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No-Bake Date Balls Recipe

12 Days of Edible Gifts: Date Balls

Latkes, Russian tea cakes, and plenty of other treats remind me of the holidays — but nothing feels more like Christmas than making my mother's date balls. Every year for as long as I can remember, my mother has given friends, neighbors, and co-workers her date balls. When I was a child and my main role was that of date-ball-roller, I thought the whole process was a big production.

But once I grew up and learned to make them, I realized that these no-bake crispy confections actually aren't that hard to put together — which explains why they became a regular part of our holiday cookie circuit. If you're pressed for time to make an edible gift, or you want to set yourself apart at a cookie exchange, then wow your loved ones with these festive date balls. Get my mother's recipe when you read more.

Date Balls

Date Balls

Easy, No-Bake Holiday Recipe for Date Balls

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup chopped dates*
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups puffed rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, for rolling
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped, for rolling

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter with sugar, then add chopped dates. Stirring very quickly, add in beaten egg. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and allow to boil for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, and add chopped walnuts and puffed rice, mixing well. Spread mixture onto a heatsafe pan, and allow to cool. Cut into even, 1-inch sized cubes.
  3. Combine finely chopped walnuts and flaked coconut in a shallow dish. Grease hands with butter, and, using hands, shape each date square into an individual sphere, then roll it in the walnut-and-coconut mixture. Shake excess off.

Makes about 40 date balls.


*Note: Whole dates that have been chopped by hand do not make a sufficient substitute. Look for sweetened, pre-cut dates in the dried fruit aisle of your supermarket.


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Join The Conversation
BakerBabe63 BakerBabe63 2 years
These were also a tradition for MY mother every Christmas. I was her official "ball maker" and I still have very fond memories of those times. Thanks for the reminder of a great little treat that still means a lot to me! I think I'll make these this year in memory of my mom. :D
Food Food 6 years
Lazy is a great excuse too! ;-)
nancita nancita 6 years
These look delicious and easy. I want to stick my face in them.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 6 years
Thanks Yum, hubby's going to basketball game tonight - I'll spread in pan, not cause I'm time strapped cause I'm lazy :)
Food Food 6 years
I forgot to mention, if you are too time-strapped to do the rolling, you can also do the shortcut version. Spread mixture into a pan, top with chopped walnuts and coconut, and then cut into bars. You've just cut out the most time-consuming part of the dish!
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
Ahhh, yes! It's holiday ball time! ;) http://www.hulu.com/watch/4156-saturday-night-live-nprs-delicious-schweddy-balls
AmberHoney AmberHoney 6 years
I have all the fixins', if I can persuade hubby to do the rolling :)
lauren lauren 6 years
these look delicious!!!!!
lauren lauren 6 years
these look delicious!!!!!
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