Disclaimer: This recipe was meant to be shared in time for Christmas! Every year, our mums group has a Christmas cookie swap, and after spying a cute boxed gift of marzipan balls on Instagram, I immediately knew what I would make to share! Using three of my favourite bliss ball recipes, I would make up tins of assorted bites. None of these would contain any refined sugar, and all would be a perfectly reasonable way to enjoy a sweet treat whilst retaining one’s halo during the holiday season. Then I got distracted.

It was a lovely way to be side-tracked, and I do believe some friends and family members were very pleased. But there was still that cookie swap to think about. I am fairly new to making ‘bliss balls’, but they came in very handy when I was trying to cut out sugar from my diet. One recipe that I kept coming back to was Chrissy Freer’s cranberry, coconut and pistachio bliss balls. I love dates, but dates don’t love me, so using a different type of dried fruit was perfect. Also, the flavour of the apricots and cranberries is wonderfully tart.

It’s a well-known tradition to make and give truffles at Christmas, and also on Valentine’s Day. According to Wiki, a chocolate truffle is ‘a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache centre coated in chocolate, cocoa powder or chopped toasted nuts… usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape’. I thought why not coat these fruity bliss balls in chocolate and call them truffles? They were well-received at Christmas, and because my husband loves them so much, he got a batch on Valentine’s Day, as well!

Cranberry, Coconut and Pistachio Truffles
Bright, tart flavours from dried cranberries and apricots meld wonderfully with pistachios, coconut and a liberal coating of chocolate.

Makes 25

40g (¼ cup) sunflower seeds
45g (⅓ cup) pistachio kernels
25g (⅓ cup) unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 35g (½ cup) extra, to roll
125g (¾ cup) dried cranberries
100g (¾ cup) sulphur free dried apricots or peaches
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons chia seeds

Optional chocolate coat
200g dark chocolate (I used 45% cocoa solids)
100g white chocolate melts

Place sunflower seeds, pistachios and coconut in a food processor and process on high speed until finely chopped.

Add cranberries and apricots, process again until well combined. Add the orange juice, coconut oil and chia seeds. Process until mixture comes together.

Roll mixture into 20 to 25 balls (I tend to make them a bit smaller when coating in chocolate). Cover and place in the fridge for 3 hours or until just firm. {You can stop here; but for gifts, they look super coated in chocolate} Read on…

Place dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with about an inch of simmering water (double boiler). Stir chocolate frequently, and turn off heat once it begins to melt. Once melted, remove from stove, but leave the bowl on top of the saucepan. Using two forks, dip balls in chocolate to coat. Place balls on a large piece of clean baking paper on a large board (or in a large plastic container). Once all balls are coated, place in refrigerator to set.

Melt white chocolate by heating in double boiler (see instructions above) or microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Spoon into a small plastic zip lock bag. Seal the bag, and using a pair of scissors, snip a tiny bit off one corner. Drizzle white chocolate across dark chocolate coated balls. Place in refrigerator to set.


Adapted from Chrissy Freer

Tip: bliss balls will keep for up to 1 month in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make these truffles vegan, use vegan-friendly chocolate, or leave it off entirely.

As with all recipes calling for dried apricots, my tip is to use local Aussie apricots if you can, rather than imported Turkish apricots. The flavour is incomparable!

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #redhotcentre!

Leave a Reply