As a child, my mother and I made these every year as a special Christmas gift for my Great-Aunt Sophie, who loved them. After she died, we went several years without making them at all. I recently began shopping at a new Mid-East store where I can get dates quite cheap, so decided to try this recipe again and update it.
My kids LOVED it! The first batch got gobbled up so quickly. And I was able to share them in Christmas goody bags as well. I think even Aunt Sophie would approve.
I hope you enjoy!
- 8 oz dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 3/4 - 1 cup coconut (palm) sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
- If you opt for less sugar, you may want to supplement with 4 tiny scoops stevia (using the scooper inside, or whatever 4 servings is of your choice of stevia)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup nuts (I used walnuts, but use your favorite)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 2 cups puffed rice (preferably brown rice w/ no added sugar!)
- plus about 2 tablespoons each of the coconut and coconut sugar mixed together to roll balls in
Combine the dates, butter, coconut sugar, and stevia (optional) in a pot and cook on medium until the butter melts and the mixture begins to boil. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture 4 minutes more. Remove from heat.
In the pot, add the vanilla, chopped nuts, and coconut and stir to combine. Cool for a few minutes. Add the puffed rice and stir.
While the mixture is warm enough to work with, but not so hot to the touch, form the mixture into small balls and roll in the coconut/coco sugar mixture. You may want to coat your hands with a bit of butter for the rolling.
Makes about 3 dozen, depending on the size of your balls. Store these in an airtight container...if they make it that long!
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