Friday, October 28, 2011

Coconut Stuffed Dates: Halloween 'Candy'

I have a confession to share.  Halloween is not my favorite holiday.  It never was.  For starters, there is nothing I hate more than being scared.  I hate scary movies, even the ridiculously-not-so-scary on the verge of comical variety.  To me, they are still scary.  The deep music, the poor choices made by naive women, I know what's coming.  I don't want to see it.  I hate dressing up.  I'm not one of those people who plan their costume months or weeks in advance.  You can find me on Halloween morning scrounging around the dismantled costume aisles with the other sad saps, pulling out leftover props, face paint, and mangled costumes labeled 'adult large,' that wouldn't fit a newborn.  When my last ditch attempts at pulling together some semblance of a costume fail, I inevitably leave the store empty handed and turn to my default setting.  I was a witch for three straight years.  I find the sad looking hat, de-crushing it's pointy top and put on all the black clothes I can find before heading off to our Halloween party.  I hate haunted houses.  The adrenaline rush most people find amusing is terrifying to me.  Walking through dark, narrow passageways, only to turn the next corner and find a mummy has come alive and conveniently blocked my exit.

Don't get the wrong impression.  I assure you I am not a bitter twenty-eight year old (I promise I will have a more uplifting holiday post in the upcoming months).  Halloween is for the kids after all, and I have found something about Halloween I truly enjoy.  I secretly love passing out candy at home and watching our neighborhood transform itself with pint sized superheroes, devils, and princesses.  They wait outside at dusk for the sky to turn a dark enough shade of bluish gray.  The streetlights come on as neighbors flick on their outdoor lights signaling they are ready for business.  Carved jack o' lanterns staked out at their respectable post, their sparse lights fluttering in the distance.  The little ones that come first are the most endearing, the ones that can barely walk up the stairs in their oversized itchy costume, their parents urging them to say trick or treat and to take a piece of candy.  A giant dinosaur body with a little face starring up at me, clearly confused, is at my feet.  This is the stuff Halloween is made of.  This is what I enjoy.  This, and my Halloween 'candy.'

Dates stuffed with a mixture of shredded coconut and coconut oil is so sweet, they classify as candy in my book.  It wouldn't be greenthyme if I didn't share a healthy candy recipe for all you health nuts out there.  Why not indulge in something better for you than those fun size candy bars you'll passing out.  Dates are naturally sweet and full of antioxidants, and there are all kinds of reasons why coconut oil is a good fat choice.  Topped with sea salt and an almond, it's a sweet and salty crave-worthy combination I'll be enjoying while I watch the Halloween show unfold.  These addictive candies make my Halloween a little sweeter this year, as does seeing my two favorite boys dressed up like Tigger and Spiderman.  Halloween and I may just be turning a corner after all.

~Coconut Stuffed Dates Recipe~

12 Medjool dates, pits removed
3 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
12 almonds
coarse sea salt

Make a slit with a knife down the center of each date.  Fold open the flaps of the date and remove the pit.  The dates are very moldable and I use my hands to create a pocket and open them up a bit.  In a small bowl, add coconut oil and shredded coconut.  Using a fork, press and mash both ingredients together until well incorporated.  Fill each date with a heaping 1/2 tsp of the mixture.  Depending on the size of your dates, you may need more or less of the filling.  If you find yourself with a little extra, top off any dates that look like they could more.  Top each date with the teeniest pinch of coarse sea salt, based on how salty you like to go.  I like to go pretty conservative with my pinch so it doesn't overtake the coconut flavor.  Press one almond firmly into the top of each candy.  Transfer to the refrigerator for an hour to harden.  Makes one dozen.  I like to serve these cold.    

My friend Arianne's beautiful boys :)


Sue/the view from great island said...

I'm with you all the way on this one. Scary movies are crazy, why would someone want to scare themselves...there's plenty of scary stuff in the real world already! Love your candy dates, I'll definitely try them. We're fans of baked cheese stuffed dates in our family, I wonder if these could be baked?

Stephanie said...

Haha this is true. Thanks Sue. Baked cheese stuffed dates sound great! Haven't tried something like that before! I wouldn't bake these though, these are meant to be raw. Have a good Halloween!

themoveablefeasts said...

Ahhahah this post made me laugh. A cynical side of Stephanie comes out! :)But I do agree with you--my favorite part of halloween is passing out candy, not the dress up in a too-small-costume for a party. :) These look delicious, by the way. Next time I get my hands on some dates I want to try out their flavor with coconut!

Stephanie said...

Lol you are right Amy! I guess my writing is getting a little more honest these days, oops! ;) Thanks! If you try them out, let me know how it goes!

Clair said...

Yum, these are like a healthy version of Almond Joys! Will have to try.

Clair said...

Try them I did! There are pics on my blog...SO delicious and unbelievably easy.