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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Baileys Almande Matcha White Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles (Vegan, Paleo, GF, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Welcome to your new favorite matcha dessert. These melt-in-your-mouth green gems of yumminess are just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Between the green color, the (optional) Baileys Almande Irish Cream (which is vegan & GF), and the fun bite-size shape, these truffles are the perfect festive treats for St. Paddy's. They are also addictively tasty and healthy. The Baileys Almande Irish Cream is totally optional, it only functions to infuse the truffles with a light Irish Cream flavor. But these truffles will still be delectable without the Baileys Almande! For those of you who are curious, Baileys Almande is an almond-milk-based, vegan, and gluten-free Irish Cream made by Baileys (and it's now strictly vegan because Baileys no longer uses honey or beeswax in their Almande liqueur). ****PLEASE NOTE: However, Baileys Almande Irish Cream contains cane sugar, so if you are strictly sugar-free, this won't be compatible on your diet. Also, alcohol isn't compatible on anti-inflammatory diets either, and Baileys Almande is 13% alcohol (of course this recipe only calls for a little Baileys, just enough to give it flavor without causing intoxication). The only reason I have a recipe that contains a sweetened alcohol is because now that I'm of age, I occasionally drink sweetened alcohols, so long as they're strictly vegan and gluten-free. And I am extremely strict when it comes to my diet (I never cheat as a vegan, I never cheat when it comes to gluten, and I very rarely cheat on sugar/other sweeteners [usually refined-sugar-free ones], alcohol, and coffee), so sweetened alcohol is really the main thing I'll cheat on. But if I do use sweetened alcohols in my desserts, they will always be optional and I will always provide an option that's strictly fruit-sweetened. If you don't want the Baileys in this recipe because of its sugar and alcohol content, then leave it out. It will still taste incredible without the liqueur.*** These truffles are vegan and gluten-free and can be made paleo & strictly fruit-sweetened if you omit the Baileys Almande Irish Cream.



Céad míle fáilte !


"A hundred thousand welcomes!" in Gaeilge/Irish/"Irish Gaelic", that is! For those of you who are new to The Dimpled Date, welcome to my vegan/gluten-free/sugar-free food blog!


Because of my Irish heritage, I figured I had to do a recipe in celebration of St. Paddy's Day! So, I made these green vegan, gluten-free, and fruit-sweetened Matcha White Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles with (optional) vegan Baileys Almande Irish Cream (I know matcha isn't Irish, but it does make these truffles naturally green [the national color of the Emerald Isle] without the need for food dyes. Plus, I am just in general obsessed with matcha).



These truffles have a soft, chewy matcha almond cookie dough center with white chocolate chunks inside. PLUS, they are coated in a layer of Date-Sweetened Matcha White Chocolate (that's homemade!)! That's right, you heard me correctly. MATCHA. WHITE. CHOCOLATE. Vegan, paleo white chocolate infused with matcha green tea and sweetened with fruit. *mic drop*


I also sprinkled my truffles with additional matcha powder, but there are many options for garnishing. Some ideas: a little vegan/sugar-free white chocolate melted and drizzled on top, sliced almonds, a mint leaf, etc.


The texture and mouthfeel of these truffles is incredible. When you take a bite of one of these, the matcha white chocolate coating gives way with a soft crunch to reveal a supple, melt-in-your mouth cookie dough filling. Thought these truffles being vegan, paleo, and sweetened with fruit wasn't enough? I added kale to the matcha cookie dough center, and it is 100% undetectable! Seriously, I blended it into the cookie dough batter so no pieces of kale could be felt or seen, and the kale imparts zero flavor to these truffles, partly because of its mild flavor, partly because these truffles have so much flavor.


These truffles are one of my new favorite recipes I've created thus far. Bursting with flavor, color, and sweetness, when you grab one of these indulgent morsels it will be love at first bite!



