Sephardic Charoset Truffles

Ashkenazi charoset, which is the charoset most American Jews are familiar with, is usually made as a chunky, sticky mixture of apples, walnuts and sweet kosher wine. Sephardic Jews in the Middle East and Mediterranean make charoset somewhat differently, using dates and a variety of nuts in the mix (almonds, pine nuts, pistachios). Sephardic charoset may or may not include apples or wine. One of the more interesting ways charoset is served in the Middle East is in a ball or truffle form. Moroccan Seders will often serve these charoset truffles rather than the spreadable charoset we are more familiar with here in America.

I adapted these Sephardic Charoset Truffles from a traditional Moroccan charoset recipe that a friend shared with me. While charoset balls are usually dipped in cinnamon, I like to dip mine in cinnamon and sugar mixed together. I use pistachios because I love them, but you can substitute any kosher for Passover nut of your choice. Making the truffles is a very sticky process, so be prepared to scrub your hands afterward! These candy-like charoset truffles can be enjoyed for Passover and year-round.

If you have a smaller food processor, you will want to prepare this recipe in 2 or 3 batches. The dates are pretty sticky and can overwhelm a smaller processing blade.

Note: I have updated this recipe slightly by changing the ratio of the dried fruit to half dates, half apricots. When originally posted, the ratio was 2 cups dates, 1 cup apricots. I like the truffles better with a more pronounced apricot flavor. If you’d like to make it as originally posted, use the ratio of 2 cups dates, 1 cup apricots. Enjoy!

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Sephardic Charoset Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

You will also need

  • Food processor
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: About 25 truffles
Kosher Key: Pareve, Kosher for Passover
  • Place dates, apricots, raisins, pistachios and honey and place in a food processor.
  • Pulse for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth but still has texture. You may need to break up the sticky mixture a few times if it collects in a ball in the processor.
  • In a bowl, mix together the sugar and the cinnamon. Form date mixture into balls that are about ¾ inch in diameter. The balls will be sticky and soft. It will be easier to shape them if you wet your hands slightly.
  • Dry your hands. Dip the balls in the cinnamon sugar and coat thoroughly, and re-roll between your palms to smooth out any rough edges. Serve at room temperature.
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Category: Appetizers, Desserts, Finger Foods and Dips, Gluten Free, Healthy, In the Kitchen, Pareve, Passover - Ashkenazi, Passover - Gluten Free Ashkenazi, Passover - Gluten Free Sephardic, Passover - Sephardic, Passover - Vegetarian Ashkenazi, Passover - Vegetarian Sephardic, Recipes, Side Dishes, Tomato Free, Vegetarian

Comments (47)Post a Comment

  1. robert says:

    I am not jewish but love to cook so I might try to cook this and if my father was alive he would definitely cook it thanks for the great recipes.

  2. nancy K says:

    I’ve never seen these before! how cool. Do you break them down and spread them onto the matzoh or just eat them by themselves with your fingers?

  3. Thoroughly Modern Melly says:

    Hey Tori! Gonna try these for the kids! I’ll let you know how they “go down!” xo

  4. Rachel says:

    These look awesome! Just to clarify, are you using dried apricots or fresh in this recipe?

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hey Rachel, use dried apricots– thanks for catching that, I updated the blog!

      Nancy K, just eat them with your fingers like little candies. :)

  5. Rachel says:

    It’s almost midnight and I just finished a batch for tomorrow night. :) They’re YUMMY!

    I made about 50, btw, because I did teaspoon sized balls.

    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  6. Renee says:

    For my second Shiksa Passover I needed a great desert. Unfortunately my tiny food processor could not handle the stickyness of the dates and apricots so I ended up having to mush most of it by hand!
    Luckily after all that work they came out great and my bf’s family loved them :)
    I’m trying the Matzoh Apple Pie for night 2
    Thanks!

  7. Kate Kurtz says:

    Oh yummy! These look amazing! I’m allergic to nuts though. Can I make them without? Can I add something else for crunch? Are sunflower seeds kosher for passover?

    • Tori Avey says:

      Renee, thanks for the heads up, I’m going to make a note of that in the blog. I have a heavy duty processor, and I can imagine a smaller processor might be overwhelmed by all those dates!

      Kate– sunflower seeds are kitniyot, which is considered by Ashkenazi Jews not to be kosher for Passover. However, Sephardic Jews do eat kitniyot on Passover, and a growing number of Ashkenazi Jews have adopted the practice. Here’s a blog that explains in greater depth: link to theshiksa.com

      Sunflower seeds would work great as a substitute. My fiance’s family is half Sephardic, so we do enjoy kitniyot for Passover. For us, seeds would be a suitable substitute. You could also try subbing shredded coconut for the nuts– it’s not a traditionally Sephardic ingredient, but I bet it would be tasty and provide the needed texture (it would make the truffles a bit spongier than using the nuts). If I have any other ideas I’ll let you know. Good luck!

