There has been a viral Date Bark trend recently (see below). To take this trend to the next step, I have made some spooky halloween date tarantulas. They make a healthy Halloween treat.
My mum, sister and I were recipe testing in the kitchen to make spooky treats without using candy and it turned out dates work a treat. As you heat the dates, the sugars in it caramelise making it easy to work with.
It is a fiddly recipe but once you get the hang of it, it can be therapeutic. The end results are rewarding.
The most difficult part of these tarantulas are the legs. You need to break down the sugars in the dates by heating them to enable the legs to have some shaped and not be so floppy. It almost caramelises them but you don’t want to burn the dates.
It takes about an hour to make 3 from start to finish. This can be shorted, depending on how you want the legs to be. If you are happy with spread out legs then in half an hour you can make few and they are still effective.
What you need:
1 Medjool date, 1 almond and 1 hazelnut will make 1 Tarantula.
- Medjool dates
- Dark chocolate
- Start by cutting the dates in half and taking out the pip.
- Flatten one half using your fingers then on the inside place an almond and hazelnut . This forms the body of the Tarantula. Fold the sides of the date over the nuts and try and define the middle by gently pressing it.
- Heat the other half date in a glass bowl in the microwave. See heating tip below. You will smell it and see the sizzle of the date as the sugars caramelise. Using a spoon mix this together so it is all the same consistency. Let this cool then start working with it to form the legs.
- Initially roll in between the palms of your hand then move the melted date to a chopping board and gently roll with your fingers. As the date cools down it will start to harden and get less sticky and more easy to manage.
- To ensure you have 8 evenish legs (about 6 cm), when you initially roll the mixture, cut it in half, then roll the other half and cut that in half and repeat. The end result should be 8 legs. You need a small amount for the palps which you can trim off the longer legs. These legs work well as worms too.
- As dates are naturally sticky, you can attach the legs to the side of the body easily. It’s best to stick them from the bottom so they are more secure. For the palps make two small antennas and attach them to a bit of the date paste so they are more stable. Then place this on the front of the tarantula.
- Melt some dark chocolate in 15 second intervals in the microwave. Once melted place the bowl in another bowl that has some hot water. This will stop the chocolate from hardening quickly.
- Using a brush, paint the tarantulas with melted chocolate. The chocolate gives the legs more structure when it hardens and stops them from going floppy. Use a toothpick to aid angling and painting of the legs.
- My microwave is 900w and I heat the dates in 15 second intervals. I heat half a date at a time and it’s normally a totally of 30 seconds
- The dates can get very hot when heated and stick to your hands if you are not careful ❗️ Let it cool down before touching with your fingers
- If the dates are still very sticky after cooling and rolling, stick it back in the microwave for a few more seconds
- Rolling the dates into the legs or even worms because the colour looks like that is best done on a plastic or marble chopping board.
Date Bark Viral TikTok recipe
Want a sweet fix? Like snickers? This date bark will give you that sweet fix you need and the best bit is it tastes like snickers. Dates are so underrated. They create the caramel like layer of the snickers in this recipe.
All you need is Medjool dates, Chunky Peanut Butter, 70% Dark Chocolate and some Sea Salt.
- To make this, get some medjool or similar dates. As long as the dates are plump and not dry it’s fine. Place them on a baking sheet then flatten them. This can be tricky cause the dates are sticky. Use another baking paper to stop messy fingers.
- Now add on your layer of peanut butter. I went with chunky peanut butter however you can use smooth peanut butter then top with some roasted nuts.
- Melt some dark chocolate and pour on top sealing all the sides.
- Sprinkle on some sea salt and freeze for an hour or put in the fridge until it hardens.
- Cut or break and enjoy this gooey tasty date and peanut butter snickers.
This is the standard recipe and you can add on nuts of your choice and a topping of your choice too. This is an easy snickers date crunch bark and it is amazing.
Store in the fridge and eat within 1 week if it lasts that long.
I prefer making smaller batches for fresh barks rather than one big one.