Nutritional Profile of Baileys Almande Matcha White Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles


Dates- dates are antioxidant powerhouses that are also rich in fiber, protein, potassium, and iron. Fiber slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream and aids digestion. Protein builds and maintains muscle mass. Potassium regulates blood pressure and balances electrolytes. Iron builds red blood cells that transport oxygen through the body. Antioxidants in general help protect against numerous diseases because of their ability to fight disease-causing free radicals in the body. Dates also benefit bone health, may help alleviate symptoms of PMS, and show potential as a way to naturally induce (or at least shorten) labor, according to emerging research. Opt for organic dates with no added sugar to reap the maximum benefits of the dates (I use Natural Delights' Whole Fresh Medjool Dates that are grown with zero pesticides and have no added sugar).


Kale/spinach- kale and spinach are both dark leafy greens that have a lot to offer nutritionally. Kale and spinach are both packed with fiber, protein, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds, both while being very low in calories. Fiber lowers "bad" LDL cholesterol, promotes healthy bowel movements, and nourishes the beneficial bacteria that are a part of your gut flora. Iron builds red blood cells, calcium helps build and maintain healthy bones, and potassium regulates blood pressure. Magnesium plays a role in numerous bodily processes, while B vitamins generally benefit energy levels, the nervous system, the digestive tract, the cardiovascular system, and play a role in cellular processes. Vitamin A benefits eyesight, bone health, and it's important for pregnant women to get enough vitamin A in their diet (but not too much) as vitamin A helps the development of an unborn fetus. Vitamin C supports immune health and helps stimulate the production of collagen. Antioxidants help fight free radical damage and beneficial plant compounds generally benefit health.


Coconut butter- coconut butter is a great source of healthy fats (specifically, medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs), fiber, protein, and iron. MCTs provide the body with high-quality, quick energy. Fiber can help prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. Protein maintains muscle mass and iron builds hemoglobin. Coconut butter, which is essentially puréed coconut meat, is different from coconut oil, which is the oil extracted from pressing coconut meat. You may see coconut butter labeled as coconut manna.


Almond flour- almond flour is a great source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, iron, and vitamin E. Healthy fats are good for your heart, brain, and complexion. Protein builds muscle and is responsible for nearly all bodily processes. Fiber is good for the GI tract, can lower cholesterol levels, and nourishes the good bacteria that reside in your intestines. Iron builds red blood cells. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that benefits skin and hair health externally and internally. Almond flour is gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, and keto due to its being a nut flour and having a high-fat, medium-protein, low-carb ratio. Superfine blanched almond flour is preferable for a light, delicate texture to your baked goods, as opposed to almond meal.


Matcha- matcha is an incredibly nutritious green tea powder made very specifically. Matcha is dissolvable in water and can be used in hot/iced lattes, desserts, breakfast baked goods, and smoothies! Matcha is rich in fiber, L-theanine, and various antioxidants like EGCG. Matcha contains fiber because the whole tea leaf is ground into the matcha powder, and the powder dissolves in water, meaning all the nutrition of the tea leaf stays in your cup, as opposed to steeping a regular green tea bag (which infuses the water with antioxidants and flavor, yet the tea bag containing the nutritious tea leaves is removed after). Fiber benefits heart health and aids digestion. L-theanine is an amino acid believed to promote focus and relaxation and counteract the negative effects of caffeine whilst maximizing the benefits of caffeine (L-theanine can help maximize the energy and alertness that caffeine provides, without the energy crash and jitters that typically come with caffeine). Antioxidants generally fight free radical damage, helping prevent various diseases. The EGCG (also known as catechin) found in matcha specifically has anti-inflammatory properties, promotes heart health in numerous ways, and boosts brain health and function. Some estimates say matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea, with EGCG being one of the main antioxidants! Also, matcha contains a healthy amount of natural tea caffeine (called theine, not to be confused with theanine). The caffeine in matcha (sometimes as low as 25 mg of caffeine per serving) is much less than the caffeine in a cup of coffee (generally 100 mg per serving of coffee), and matcha comes with other healthy nutrients with that caffeine, unlike coffee which is comparatively non-nutritive. Opt for high-quality, ceremonial-grade, vegan, sugar-free pure matcha green tea powder.



