Coconut Date Balls

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.

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 recently 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! 🙂

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Coconut Date Balls are amazing. We love to make these for Christmas cookie gifts every year.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Coconut Date Balls have dates and pecans in a Rice Krispie texture and then covered in coconut. 

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

No bah humbug at our house! We love sharing these treats with others.

 

Here’s what I did.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

I used these ingredients.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

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

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

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.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Cook date mixture until thickened and the pieces are small due to mashing.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

After the dates finally get soft, turn off heat.  Add vanilla, Rice Krispies and nuts and stir into the mixture. 

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Stir all ingredients together. Cool a few minutes.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

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. 

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

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.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Place Coconut Date Balls on a tray with waxed paper when finished. Allow to set before serving.

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Pack these up quickly or you won’t have any to share with friends. They are THAT good!

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Coconut Date Balls are such festive, beautiful cookies. Your company will go crazy over these family favorites.

 

Here’s the recipe.

COCONUT DATE BALLS (SKILLET COOKIES)

(Recipe adapted from Beth Ambra, former mother-in-law, Louisiana, MO)

Print Recipe
Coconut Date Balls BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
This no-bake cookie is great for holiday entertaining. It contains dates, pecans and Rice Krispies and is rolled in coconut.
Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in skillet, add eggs, sugar and dates.
  2. Cook over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Slowly mash dates while cooking.
  4. Turn off heat.
  5. Add pecans, vanilla and Rice Krispies.
  6. While warm, roll and shape in small balls.
  7. Roll in coconut.
  8. Place on waxed paper.
  9. Keep hands moist while rolling.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: This recipe is gluten free if you use gluten free Rice Krispies.

NOTE: My mother-in-law referred to these as "Skillet Cookies."

NOTE: It is helpful to keep the coconut dry while rolling the date balls into them. If you drip too much water from your hands into the coconut it will no longer adhere to the date mixture.

 

[b]Coconut Date Balls[/b]
Recipe Type: Cookies, Brownies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Beth Ambra, my former mother-in-law, Louisiana, MO
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 30
This no-bake cookie is great for holiday entertaining. It contains [url href=”http://www.amportfoods.com/products.html” target=”_blank” title=”amport foods dates”]dates,[/url] pecans and [url href=”http://www.ricekrispies.com/” target=”_blank” title=”rice krispies”]Rice Krispies[/url] and is rolled in coconut.
Ingredients
  • 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]
  • Coconut
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in skillet, add eggs, sugar and dates.
  2. Cook over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Slowly mash dates while cooking.
  4. Turn off heat.
  5. Add pecans, vanilla and Rice Krispies.
  6. While warm, roll and shape in small balls.
  7. Roll in coconut.
  8. Place on waxed paper.
  9. Keep hands moist while rolling.
Notes
This recipe is gluten free if you use gluten free Rice Krispies.[br][br]My mother-in-law referred to these as “Skillet Cookies.”[br][br]It is helpful to keep the coconut dry while rolling the date balls into them. If you drip too much water from your hands into the coconut it will no longer adhere to the date mixture.

 

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

We can’t forget to keep Santa and his reindeer happy!

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

Coconut Date Balls are so wonderful for holiday entertaining. Everybody loves them. 

Coconut Date Balls | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | we make these #cookies every year for #Christmas. Everyone loves them. #dessert #dates #RiceKrispies

If you enjoy Rice Krispie treats, you will love Coconut Date Balls!

You may also enjoy these delicious recipes!

Pina Colada Cookies

Pina Colada Cookies - IMG_9077

 

Coconut Raspberry Bars

Coconut Raspberry Bars | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these ooey, gooey #dessert bars are great for #holiday baking or any time you want a delectable #cookie or #brownie. #raspberries #coconut

 

Iced Coconut Pecan Bars

Iced Coconut Pecan Bars - IMG_8429.jpg.jpg

52 Replies to "Coconut Date Balls"

  • comment-avatar
    Anonymous December 17, 2016 (4:35 pm)

    Learned to make these in Home Ec 40 odd yrs ago they were called Angel cookies then. One of the best cookies I ever ate. Still one of my favorites.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 17, 2016 (6:03 pm)

      Yes, they are some of our favorites as well. We make them every year for Christmas.

