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.


Unknown said...

Great addition, I like how different they are.

Jess Tudor said...

We call them skillet cookies and just made them over the weekend - I think ours have too much vanilla, it's all I can taste. :/ But I definitely would make them again. :)

Jane said...

These are called 'Frying Pan Cookies' in my family. I love them - they were my favorite growing up (my gran used to make them just for me) and they still are. The only trouble is, they don't last too long - which is fine as the Rice Krispies lose their crisp by the end of the 2nd day.

P.S. The date mixture is supposed to be stirred constantly while cooking.

Kathy said...

These are know as "goof balls" in our family. My dad thought my mom had goofed up the recipe when making these the first time....lol. I add the nuts with the first 4 ingredients too and I know it's ready, when I cut through the mixture with a spoon and it stays divided. Freezes well.

AnnieK said...

We've been making these for years. We leave coconut off for the non-eaters (boo!) and even non-date eaters will eat these! After seeing Alec Baldwin on SNL a few years back we re-named them...I think you get the picture.

Unknown said...

For some reason, my Nana's Date Nut Coconut balls were on my mind on the way home from work and I thought I had her recipe but couldn't find it so did a search and here they are - perfect picture and... her name was Betty, so Thank-you!!! Can't wait to make them...

Anonymous said...

that is funny.....as ke123h says,, i also was thinking of this recipe and it was my Mom's ( her name is Betty)and was searching for it in my recipes and thought I will do a search on the net... so here I am on this blog...Linda.also perfect pic for me also..