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Nougat – a divine combination of cocoa, hazelnuts and sugar!
Usually, it contains a lot of sugar. Just like the famous spread from Europe that starts with a “N” and ends with “utella”. Here’s the good message: These little pralines taste just like that spread! They are perfect for cold winter days. Maybe enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa? Or as a snack, to keep you going!
I love any kind of date-nut candy when I am studying. They give you lots of energy and help to concentrate. And they taste delicious without any white sugar or artificial flavors. It’s nature’s best candy!
Okay… this candy is not only for winter time… however, let’s have a look at the winter village…
Transporting the date nougat! Destination: Tanya’s desk. Oh, I like that. The little guys still have to learn how to cook, though…
Another transport! Now, this is urgent! Had to take the post van!
Okay… we’ll go back to winter wonderland! But I guess I should share the recipe first! Well, here you go.
- 1 cup soft dates
- 3/4 cup coarsely ground, roasted hazelnuts *
- 3 tbsp cocoa
- optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice (recommended for a lovely winter candy!)
Chop dates with a sharp knife into very small pieces. Add ground hazelnuts, cocoa and spices and mix the dough with your hands. Add more nuts if it’s too sticky. Form small balls with your hands and put on a plate. Don’t store these candies in a box or jar, they need some fresh air. You could either store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Of course you could make the dough using your food processor. However, I wanted to try not using any expensive, fancy tools… it works just as great using a knife and your own two handy! And hands are easier to clean than your food processor, keep that in mind!
* Roast hazelnuts: Put raw hazelnuts on a clean baking tray. Roast in the oven at 200 C / 36o F for about 10-15 minutes. Let them cool down and put them in fridge or refrigerator for a few hours. Now put your roasted nuts in a blender or food processor and grind them coarsely (pulse works best). Cooling the nuts in the fridge before grinding them helps to prevent them from turning into nut butter! I love nut butter – but it’s just not what you need in this recipe…
Don’t have a blender / food processor? I recommend using one part store bought chopped hazelnuts and one part store bought ground hazelnuts (hazelnut flour / meal). Carefully roast the ground and chopped nuts in a pan or use them straight from the bag.
* Want to keep it RAW? Just don’t roast the hazelnuts! It’s a little different, but still delicious!
Back to winter wonderland. It’s been snowing. It’s been snowing date nougat pralines! Oh, I like that kind of weather… Winter and I could become friends…
Actually, that reminds me of that movie. Cloudy with a chance of… date balls!
Time to shovel the snow (or date balls!). Hey, Guys… could you tidy up the kitchen, too? Please?