This recipe for Chinese Red Date Candy features a chewy candy naturally sweetened with red dates. It's a mildly sweet healthier candy that is traditionally enjoyed during Chinese New Year.
What is Chinese red date candy?
Chinese Red Date Candy is a chewy candy that is naturally sweetened with red dates.
Traditionally, walnuts are paired with the red dates.
However, I've chosen to use peanuts in this version.
It's a treat that is enjoyed during Chinese New Year, along with Crunchy Sesame Peanut Candy.
Are red dates the same as medjool dates?
Chinese red dates are actually Jujube fruit, which belongs to the Buckthorn family.
Jujube fruit/jujube dates are not as sweet as medjool dates, but have a mild flavor and a soft, spongy texture.
Medjool dates are richly sweet, with a tan/brown exterior and caramel-like flavor.
Where can you buy Chinese red dates?
Chinese red dates are usually sold dried.
You can find Chinese red dates in Asian supermarkets or grocery stores.
How to use Chinese red dates?
Chinese red dates can be used in tea, desserts, soups, or enjoyed on its own.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Chinese Red Date Candy is a delicious and healthy candy, filled with natural ingredients.
It's naturally sweetened with red dates, which imparts a mild sweetness to the candy.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, dates have a host of nutritional and health benefits, with protein, minerals such as iron, and vitamin C.
Ingredients you'll need
- red dates: pits/seeds removed (cut with scissors to remove seeds); alternatively you can use a ready-made date paste
- peanuts: roasted; or walnuts
- tapioca starch: thickens the date paste; or corn starch
- maltose: is a natural sweetener with a honey-like consistency made from rice and malt, commonly used in candy making
- vegetable oil: alternatively, you can use coconut oil or butter
- edible glutinous rice paper: optional, for wrapping the candies; you can find it online as nougat paper
Optional additions & substitutions
Feel free to use:
- goji berries
- other nuts
- chia seeds
How to make the red date candies
Make the date paste:
Place red dates (pit/seeds removed) in steamer for 20 minutes until softened.
Blend the softened dates until smooth using a food processor or blender. If needed, add a splash of water to help the dates puree.
Cook the date puree until it dries up and is thickened.
Make the candy:
To the date puree, add maltose until all melted into the mixture.
Combine tapioca starch and water together in a bowl and mix into a slurry.
Add in slurry slowly. Turn off heat and mix well to prevent lumps.
Turn on the heat and cook until thickened (about 110-115°C).
Stir in oil and mix well, into a thick solid paste.
Add in peanuts and mix until incorporated.
Transfer to a large piece of parchment paper on a baking tray, and roll with a rolling pin to compact.
Let it cool completely and cut into rectangle pieces using a thin-blade lightly oiled knife.
How to store & enjoy
Store the Chinese Red Date Candy in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks.
Pair the candies with tea, or other snacks such as Sesame Peanut Candy.
To prevent stickiness, you can also use a silicone mat if you don't want to use parchment paper.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Peanut Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)
Chocolate Coconut Almond Date Balls
Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes (Feng Li Su) 鳳梨酥
Chinese Macau-Style Almond Mung Bean Cookies
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Chinese Red Date Candy
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 125 g red dates pit removed
- 75 ml maltose
- 13 g tapioca starch
- 25 ml water
- 13 ml vegetable oil
- 110 g peanuts roasted or walnuts
- edible glutinous rice paper optional
Make the date paste:
- Place red dates (pit/seeds removed) in steamer for 20 minutes until softened.
- Blend the softened dates until smooth using a food processor or blender. If needed, add a splash of water to help the dates puree.
- Cook the date puree until it dries up and is thickened.
Make the candy:
- To the date puree, add maltose until all melted into the mixture.
- Combine tapioca starch and water together in a bowl and mix into a slurry.
- Add in slurry slowly. Turn off heat and mix well to prevent lumps.
- Turn on the heat and cook until thickened (about 110-115°C).
- Stir in oil and mix well, into a thick solid paste.
- Add in peanuts and mix until incorporated.
- Transfer to a large piece of parchment paper on a baking tray, and roll with a rolling pin to compact.
- Let it cool completely (preferably the next day) and cut into rectangle pieces using a lightly oiled thin-blade knife.
- Wrap individual candies with edible glutinous rice paper, if desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Perfect healthy and nutritious red date candy!! No additional sugar and look so pretty and tasty!!
Can I substitute the maltose with honey?
Unfortunately, maltose is the key ingredient for this recipe. Honey will not be suitable.