Author Notes: These delicious treats filled with healthful dried fruits and walnuts are easy to make and they taste like the richest Bon-Bons. The filling keeps frozen for weeks, ready to make a few more whenever you want a delicious little bite.
My Mom and aunt Klara used to make a wonderful dessert by stuffing whole prunes, apricots or figs with walnut or pecans halves; then simmering them in wine and sugar or honey syrup, and serve with whipped cream or cover in chocolate, but it is a lot of work to stuff each fruit. Grinding the fruits and adding cinnamon, nuts, cocoa, and zest of orange and lemon makes the flavor more complex and the taste of the chocolates irresistible.
This recipe is inspired by Ray Eighmey and Debbie Miller from “Potluck Paradise” headquarters. I adapted their recipe and then changed some fruits, added cocoa powder, crystallized ginger, lemon zest, syrups and rum. I also use high quality chocolate bars instead of chips as the authors recommend, and shape them not only in Bon-Bon shape but also in squares.
Make these chocolates for your special someone and watch him or her smile!
Makes: about 3 to 4 dozen.
For the filling
• 1cup of each apricots, prunes and figs
• 3/4 cup dates, pitted
• 5-6 pieces crystallized ginger
• 1 cup toasted walnuts
• 2 tablespoons maple or organic blue agave syrup or raw honey (preferable orange blossom)
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
• Zest of 1 orange
• Zest of 1 small lemon
• 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
• 2 tablespoons dark rum such as Mount Gay
For Chocolate coating
• 14 to 16oz bitter-sweet or semisweet chocolate, tempered
- Prepare an 8x8 pan, line it with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- Run the fruit and nuts through an old-fashioned grinder, or pulse in a food processor, until ground into a rough paste. Stir in cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, maple or agave syrup or honey, zest of orange and lemon, orange juice and rum.
- Scrape the fruit filling into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm enough to cut and dip, about 3-4 hours or overnight. It will still be pliable and slightly soft, even when fully set.
- When the filling is firm enough, remove it from the pan and cut it into small 1-inch squares, or roll in 3/4-inch balls.
- To make the tempered chocolate, chop the chocolate and place 3/4 of it in a small glass bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds exactly. Stir the chocolate and continue to microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Add the remaining 1/4 of the chocolate and stir until smooth.
- With 2 small spoons or fork pick up each square or ball and cover it with tempered chocolate. They can look a little messy. Place the candy on parchment paper. Continue to coat each of the balls or squares until they're all coated with chocolate. Allow to sit for a few minutes until the chocolate hardens. Serve at room temperature.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Walnuts
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection