1 C shelled hazelnuts
1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C chopped dates
1 T grated orange zest
2 C vanilla wafer cookies
1-1/2 C powdered sugar
3 T Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) or brandy
3 T Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 T light corn syrup
1/2 C granulated sugar
Put hazelnuts in a small baking pan and toast in preheated 350 F oven 10 minutes, or until the skins start to crack. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, place in a clean kitchen towel and rub to remove the papery skins. Set aside.
Process chocolate chips, dates and orange zest in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add cookies and process again to a crumb mixture.
Add powdered sugar, Frangelico, Grand Marnier, and corn syrup. Process until the crumbs form a ball. Add hazelnuts and process again until the nuts are coarsely ground and evenly distributed.
Spread granulated sugar on a plate. Roll cookie mixture into about 1-inch balls and then roll in sugar. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 3 days before serving.
Nonalcoholic version: Omit liqueurs. Replace with 3 T OJ concentrate, 1-1/2 t brandy extract and 1 t vanilla. Increase corn syrup by 1 T.
Makes 36 92-calorie balls