Cindy and The Chocolate Factory

It seemed like a good idea when I started. Use that box of dates I bought awhile back to make a snack to take to a group meetup tonight, and conveniently avoid the thing I should actually be doing. But quickly, it turned into a scene from I Love Lucy. There was no conveyor belt hurtling candies my way – just the insane mess that comes from when I “improve” a recipe I find online.

The recipe for Almond Joy Stuffed Dates comes from Minimalist Baker. It sounded yummy, even though I have never once enjoyed an Almond Joy candy bar. No, those and Mounds – horror – were the ones you gave to your parents after trick-or-treating. All I remember is the texture of dried elbow skin from that desiccated coconut. No, thank you.

But homemade always beats store bought, and as an adult I rather like coconut. The fault here is not with the recipe. The recipe says to slice each date, remove the pit, stuff with coconut and an almond then dip in chocolate. My improvement was to make them bite-sized.

I used a quarter of a date, piled some coconut and an almond on each, froze briefly, then dipped in chocolate. All was well until I got to the chocolate. Then I had no choice but to eat every third attempt, in a failed effort to make the other 66% look presentable.

Because, in my haste, I didn’t stop to do the math. Instead of 20 candies to cover in chocolate, I now had 80. Which was seventy-five too many for my patience level. Chocolate, chocolate everywhere. Meanwhile, their goddamned jingle, which I doubt I’ve heard in 20 years, ran continuously through my mind.

YES, already. YES, I FEEL LIKE A FUCKING NUT. I always feel like a nut. Evidence: I wanted to make each one look like a rabbit, with almond bunny ears? For Spring/Easter/Equinox whatever holiday is upon us now?

“Aw, you made little mice,” my husband said.

At least he could tell they were supposed to be cute rodents. I think they look more like rodent droppings – but I *was* right. One quarter of a date + a toasted almond, a bit of coconut and some chocolate = perfection.

Despite my inability to follow directions, I’m grateful to the recipe developers of the world. Whoever has the time and patience to actually perfect a recipe/technique and tell the world about it deserves some credit.