These are the cookies that I took to my friend’s annual Christmas cookie exchange. They are a no bake sweet that my mother started making in the 1970s. She had me convinced, or maybe it was Dad that convinced me, SOMEONE convinced me that dates were not fit for human consumption. I think Dad didn’t like them and Mom wanted to keep them to herself, so in the end, it was probably a combined effort to keep me away from these little lovelies.
It wasn’t until I married into a family of date lovers that I realized what I had been missing. After becoming completely addicted to my mother-in-laws date cookies, I asked my mom for this recipe. Once I made them, I knew why Mom wanted them all to herself. The caramel-like flavor of cooked dates combined with coconut and butter…mmmmm.
In order to make these “legal” for my now, I used Gluten Free Rice Krispies. I also substituted coconut palm sugar for the white sugar. In all honesty, I could not tell the difference. The dates and coconut still carry the flavor. They are so easy to pop in your mouth. Over and Over and Over.
I had to take 9 dozen to the party. I doubled the recipe and got almost exactly 9 dozen (minus the one or two that I sampled as I made them). I used my littlest ice cream scoop to get uniform sized balls and to keep my hands somewhat mess free…it didn’t really work, I still ended up with dates all over my fingers.
- 1½ cups chopped dates
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1//4 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups rice crispy cereal
- 7 oz bag shredded coconut
- Combine dates, sugar, eggs and butter in a saucepan.
- Stirring constantly, bring them to a boil over medium heat.
- Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla.
- In a large bowl, pour date mixture over rice crispies.
- Stir until well coated.
- Place coconut in a shallow dish.
- Scoop date mixture into small balls and roll in coconut.
And here is a tray with the cookies/candy from the Cookie Exchange:
I forgot to put on the toffee because it was in a separate bag. Otherwise in the picture, starting in the lower right corner: fudge, white chocolate cranberry cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, chocolate mint cookies, pecan blondies, Irish shortbread, lemon ricotta cookies, chocolate cherry cookies, cake pops, my date balls, mincemeat cookies and peanut butter oatmeal cookies. It was lovely not having to provide dessert for the next two nights afterward!