Nevertheless, one of my favorite cookbooks is THE TEEN’S VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK, by Judy Krizmanic. I’ve probably bought three or four of these for myself and for friends who ARE vegetarian. It’s simple, no-nonsense, doable good food made with ingredients I don’t have to go to a health store to find.

So last night, I wanted a treat to take to Mom’s, and I made one of my favorites from this book: Becca’s Chocolate Nutty Truffles. You pan-toast some nuts–I didn’t have the cashews the recipe calls for, so I used almonds and pecans–and…. Well, here’s the recipe, along with my variation:

Becca’s Chocolate Nutty Truffles

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 cup favorite nut butter: almond, cashew, or peanut
  • 4 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. In a skillet containing no oil or liquid, combine the almonds and cashews. Heat over a low flame, stirring frequently, just until you start smelling a toasty, warm aroma. (Keep watching and don’t let them burn.) You can also toast them for 2 minutes in a toaster oven set on a low setting.

2. In a bowl, mix together nut butter, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. Add nuts and stir to combine. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, mix sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon.

4. Make teaspoon-size balls of the nut butter mixture and roll in the sugar-cocoa mixture until evenly coated. Place on wax paper and eat, or harden in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Makes 25 to 30 truffles.

Variation: For Lemony Nutty Truffles, use sesame butter (oil poured off) or cashew butter. Leave out chocolate chips and cinnamon. Add 1/4 cup coconut flakes, 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest (the outermost rind of the lemon), and 1 Tbs lemon juice to the nut butter mixture. Roll the truffles in plain powdered sugar.

So. I used pecans. My mother doesn’t like peanut butter candy, so I used Nutella, a chocolate-hazelnut spread, and left out the chocolate chips. In addition to the nuts and dates, I put in some sunflower seeds. I rolled them in powdered sugar only, because there’s such a thing as over-the-top, even for me.

I didn’t take a picsh. They looked like frosted dog doo, but they tasted like heaven.

MA

writing exercise: Have a character try to convince someone he/she is one kind of person when everything they see points to him/her being another kind of person.

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