Contact Us

Tu B’Shevat Truffles

Tu B’Shevat Truffles


Editor’s Note: I’m very excited to introduce you to guest blogger Chanie Apfelbaum of Busy in Brooklyn. Her fabulous truffles will win you over, I’m sure. Welcome, Chanie!

This Shabbat, January 26, 2013, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the “New Year” for the trees. Traditionally, we celebrate by eating fruits and nuts that are native to the land of Israel (grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates).

Growing up, they’d always give out carob in school, which they called buxer (Yiddish for carob). They were long black pods that were difficult to chew. If you made the effort, you’d be rewarded with a sweet taste. Most of the girls would just throw them away, but I’d always chew away at them. Nowadays, you can find many carob products on the market, including coffee, chocolate, cookies and butters.

When I thought about what to make for Tu B’Shevat, I wanted to use dates and figs, but also incorporate the chocolate flavor of carob. I decided to throw together some dried fruit truffles, or sugarplums. Sugarplums are balls that are made up of dried fruits, nuts and spices. Think of them as a kind of Larabar in the round!

You can make my traditional Tu B’Shevat recipe, or come up with your own combination. To make sugarplums, you’ll need:

  • Dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots, prunes, raisins, craisins, cherries, apples)
  • Nuts (pecans, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts)
  • Seeds, optional (sunflower, pepitas, anise, fennel, caraway)
  • Spices (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, cloves, allspice, sea salt, cocoa, orange zest)
  • Sweetener, used to bind the mixture (honey, agave, maple syrup)
  • Butters, optional (almond, peanut, carob)
  • Extracts, optional (almond, vanilla, rum)
  • Alcohol, optional (rum, orange liqueur, chocolate liqueur)
  • Toppings (powdered sugar, turbinado sugar, coconut, cocoa, nuts, chocolate, sesame seeds)
  • For a healthy boost, add some oats or flax seeds.

Busy In Brooklyn’s Tu B’Shevat Truffles

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10)
  • 1 cup dried figs (I used 5 Calimyrna and 10 Mission)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp carob powder*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar


Toast almonds in a 350° F oven until fragrant. Remove pits from dates and add to food processor, along with figs and almonds. Process until finely chopped. Add honey, carob powder, cinnamon and sea salt, and pulse several times until the mixture begins to clump together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it is difficult to mix, add to a bowl and incorporate the spices by hand. Roll into bite-size balls and dip into turbinado sugar. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to one month.

* Carob powder is available at health food stores. If you cannot find it, you can use cocoa powder instead.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Chanie Apfelbaum runs the popular kosher cooking blog BusyinBrooklyn. When she’s not busy caring for her little ones, Chanie blogs about her cooking, crafting and coping adventures. She combines her love of writing, photography and design to bring you original dishes and crafts that your whole family will enjoy. With step-by-step photography, clear instructions and friendly guidance, the BusyinBrooklyn blog makes everything look easy!
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Elisheva Portland via January 2, 2014

Sort of Sefardi Charoset in balls, what a great idea! :) Thank you. Reply

Anonymous Minnesota USA December 14, 2013

Great Thank you for sharing this great recipe. I used ground almonds, pistatios, oatmeal, dates with fig jam and honey. Finally I rolled it in cocoa powder. Yum! Reply

Yehudit Israel January 24, 2013

suggestion instead of the sugar I would roll them in cocconut or ground nuts to make them healthier
I made something similar for Pesach and they were great Reply

Malka Ft Myers, Fl. January 21, 2013

yum! thanks for the reminder of this wonderful recipe.......I used to make a version of this whenever the co-ordinator of a Chabad ladies event in North Miami Beach would ask me to make a dessert......there was always plenty of delicious and sweet treats, but none as healthy as these! And I was wondering what I could make that was special for this year's tu b'shevat's fruit treat........during my shana rishona.......this is it!! Reply

Christina Neosho, Missouri January 21, 2013

Now I know what I'll be making this week! I really can't wait to make these and share them with my friends at shul. I love it when a recipe includes pictures along with instructions. Reply

Related Topics
Cook It Kosher - Food Blog