Teresa’s Bake Shop – Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2012
We LOVE these fantastic little Coconut Date Balls. Each bite is filled with the luscious flavors of dates, coconut, pecans, and Rice Krispies so they have plenty of flavor, plenty of sweetness, plenty of crunch, plenty of satisfaction in every bite! While they take a little work the outcome and appearance of these little cookies is so beautiful and pleasant.
One of the nice things about these cookies is that you cook them on top of the stove rather than in the oven. Then you stir in the Rice Krispies and a few other ingredients and roll the mixture in coconut. While my recipe is for dates, I’m sure any kind of dried fruit would work with this basic recipe such as apricots, dried cherries, blueberries, or craisins, even stuff like dried mango or pineapple might work if you enjoy those flavors. As they are, these cookies are so sensational I’m sure you’ll love them as much as our family does.
I first tasted these cookies during my first Thanksgiving meal away from home shortly after I got married. My mother-in-law at the time, Beth, served these and several other recipes (like Berry Mallow Yam Bake), a wonderful Burnt Caramel Pie and several other wonderful recipes that we just loved and I got the recipes for (of course!)
She called them Skillet Cookies and that’s really what we refer to them as, but in order to be more descriptive for my blog followers I have changed the name to Coconut Date Balls since that’s really what they are.
I used to like the fact that these could be a gluten free option for friends and family, but it’s very difficult to locate Rice Krispies without barley malt flavoring or malt flavoring these days (circa November 2017). So unless you can locate a truly gluten free cereal, this recipe will not be gluten free.
Coconut Date Balls are a scrumptious no-bake cookie that are festive and beautiful for holiday entertaining. These cookies are also gluten free if you use true Rice Krispies cereal. Coconut Date Balls or “Skillet Cookies” are delectable holiday cookies that are a delightful tradition in our home. I hope they become a tradition with your family during the holidays, too.
When I first posted this recipe in November 2012, I had only been blogging a few months. I was using a poor quality iPhone 3 for a camera and all my pictures were grainy, out of focus, and overly busy with Christmas decorations.
I remade these cookies for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2014. (November 2014.) I shot some new pictures so you could see more detail in these lovely cookies. I made them again for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2016. Everyone loves these jewels and would be disappointed if we didn’t make them every year! 🙂
I remade this recipe again for Christmas 2017 and snapped a few new pictures for presentation, but kept the older pictures that showed the step-by-step process. This time I didn’t use Rice Krispies. I used a truly gluten free rice crisps cereal without the malt flavoring, since I have several on my baking list who need gluten free options. These are still some of the best cookies you’ll ever eat. I enjoyed mine warm. 🙂
Coconut Date Balls are amazing. We love to make these for Christmas cookie gifts every year.
Coconut Date Balls have dates and pecans in a Rice Krispie texture and then covered in coconut.
No bah humbug at our house! We love sharing these treats with others.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients.
Melt butter over a low heat. And, I really mean LOW! Whisk eggs together and add to butter in skillet. If the heat is too high you will cook the eggs, so you really have to have a low heat to make this work. Add sugar and dates.
Stir to combine. With a potato masher, mash the dates down while slowly cooking. This will take at least 10-20 minutes depending on your heat. You don’t want the mixture to scorch and you certainly don’t want the eggs to cook and become scrambled eggs! This is one of those recipes you kind of have to baby along. As the mixture continues to cook the dates will start breaking up and become soft. I continue to mash while cooking to break the dates up into small pieces.
Cook date mixture until thickened and the pieces are small due to mashing.
After the dates finally get soft, turn off heat. Add vanilla, Rice Krispies and nuts and stir into the mixture.
Stir all ingredients together. Cool a few minutes.
In order to roll these easily you MUST have moist hands. Place a water bowl next to your coconut bowl and Rice Krispie mixture and keep your hands moist while rolling. Shape the date mixture into a ball a little smaller than a golf ball.
Place ball in a bowl of coconut and roll, pressing the coconut into the date mixture as well as possible.
Place the date ball into coconut and roll to cover with coconut. The cheap Wal-Mart brand of coconut actually adheres to the date mixture better than name brands – perhaps because they are a little drier. It’s important that you keep the coconut dry and not let water drip into it from your hands. That helps the coconut adhere more easily.
Place Coconut Date Balls on a tray with waxed paper when finished. Allow to set before serving.
Pack these up quickly or you won’t have any to share with friends. They are THAT good!
Coconut Date Balls are such festive, beautiful cookies. Your company will go crazy over these family favorites.
Coconut Date Balls are perfect for Christmas Cookie Exchanges and other holiday parties.
Here’s the recipe.
COCONUT DATE BALLS (SKILLET COOKIES)
(Recipe adapted from Beth Ambra, former mother-in-law, Louisiana, MO)
- 1 stick [url href=”http://www.landolakes.com/” target=”_blank” title=”land ‘o lakes butter”]Land ‘O Lakes[/url] unsalted butter
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup [url href=”http://www.amportfoods.com/products.html” target=”_blank” title=”amport foods dates”]Amport Foods [/url]chopped dates
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups [url href=”http://www.ricekrispies.com/” target=”_blank” title=”rice krispies”]Rice Krispies[/url]
- Melt butter in skillet, add eggs, sugar and dates.
- Cook over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Slowly mash dates while cooking.
- Turn off heat.
- Add pecans, vanilla and Rice Krispies.
- While warm, roll and shape in small balls.
- Roll in coconut.
- Place on waxed paper.
- Keep hands moist while rolling.
We can’t forget to keep Santa and his reindeer happy!
Coconut Date Balls are so wonderful for holiday entertaining. Everybody loves them.
If you enjoy Rice Krispie treats, you will love Coconut Date Balls!