Sweet Stuffed Dates, Three Ways
Stuffed dates may not be on your radar yet this holiday season, but they should be. Easy to make ahead and transport, these tasty morsels are sure to be a hit. In my take, I make cream cheese frosting into three different variations, filling up the fruits with each variation so there’s a stuffed date for every sweet tooth. A tray of these makes a perfect Thanksgiving offering for those looking for just a little sweet something to pop in their mouth after all of the savories.
First there is the basic of all stuffed dates, filled with a smooth, creamy cream cheese frosting that pairs so nicely with the luscious texture. Then we get a little more adventurous with an almond-latte filling that incorporates espresso powder for a coffee flavor. Finally, we make a tasty treat that’s dipped in chocolate and topped with a pistachio. All three are made with one recipe of filling that can make as many as 70 dates–that’s what you’ll buy in a 2-pound package. (Of course you could fill all of the dates with just one filling if you choose.)
A note about the dates: you’ll want to find Medjool dates if possible; they are usually in the produce section, as opposed to the dried fruit aisle. Pitting the dates is easy. Simply roll the date around on the cutting board to find where it sits flat (so it stays on your tray!), then slice down the middle on top and slip out the pit. And I won’t blame you if you happen to eat a plain date or two while making this dessert.
Natalie of Good Girl Style joins us each month to share incredible desserts with Big Girls, Small Kitchen readers–desserts that are entirely gluten-free, but not like obviously gluten-free. That means no specialty flours or hard-to-find ingredients, just stuff like cream cheese and dates.
- 2 pound container whole dates, preferably Medjool
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- Approximately 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, for decorating
- ¾ cup chocolate chips (milk or dark)
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil
- Whole, shelled pistachios, for decorating
- Pit all the dates and sett them on a cutting board in 3 sections so you have them evenly distributed to fill.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth and well mixed. Slowly add the powdered sugar until smooth. Take half of the frosting out and put it in a separate small bowl. To the frosting in the mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spoon into a small piping bag or regular baggiie with the corner cut off and pipe into ⅓ of your dates.
- Next, in a small ramekin, mix the instant espresso powder with 2 teaspoons of hot water until dissolved. Add to the second bowl of cream cheese frosting and mix well. Transfer to a small piping bag or baggie with the corner cut off and pipe into ⅓ of your dates. Decorate each date with sliced almonds.
- For the chocolate-dipped dates, leave the insides empty. Melt the chocolate chips and the coconut oil together until smooth. Dip the dates in the chocolate mixture and set on waxed paper to set. Before fully set, top each with a pistachio.
- These can be served immediately or made a few days ahead and kept in the refrigerator until serving.