A couple years back, I made these for the first time to substitute for pecan pie at our annual vegan Thanksgiving we host. Now I am not sure if you are familiar with any southern folk, but if there is one thing they take seriously, it is their pecan pie. In Georgia, where I was born, there are many pecan tree groves, and you can buy fresh bags of them on the side of the road. Essentially pecan pie is a Thanksgiving staple down there.
As they were passed around the table, my family each took one with a reluctant look upon their faces. I had made a test batch prior to the meal, so I knew they were amazing. After taking one bite, they all exclaimed, "this tastes EXACTLY like pecan pie." The recipe was requested after a few more truffles were consumed, and no one ever eats only one.
The recipe originates from VegNews, but I've slightly altered the recipe to make it more kid-friendly (ie almond milk instead of bouborn). There are more note-worthy changes in the technique, which I'll share with you below. They sell a eCookbook Holiday Cookie Collection, which contains the original recipe. If you are looking for more ideas, you should check it out. I highly recommend it.
2 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 package of Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
In a food processor, grind up graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. Note that 1 packages of Keebler Graham crackers equals about a cup graham cracker crumbs. After they have been ground up, add in the remaining ingredients, mix until well combined. Using a plastic sandwich bag, squeeze the filling into balls about an inch in diameter. Place onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and put it into the freezer for a 2-4 hours.
Before removing them from the freezer, start melting three-quarters of the chocolate on the stove using a double broiler. I simply heat a small amount of water in a larger sauce pan on medium-low heat, and in a smaller pan nested in the larger one melt the chocolate. DO NOT let water get into your chocolate, as it will seize up. Once it is melted well, take it off of the burner and add the remaining chocolate. This tempers the chocolate so it dries with a nice shiny finish once it dries. Dip the balls into the chocolate to coat them well, then put them back onto the cookie sheet to harden.
Note: you can use chocolate chips, but it is more difficult to get them to temper properly. They will need to be put into the freezer to harden the chocolate or they will take a couple hours to dry.