Substitutions


You can substitute the Medjool dates with any other variety of date, such as Deglet Noor dates. As far as other sweeteners go, you may try using 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup agave, 1/2 cup date syrup, OR 1/2 cup honey (if not strictly vegan) and more to taste with varied results. Or, perhaps you could try using 1/2 cup coconut sugar OR scant 1/2 cup maple sugar, plus more to taste with varied results. In terms of 100% sugar-free, you could attempt substituting the dates with 1/2 cup Granular Swerve or pure powdered monk fruit to taste with varied results. If you choose to sweeten these truffles with the coconut sugar, maple sugar, Swerve, or monk fruit, be aware that you may need to add unsweetened almond milk, 1 tsp at a time, to get the right texture. (***PLESE NOTE: I have not tried any of the sweetener substitutions suggested in this paragraph, and therefore cannot guarantee the same results***).


The kale/spinach is completely optional. I only used it in this recipe for a nutritional boost and extra green color. I do recommend using curly kale over lacinato/other varieties of kale, though. You can replace the softened coconut butter with unsweetened creamy almond butter, unsweetened creamy cashew butter, or your unsweetened creamy nut/seed butter of choice (I truly believe that almond butter or cashew butter would work best, however). The almond flour can be swapped out with coconut flour. Maybe you could try swapping out the almond flour with oat flour? (I'm not sure if the oat flour would work because it's more dry and starchy than almond flour and coconut flour). But if you do try these truffles with oat flour, let me know how it turned out in the comments!


I do not recommend replacing or omitting the almond extract, as it pairs perfectly with the matcha and gives these truffles a lot of their flavor. However, if you must, you may try using sugar-free coconut extract (like OliveNation's), half the amount of orange extract plus more to taste (for a citrusy matcha truffle), OR additional vanilla extract. The vanilla extract can be substituted with an equivalent amount of scraped vanilla bean, pure ground vanilla bean powder, OR sugar-free vanilla paste/syrup. The matcha powder can't be replaced since these are matcha truffles. The Baileys Almande Irish Cream (vegan & GF) is 100% optional. If you omit it, these truffles will still be out-of-this-world delicious. For the white chocolate chunks inside the matcha almond cookie dough center, I highly recommend using my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate recipe, which is vegan, paleo, and sweetened 100% with fresh Medjool dates! But you can use your vegan/sugar-free white chocolate chips/chunks of choice. Or possibly, you could try vegan mini dark chocolate chips in the cookie dough center if you prefer (I like it best with white chocolate chunks though). And of course the chocolate chips/chunks inside the cookie dough center are optional, so you may leave them out if you wish.


As far as the coating for these truffles goes, I personally recommend using a batch of my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate and adding matcha green tea powder to it prior to chilling, then once the chocolate is set, melt it, and coat the truffles (it will make the coating a beautiful green color and flavor the coating with a light matcha flavor). Please keep in mind, if you're using my recipe for Matcha Date-Sweetened White Chocolate for the coating, since it's so natural and free of emulsifiers/additives, when melted, my white chocolate will separate somewhat and won't melt into a thick, smooth, luxurious chocolate perfect for coating. It will be pretty liquid-y and chunks of dates might separate. The best way to coat the truffles using my white chocolate is to spoon the melted white chocolate over the truffles and stir the white chocolate in between coating so the dates don't separate out of the chocolate. It may not look like they're coated once you're done (the coating will look see-through), but it will harden to an opaque green coating. If you add a second coat of the matcha white chocolate, it will help with the appearance of the coating. Instead, you could try using your melted vegan plain white chocolate of choice for the coating. And if going with this option, you may add natural/vegan/sugar-free green food dye (like Supernatural's or Color Garden's) to the melted white chocolate a few drops at a time until you reach your desired shade of green. Or, go with melted vegan dark chocolate for the coating instead, if you want. Another option is to leave these truffles as is and not coat them in any chocolate at all. The options for the coating are 100% customizable, so get creative!



