Coconut Pecan Date Balls

December 18th, 2011  |  Cookies, Sweets  |  0 Comments

This time of year my kitchen is like a sweat shop.  Me, being the primary one sweating, churning out cookie batch after cookie batch {using all  six racks in my double ovens} getting ready to make deliveries to friends, family, teachers, children's Christmas programs and, well, who am I kidding, my own belly!

I know a lot of folks are big on tradition and always making the exact same cookies every year and while there are two recipes I religiously keep in the mix {here and here}, I'm always looking for something new and different to try too!

This date ball recipe has been quietly sitting below our family's most treasured recipe for my great-grandmother's Pecan Macaroons for the last 13 years that I've been making the macaroons and never once, until a week ago, have I noticed it.  Perhaps it was its positioning on the page or perhaps it was that I was turned off by either "no-bake" or "date" or "balls".  Its hard to say.

Nevertheless, I decided to give these babies a go...after all, my great grandmother has yet to disappoint when it comes to her recipes!   Boy, am I glad I did.  These nuggets are fantastic!  Similar to a rice krispie treat, but all grown-up and sophisticated with the addition of nuts, dates and coconut, these bites are pure heaven.  And the best part is, there's no baking..... which means I can bust out one more batch while my oven is diligently working on the rest of my holiday treats!

A couple of things to note:  Do not be turned off by the dates--they just look like ugly, sticky giant turtle droppings.  In reality, they are decadent and delicious and when they cook in with the butter and sugar, watch out!  {Yes, I know anything cooked with butter and sugar is delicious....thanks}.   Also, the recipe says to cream the mixture before cooking it.  Don't try to skip this step....mixing is key for the consistency!  Did I try to skip it?  Maybe.

Ok.  Ready.  Set.  No-Bake.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup toasted coconut

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar together until light.

Add in egg and beat until incorporated.

Add in dates and mix well.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, add date mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, rice cereal and chopped pecans.

Allow mixture to cool.

Scoop mixture into balls {about a tablespoon in size} and roll each one in toasted coconut.

Store cookie balls in an airtight container until ready to enjoy!

 

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