  8. Jackie Grossman says:

    Made a double batch. I think I’ll try walnuts the next time. These would be wonderful on cracker or French bread with brie cheese any time during the year. Recipe is definetly a “winner”!

  9. Debbie Schermerhorn says:

    Mmm, yum! Your recipe is very much like mine except that I used figs instead of dates and I add an apple to the mix. It helps with the thickness of the charoset when processing.

  10. Alisa says:

    This recipe looks great-I can’t wait to try it next week. How far in advance can I make these? How do I store them?

    Thank you.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Alisa, I wouldn’t make them too far ahead. They do last a long time at room temperature, but if they sit for longer than 24 hours they become moist and sticky. Leave them out, uncovered, at room temperature– keep them in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels. You can make them 1-2 days ahead; you may need to re-dip them in the cinnamon sugar a few hours before the Seder to freshen them.

  11. Faythe says:

    I’ve never heard of this kind of truffle. I absolutely LOVE dates! I have some Medjool dates on hand, left over from making date syrup. Do you think the texture would be affected if I made half the truffle recipe? I don’t think the Mister and I can eat them all ourselves. :)

    • Tori Avey says:

      You can totally halve the recipe, no problem Faythe. Also, if you love dates, you can up the ratio of dates to apricots– instead of half/half, you can do 2/3 dates, 1/3 apricots. This will give it a more date-like flavor. I really love the essence of apricot in these, though– either way is great! :)

  12. Faythe says:

    Oh, I love your suggestion. I will be doing that. I love apricots too, but don’t have any of those at the moment. When I can get my hands on some, I’ll try that, too.

  13. Jill Brock says:

    When I have to deal with dates and raisins, I just run them through the meat grinder attachment for my kitchen aid. It deals with them in a flash. I’m going to make these by pushing all of the ingredients thought the meat grinder.

  14. Lori Y says:

    I am absolutely loving all of your Passover recipes, and I can’t wait to get started on my cooking! This recipe looks like the best of all – I’m a total sucker for dates, and my seder table always has both Ashkenazi and Sephardi charoset. Mmmm…getting hungry already! :)

  15. Diane Morrison says:

    I can not wait to try this dish, they look yummy, they are very healthy for you too. Thank so much for sharing, I am looking forward to more healthy recipes.

  16. Coco Galvez says:

    I love dates and love this recipe :)

  17. Ilana says:

    Sound delicious. We did a charoset bar one year- made about 5 different kinds- and had a nice break while everyone got up and picked their selections and came back for their ‘korech’.

    ANYHOW, I am forced into working in advance, as I will be flying home hours before hosting at my house (yes, crazy). Maybe not dip them at all and just do a single dip before serving? Chill or store at room temp?

  18. Kim Bee says:

    You had me at pistachio, you sealed the deal with the dates.

  19. Ann says:

    I made these for our Sisterhood Pesach potluck. Almost everyone there (except me!) was Sephardic and I had the hit dish of the group! Thanks so much!!

  20. Amie S says:

    I am very excited to make this on Friday! Thank you, looks like the most delish recipe for Charoset out there!

  21. Brandi says:

    These are really good! Two out of three kids love them. They are quick and easy to make. And a nice change of pace from Ashkenazi charoset.
    Thank you for all of the interesting recipes can’t wait to try them all!

  22. Tabby says:

    Is there a good substitute for apricots? My husband and I don’t really care for them in many recipes.

  23. Jackie says:

    I made them with walnuts instead of pistachios and they are yummy!

  24. Jill says:

    Can the sephardic charoset truffles be frozen?

  25. Judy H says:

    These look wonderful, my mom would definitely have loved them. I’ll make them for my family during Pesach, thanks!

  26. Ruth Anne Goldberg says:

    loved this recipe – i omitted the honey by mistake, and found that it was sticky enough to hold together without it – I also dusted the outside with cinnamon (no sugar), and they were still terrific. thanks!

  27. Bev says:

    I made these as a substitute for Easter Candy this year. Also had the food processor die mid-pulse, leaving me with something more like “Charoset Trail Mix Balls.” No matter, just rolled them into as non-lumpy balls as possible (thank you for the wet hands tip; indispensable.), covered them in a wee bit (1/2 what you recommended) of sugar and a whole lot more cinnamon.

