Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Betty's Date Nut Balls

Date Nut Balls 1

There is something about figs, and dates and nuts that just screams holiday to me. Maybe it's because they are ingredients that make me think of my Nonna and the way she baked Italian holiday treats for us. One of my favorites is one that my Aunt Paula makes. It's a fig cookie coated in a hard frosting and sprinkled with little nonpareils. My absolute favorite cookie of all time. No one in the family can make them the same way my Aunt does. She's in her 80's now, so I really need to spend some time with her and learn.

In the meantime I decided to to try to make something loaded with all the ingredients that I love. I saw this recipe on a food board I frequent, so many thanks to Patty who shared her Mom Betty's recipe with me and let me post it here.

I think it's going to become one of those "must make" cookies on my holiday baking list, so thanks again Patty.

Date Nut Balls 2

Sweet, sticky little balls filled with dates, nuts, rice krispies and rolled in sweet coconut.

The perfect little package.

Date Nut Balls

Betty's Date Nut Balls
¼ cup butter
1 lb. chopped dates
1 cup sugar
1 egg – unbeaten
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups Rice Krispies
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sweetened flaked coconut

Cook first four ingredients in large saucepan over medium heat for 12 minutes. (I only cooked mine for 8 minutes. It seemed like the mixture was going to burn if I kept it on any longer, so just watch this while it's on the stove).

Remove from heat and add nuts, Rice Krispies and vanilla. This mixture is very sticky so have some cooking spray or butter handy so you can re-apply it to your hands and the spoon as needed.

Roll the mixture loosely into small balls (1 teaspoon) and then immediately roll in flaked coconut.

Yields approximately 5 dozen.
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