Dear Villagers, I was inspired to make this recipe because of TikTok. Before you judge, let me explain, justify and defend my actions. We noticed recently quite an upswing in the number of customers coming in to stock up on medjool dates. Being nosy, we asked why, and learned that there was a recipe trending on TikTok for Snicker Dates. It was a simple recipe that involved stuffing a medjool date with peanut butter before dipping it in melted chocolate.
As a self-proclaimed queen of whole food snacks (I used to make sweet treats for cafes around the Inner West) I decided to make some.
There's much to love about this kind of whole food treat, They usually involve a small number of ingredients, they're quick to make, and you don't have to worry too much about exact amounts - it's a more relaxing cooking experience when you can be a little loosey-goosey with weighing and measuring.
Me being me, I made a couple of small changes to the recipe. The main one is the addition of cacao butter. While the TikTok recipes all called for dipping the dates in either straight melted chocolate, or adding a little coconut oil to the chocolate. The (small) issue with just melted chocolate on its own is that it sets hard, and you lose a bit of that decadent mouth feel that you get biting into a chocolate bar. And that is why some recipes include adding some coconut oil. The inclusion of coconut oil helps the chocolate melt better and set better, while also preventing it from going super hard and brittle. But coconut oil has a polarising taste, and I know a lot of kids in particular who aren't keen on it. Hence I decided that cacao butter would be a better option. It not only improves the meltability and the texture when set, but the subtle, rich flavour and aroma adds tenfold to the chocolate bar experience we are trying to create.
I decided to add a touch of cacao butter to the peanut butter too, to give the peanut butter a creamier, more velvety mouthfeel.
Being that there are 6 ingredients, and the recipe is done and dusted in 30 mins, I guess you are wondering why such a simple recipe is so long and wordy… Please don't be alarmed, I promise you that it is indeed very simple and we are not about to put you through a Masterchef Pressure Test! It's just that each simple step is harder to explain in words than video.
Feel free to omit using toothpicks - your Snicker Date Bites will be a little wider and a little flatter, but just as delicious.
One final thing before we jump in and get cooking: In my opinion, it's the salt and crushed peanuts that make these babies sing. Don't skip them!
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min + 20 min freezing time
12 Medjool dates
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
2 cups (approx 300g) chocolate chips. I use a mixture of dark and milk but it's personal preference
¼ cup cacao butter wafers OR coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1. Set up time. First, line an oven pan, tray or plate - keep in mind that it will have to fit in your freezer - with baking paper and set aside.
2. Next, place peanut butter into a small mixing bowl or jug. Set aside.
3. Now roughly crush the peanuts. I find the easiest way to do this is by placing them on a chopping board then pressing down on them with the bottom of a flat-bottomed bottle, mug or bowl repeatedly for about 20 seconds. (You could also use a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder). Place them in a bowl and set aside.
4. Use a small, sharp knife to carefully slice down one side of each date. Butterfly them open and remove the pit. Lay the dates out on a plate, butterflied side up.
5. Melt the cacao butter or coconut oil using your preferred method of either microwave or stovetop.
Microwave: place the cacao butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl or jug, and microwave in 10 second bursts until melted, stirring each time. It should only need up to 30 seconds as it's a very small amount that you're melting.
Stovetop: place a saucepan of water on the stove and place a heatproof bowl on top. Place the cacao butter or coconut oil in the bowl.Turn the heat to medium high & bring water in saucepan below the bowl to a simmer, then turn heat down to med-low. Stir the cacao butter til melted. Turn off heat but don't remove the bowl from the top of the saucepan of water, as we'll need to melt the chocolate in the same bowl soon.
6. Add about ¼ of the melted cacao butter to your peanut butter. The exact amount is not too important. (Leave the remaining ¾ cacao butter in the bowl, as we'll add the chocolate chips to it shortly). Stir the cacao butter into the peanut butter using a spoon, spatula or fork (not a whisk though, it's too thick and sticky) until it's well blended. Set aside.
7. Take half a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture and place it in the middle of the butterflied medjool dates. Sprinkle a little of the crushed peanuts over the peanut butter. Now get your toothpicks or skewers (or even those corn-on-the-cob spears!) and slide them through the dates to close them.
8. Time to melt the chocolate. Add the chocolate chips to that mixing bowl from step 5, the one with remaining cacao butter. Now repeat the process in step 5, remembering that it will take longer to melt as there's a larger quantity. Also, don't be tempted to melt it too quickly, as chocolate doesn't like being overheated. Patience is key, especially if you're using the microwave method. Take the bowl out at 10 second intervals and give it a really good stir each time, because you might find that it doesn't look melted at all, yet when you start to stir it, it suddenly turns into a molten puddle of gooey deliciousness.
9. Make sure you stir the chocolate well to incorporate the small amount of cacao butter.
10. Take your bowl of melted chocolate off the heat. Place your prepared, lined, empty tray next to it. Dunk the medjool dates into the melted chocolate, using the two ends of the toothpicks to hold onto. Place the chocolate-covered dates onto the tray as you go
11. When all 12 are on the tray, you can get to decorating them! Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top. Then sparingly sprinkle the salt flakes over, crushing them a little between your fingers as you go. Lastly, use a spoon to drizzle a little more melted chocolate over the top of each one. (Tip: hold the spoon up quite high as you wave the spoon over the dates, this way you get a thinner drizzle. The closer to the dates you hold the spoon, the thicker the ribbons of chocolate).
12. Pop the tray in the freezer. In about 20 mins, once hardened, you can remove the toothpicks, as scaffolding is no longer needed. At this point they are ready to scoff. Or place them into an airtight container and pop them in the fridge or freezer.
13. Snicker Bites keep in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for up to 8 weeks. If eating from frozen, give them 5 mins on the bench first, which gives that peanut butter filling time to soften and deliver its full creamy potential.
No cacao butter? You can leave it out without any serious consequences!
Use your choice of chocolate - milk, dark, white, or all 3.
PIMP MY RECIPE
Top with a little orange zest
Use other nut butters in place of peanut
Add some desiccated coconut to the filling for a Bounty vibe.