicted to Dates all started with a love and appreciation for Medjool dates!
As well as being such a versatile ingredient for no-bake vegan desserts, you can make an incredibly delicious snack like these chocolate-covered dates with just a few ingredients.
📖 Recipe Overview
Juicy Medjool dates are stuffed with creamy peanut butter and then dipped in dark chocolate, before being sprinkled with flaky sea salt. A fuss-free, delicious, and quick dessert or snack.
Medjool dates taste just like caramel, which along with the dark chocolate and peanut butter makes these stuffed dates taste like a healthier version of snickers bars.
Really easy to make, using just 4 ingredients, and ready to eat in under an hour.
🔎 How to Select the Best Dates
Medjool dates are in my opinion the superior date when it comes to stuffed date recipes. Their larger size and deep caramel flavor make them the perfect vessels for stuffing with peanut butter.
When buying dates, make sure you go for juicy, shiny, soft, and plump dates, avoiding dates that are dry to the touch.
According to Epicurious, sugar crystallization is another sign of aging to look out for when selecting dates, as this signals moisture loss.
It's important to note that dried and crystalized dates are absolutely fine to eat and use in recipes, but for this recipe, dates are the star of the show so it pays off to use the best quality possible.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this easy chocolate coated dates recipe from scratch:
Dark chocolate: Go for vegan dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. You can also use vegan milk chocolate or vegan white chocolate if dark chocolate isn't your thing! You can also use chocolate chips, or sugar-free chocolate if preferred.
Peanut butter: Smooth peanut butter without any added sugar or oil is best for this recipe. You can also use crunchy peanut butter if preferred, or go for an alternative nut butter according to your taste and dietary requirements.
Flaky sea salt: Good quality sea salt makes all the difference here. I normally use Maldon flaky salt which has beautiful large crystals and flecks that compliment the sweetness of the dates so well.
🥣 How to Make Chocolate Covered Dates
Step 1: Remove the pits from the dates
Carefully slice a date open using a sharp knife, then open the date and remove the pit. Repeat this with the remaining dates.
Step 2: Stuff the dates with peanut butter
Using a teaspoon, spoon the peanut butter into the center of the date. You don't want to overfill the dates, a teaspoon of peanut butter per date is usually more than enough.
Once you've filled all of the dates, place them on a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment paper and freeze them for half an hour.
Step 3: Coat the dates in chocolate
Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler) giving it a stir every so often to help it to melt evenly. You can also use a microwave to melt the chocolate if that's handier for you.
Carefully dip each date into the melted chocolate, using a couple of forks to lift them out onto the parchment paper.
If you have some excess chocolate left over, allow the first layer of chocolate to set slightly for a few minutes, and then you can drizzle it over the dates. Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt before the chocolate sets completely.
Lastly, place the chocolate-coated dates back in the freezer for 10 minutes or so, just to help them set before serving!
When it comes to topping your chocolate coated dates, the possibilities are endless!
- Crushed roasted peanuts.
- Toasted flaked almonds.
- Freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries.
- Chopped or slivered pistachios.
- Chopped walnuts or pecans.
- Coconut flakes or shredded coconut.
- Crushed salted pretzels.
- Make them nut-free by stuffing dates with tahini or sunflower seed butter!
- You can make almond stuffed dates by using creamy almond butter in place of peanut butter. This goes for any other nut butter too, cashew butter, hazelnut butter, pistachio butter - you name it!
They'll last for up to 10 days in the fridge.
Yes, you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to a couple of months. Then just defrost them for an hour before serving.
Store the stuffed dates in an airtight container and refrigerate. If (and that's a big if lol) you manage to not eat them all quicker, they should keep well for up to 10 days.
🍰 More Easy Vegan Snacks
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- Slice into the dates lengthways and remove the pits and place them on a tray lined with parchment paper.
- Add one teaspoon of peanut butter to the center of each date. Place the stuffed dates back on the tray and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Finely chop the chocolate and add it to a heat-resistant bowl. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan that is about ¼ ways filled with simmering water (bain-marie). Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula every so often to melt it evenly.
- Once melted, dip the stuffed dates in the chocolate, using 2 forks to lift them, and set them back onto the tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Freeze for another 10 minutes to set.
- Store the stuffed dates in an airtight container and refrigerate. They should keep well for up to 10 days.
- Store fresh dates in the fridge, not at room temperature. They actually hold their freshness much better in the fridge.
- Chill the peanut butter before stuffing the dates. Nut butter stiffens up slightly in the fridge, so it will be less runny. This makes it easier to stuff the dates without the peanut butter oozing out everywhere as you're trying to fill them!
- Freeze the stuffed dates before coating them in chocolate. This prevents the peanut butter from running into the melted chocolate, giving them a neater appearance.
- Temper the chocolate for a shiny professional look to your stuffed dates. I recommend tempering by seeding which is an easy and effective method.
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*This recipe was originally published in March 2020. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the instructions.