Growing up in Germany I ate a ton of Ferrero Rocher. You can say my whole family had a bit of an obsession with them. While they taste fantastic, they're no longer on my indulgence list. With ingredients such as modified palm oil, wheat flour, whey powder just to name a few, I would be paying a hefty price if I wanted to indulge in them.
But when I think back on eating these truffles, I don't think of the chocolatey goodness itself, but rather the memories around them. As these guys were a staple in any German household, especially around the holidays, that's mostly what I associate them with. Sitting in a cozy house on a snowy street in the village we lived in, watching my little brother build intricate lego structures while I worked diligently on my sticker collection. My parents in the next room, drinking coffee and chain smoking cigarettes.
The village we lived in, Burgsalach, had a population of about a thousand. A picturesque little place that shows up only in my dreams these days and google images. There was no main grocery store aside from a tiny corner one called Edeka. If you wanted actual groceries you had to get in the car and drive a good distance.
Whenever my parents would make the trip, it felt like a special occasion. I was enthralled with everything this giant store had to offer, particularly chocolate goodies. Since I was raised under a dictatorship in Romania during the 80s, I saw chocolate maybe three times in nine years. Not something we easily had access to. Even tropical fruit was a rarity. I recall having bananas and oranges a handful of times as one would have to go to great lengths to get foods the local farmer couldn't grow.
But back to chocolate. Since I have such fond memories of these little chocolate hazelnut truffles, I decided to make my own. I try to be practical in my food making and decided to make them using only 5 ingredients. And you know what? They're pretty damn delicious. The only ingredients that go into them are Medjool dates, toasted hazelnuts, coconut butter, coconut oil and 100% cacao. Easy enough, right? Easier still is that all you have to do is just plop everything in a food processor, get everything good and incorporated, roll them into little balls and chill. They're dense, have the perfect amount of sweetness and will be a perfect addition to any holiday table.
5 ingredient chocolate hazelnut bites
Prep time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: at least 1 hour
Makes: 16-20 balls
*Alternatively you can use just 4 tbsp coconut oil if you don't have coconut butter on hand.
To toast hazelnuts, simply place them on a sheet pan for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven tossing them once half way.
Next, combine all ingredients in food processor for about a minute until everything is incorporated. Carefully start rolling the mixture in your hand, pressing the balls into shape rather than rolling. Form 1" balls. You may find the mixture to fall apart if you try and roll it like a meatball.
You're better off gently pressing the ball in the palm of your hand until a ball is formed. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Store in the refrigerator for well over a week (if you have self control).