    Lent’s officially over, but we’ve decided to ration them out, as they’re totally addictive. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  28. Samantha says:

    I’m very sorry to post a negative review, but these were so disappointing I feel the need to comment. My mother-in-law and I both independently found this recipe and made them. Everyone agreed that they were not good. We like all of the ingredients separately, yet somehow together we thought they were disgusting. My brother-in-law called them “the eleventh plague.” At least we all had a great laugh about it. I very much enjoy your blog, and I hope you are having a wonderful holiday.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Oy, Samantha!! I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy these! The eleventh plague?? Ha! They do have a very distinct Middle Eastern flavor. If you’re only used to Ashkenazi charoset, the cinnamon combined with the fruit may have been the issue– it’s a unique flavor profile. I’ve received many raves about these this year, so I was surprised to read your review, but I suppose they can’t be everybody’s cup of tea. Hope your Passover was otherwise terrific! ;)

  29. Barry Scott says:

    Made them for our Seders. Everyone loved them. Yum!

  30. Juliet says:

    For many years, I worked retail, which meant crazy hours. It was really hard for me to find time to cook any sort of holiday goodies for the huge family seders that my now mother-in-law hosts. Now that I have the time, I want to impress her and all my new mishpacha! I made these for our 2nd night seder and they were a hit. I didn’t use a food processor, but chopped all the ingredients Ashkenazi charoset-style. Since you could see all the chunks of dried fruit and pistachio, they were very colorful and festive. I made them in the early afternoon and left them out – by the time of the seder, they had firmed up a little and tasted fantastic. I think I might use a little less honey and sugar the next time as they were quite sweet, but so so good. Your blog is adorable and thanks for the awesome recipe!

  31. Kelly says:

    Shalome, Tori! I just made these and they are super easy AND super tasty!!!

    My Cuisinart food processor seemed to have a hard time….even when I broke up the ball you mentioned…smelled like the motor was burning…so I left mine at a little chunkier consistency. Wondering what brand machine you have?

    PS I just got back from a tour of Israel! Ahmazing!!!!

  32. Robin Salvadori Allison says:

    Every year the in-laws (who are secular Jews) do a Thanksgiving potluck, and I decided (since they have a food processor) to fix these.
    I added a 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and a couple pieces of candied ginger, since everything is better with ginger. Tasting it, it lacked “sparkle”, and 2 teapoons of orange liquor did it.
    Since I had a bunch of pistachios left, we ground them fine and mixed with cinnamon and a touch of sugar for the coating. It was a double batch, and I’m worried (after we all tasted them) that 60 or so balls won’t be enough for the meal. Very yummy.

  33. Your recipe appeared on the 4Zion website, (with attribution) but they left out the dates from the ingredient list. Just thought you’d like to know that its making the rounds.

    I made your recipe last Spring and it was really good. My pistachios were a bit rancid tasting, so the second batch I substituted almonds. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
    Chris

  34. Paige Ferguson says:

    YUM!!! These are delicious and really quick and easy. They are super sweet, so maybe just roll them in the sugar once. I used pecans instead of pistachios (we couldn’t find any) and made half of a batch to make sure we liked them. (; There’s only one thing……make sure your dates are pitted before you blend the whole thing…………

  35. Ed says:

    Tori and readers, just an FYI… I came across a video blog for Charoset Truffles (link to nytimes.com) but there was no actual recipe, so I searched for a Sephardic recipe and found this one (ironic, since I am a regular Shiksa reader for the past year!). Melissa Clark uses a little pomegranate juice to achieve the right consistency and rolled them in coconut.

    Tori, you never replied about the brand of food processor you use. I have a small Cuisinart, and am sure it could not handle this recipe. It may be time for me to upgrade. So what do you use/recommend?

    Thanks!!!

  36. molly yeh says:

    i’ve been doing some early seder planning and just came across these. they look so amazing!! i have only ever had the ashkenazi charoset, but i think that’s going to have to change. these remind me of the homemade larabars i make with just ground dates and nuts, but i can only imagine how delicious they’d be in cinnamon sugar.

    yay!!

  37. Arianne says:

    What would happen, do you suppose, if they were dipped in chocolate?

  38. Mindy says:

    I made these last night for my seder; they are so yummy. My kids weren’t that into them, but that just means more for me and my husband. I too had some trouble getting them to blend smoothly like yours. I am wondering if my fruit was too dry, or it could be that I substituted the raisins for dried blueberries and a few cherries. I might have to make these year round as they remind me a lot of my favorite raw energy bar that sets me back about $2 every time I eat one! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Mindy! Glad you liked them. It’s possible your fruit was too dry, or perhaps your food processor is not as powerful as mine. At any rate, you can always add a touch of water (careful– start with a teaspoon and add from there) to help blend it to a smoother texture.

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