Happy St. Paddy's!


Hope you all have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day weekend! And stay tuned, I just may have another St. Paddy's Day recipe in the works..


Thanks for visiting, hope you all adore these truffles as much as I do!


Enjoy! <3

-K.



Baileys Almande Matcha White Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles (Vegan, Paleo, GF, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 35 minutes

Chill Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 13 truffles


Ingredients (for the Matcha Almond White Chocolate Cookie Dough Center):


-1 cup Medjool dates

-1 handful curly kale, chopped OR 1 handful baby spinach (optional // for color/nutritional boost)

-1/2 cup coconut butter, softened (can sub creamy almond butter OR creamy cashew butter OR nut/seed butter of choice)

-1 tsp almond extract

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-2 Tbsp Baileys Almande Dairy-Free Almond Milk Liqueur (100% optional // is vegan & GF but contains sugar)

-1/2 cup blanched superfine almond flour

-2 tsp pure matcha green tea powder

-1/2 cup my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate, finely chopped OR 1/2 cup vegan/sugar-free white chocolate of choice, finely chopped


Ingredients (for the Matcha White Chocolate Coating):


-1 batch my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate OR 1 1/2 cups vegan/sugar-free white chocolate of choice

-2 tsp pure matcha green tea powder (plus more to taste)


Directions:


1. Make the plain white chocolate and matcha white chocolate ahead of time (for this recipe, I like to double my Date-Sweetened White Chocolate recipe and make half plain, half matcha). Be sure that when making the matcha white chocolate, you add the matcha to the other white chocolate ingredients BEFORE pouring the white chocolate into molds and placing in the fridge to set. This will make your life a whole lot easier. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Soak the dates in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes.


2. Blend the soaked and drained dates in a food processor until a uniform paste forms.


3. Add the kale/spinach to the food processor and blend with the date paste until incorporated.


4. Add the softened coconut butter, almond extract, vanilla, and Baileys Almande and blend until combined.


5. Add the almond flour and matcha green tea powder and blend until just combined (DO NOT over-mix).


6. Transfer the matcha almond cookie dough to a large bowl and with a silicone spatula, fold in the chopped plain white chocolate.


7. Cover the bowl and place in the freezer (NOT fridge) for at least 1 hour, or until the dough is firm enough to roll into balls.


8. Using a 1.5-Tbsp cookie scoop, scoop up a chunk of the cookie dough and roll into a ball between the palms of your hands. Repeat with the rest of the dough.


9. Place the cookie dough balls on the lined baking sheet and pop in the freezer for 15 minutes while melting the matcha white chocolate.


10. Using a double boiler, melt the matcha white chocolate (OR white chocolate of choice + add matcha) until liquified. Be sure to stir the matcha into your white chocolate of choice if not using my Date-Sweetened Matcha White Chocolate recipe.


11. Remove the matcha white chocolate cookie dough balls from the freezer, and using a spoon pour the melted matcha white chocolate over the truffles and coat them (be sure you're doing this either on the lined baking sheet or on a parchment paper/wax paper-lined surface to avoid a big mess).


12. Pop the truffles back in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the matcha white chocolate coating is solid and hardened.


13. Add desired garnishes. A drizzle of vegan white chocolate (other than my Date-Sweetened white chocolate, which will just spread out and create a second coating), a pinch of matcha, and an almond stuck into the drizzled vegan white chocolate would be nice. As you can see from the pictures, I just did a pinch of matcha on top of my truffles.


14. Serve with a small glass of Baileys Almande, coffee, or a matcha latte. Enjoy!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer.

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