All I Want for Christmas is Cookies: Coconut Date Balls

by Sara Mead

My mom used to make these cookies when I was a kid, but I hadn’t had them in years before I decided to make them for this project. They’re good! The dates give them a very rich taste, but they’re really quite light, which is a nice balance to the heaviness of many Christmas cookies. I put this recipe together after looking at a bunch of different date ball recipes available online, and was very happy with the results.

1 cup chopped dates

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups rice krispy cereal, plus more as needed

Flaked coconut

Beat the eggs as if you were going to scramble them. Combine in medium sized saucepan with sugar and dates. Bring to boil and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes (you will see the mixture change). Turn off heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted in and combined. Mix in walnuts and cereal–add additional cereal as needed until mixture is such you can roll it into balls (basically you are making rice krispy treats with egg/date/sugar mixture playing the part of marshmallows–judge the mixture accordingly). Cover your hands with butter, and use to roll date mixture into balls of desired size (this is the place where most recipes would say “walnut-sized balls”–that doesn’t mean squat to me–I say you can choose for yourself what sized cookies you want to make). Roll balls in coconut. I believe these need to be refrigerated.

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