I have too many of these ingredients, so I think I should do something with them: Filberts (Hazelnuts), and Dates.
I need a liquid for the base. In the fridge is a half full bottle of (flat) Ginger Brew which is a spiced ginger ale with actual ginger in the ingredient list. There's just over a cup left and that goes into the Vita-Mix (liquid container as the dry container was just used to make nut meat and is soaking in the sink.)
Add 1 cup filberts, step back, look at it sideways, add a second cup of filberts. Blend. The Vita-Mix handles that fairly well, so another cup of filberts goes in (3 cups total). Blend, tamp, blend, tamp. Okay, a little too many nuts for the amount of liquid in the wet container. But it looks blended enough.
Put that mix into a large bowl. There are some whole filberts, but I'm moving on with them as is.
Pit and add dates. I added five to previous recipes, but I'm feeling sugar-generous: six dates, pitted, spread apart, and dumped into the bowl - making sure the pits go in the trash and the dates go in the bowl. Easier to screw up than one might think.
These would be better blended in the Vita-Mix, but that's not an option at this point. Probably would work well in a food processor, but I haven't used it yet and don't want to figure it out tonight. I try a spoon and get some pieces of the dates mixed in. Giving up, I dig a hand in and squeezed the mixture through my fingers over, and over, and over.
There's a half package of mini-dark-chocolate chips in the fridge, so those go in next. The mixture is looser than I would like for something that needs to bind together. I toss some chia seeds on top (without measuring - about 2 tablespoons) and stir everything together.
Technically the chia seeds need time to gel and become a binder. Since I'm putting these in the dehydrator, I think they'll have enough time to bind without going in the fridge. Fill mini-muffin molds and tamp down hard to compress the dough into shape. This filled about 44 molds. While spooning, I noticed there are some larger pieces of dates as well as the whole filberts. Should make some of these interesting to eat.
Dehydrating at 125 degrees for about 6 hours - long enough for them to form a bit of a dry crust on top and hold together when a sample is popped out of the mold (and eaten, of course.) Then flip the mold over and pop them out directly onto the rack. Continue dehydrating another 9-10 hours.
These turned out really, really good.
And that's a look into my cooking/creating process. Combining whatever's handy and seeing what happens has been my style all my life. It's the main reason my parents decided against getting me a chemistry set. They were (rightly) concerned I might blow up the house.
1 cup Ginger Brew
3 cups Filberts
2 tbls Chia Seeds
1/2 pkg Mini-Chocolate Chips