  • comment-avatar
    Anonymous November 30, 2016 (6:38 pm)

    I love this recipe! I make them every year. I omit the sugar because the dates and coconut are sweet. The taste is superb!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 1, 2016 (4:13 pm)

      They really are family favorites. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  • Christmas Cookie Extravaganza - 2014 - Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen January 16, 2016 (3:49 pm)

    […] Here are the cookies before adding the Coconut Date Balls. […]

  • Christmas Cookie Extravaganza - 2013 - Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen January 16, 2016 (3:46 pm)

    […] only thing that we have made every single year, except the first year, are the Coconut Date Balls which are such a favorite we’d get an earful if they weren’t included. I didn’t […]

  • comment-avatar
    michelle December 25, 2015 (12:39 am)

    I made these today! We always call them no bake date cookies My Grandma’s recipe only calls for two tbls of butter. We roll them in powdered sugar and flatten with a glass. Add a pinch of salt just to curb the sweet. (I didn’t…needed) YUMMY!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 25, 2015 (10:16 am)

      So glad you enjoyed them Michelle. We love these cookies for the holidays, too.

  • comment-avatar
    pattie December 20, 2015 (12:30 am)

    We make these at Christmas every year. I stir in some chopped marischino or candied cherry after I’ve cooked the dates for some added festive color. (note: If you use marischino’s you need to drain them really well or they won’t stick to the balls.) Yum-o!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 20, 2015 (8:39 pm)

      Oh, I love the idea of maraschino cherries inside, Pattie. We’ll have to try them that way some time. Yum, indeed! 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Darlene December 19, 2015 (1:16 pm)

    Look no further bakers. This is the PERFECT recipe for Coconut Date Balls. PERFECTION INDEED. Made a batch yesterday to give to my friend who needed 5 dozen cookies for Sunday church service – my good deed for the day. Today I just finished making another batch for my hubby. This recipe is identical to my Mom’s recipe that she made for us as wee children. A wonderful recipe passed down from generation to generation.
    Thank you for sharing Teresa.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    Darlene in Nova Scotia, Canada

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 19, 2015 (5:44 pm)

      Thanks, so much for your sweet comments, Darlene. You made my day! We really love this recipe and have made it almost every year for Christmas for over 35 years! It’s always one of the favorites that get picked out of our Christmas cookie baskets first!

  • comment-avatar
    Lizzy March 18, 2015 (4:29 pm)

    . . . oh, and to keep our hands from sticking to the balls, we would rub them down with butter!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa March 18, 2015 (4:33 pm)

      Great idea, Lizzy. Thanks for the tip.

  • comment-avatar
    Lizzy March 18, 2015 (4:28 pm)

    I have been making this forever, my Nannie used to make them. The super fun thing to do was get some food coloring and color the coconut. We’d mix ’em up and invent all sorts of colors, they made a beautiful platter for parties!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa March 18, 2015 (4:32 pm)

      Oh, Lizzy, I LOVE the idea of coloring the coconut. That would make a beautiful holiday tray with greens and reds. I’ll have to try it the next time we make this recipe. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  • comment-avatar
    Marsha December 28, 2014 (8:19 pm)

    Reminded me of my grandmas skillet cookies. Loved them. I just used half a stick of butter. Also used a cookie ball scoop so didn’t stick to hands.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 28, 2014 (8:28 pm)

      Great idea, Marsha. We’ll have to try that sometime. Glad you enjoyed the cookies.

  • comment-avatar
    BLee December 20, 2014 (5:28 pm)

    Awesome recipe!!!! Not a fan of coconut so I rolled in confectioners sugar. Water trick – VERY helpful. I’ve tried to make these before with an old recipe from my aunt but they always started falling apart during th rolling process. THANK YOU!!!!!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 20, 2014 (8:35 pm)

      Thank you so much. I’m so glad they worked for you with the confectioner’s sugar instead of coconut. We’ve made this recipe every year for the past 35 years and my husband is usually the one who ends up making it. He asked me to include all the tips that he uses when he makes it. So when I updated the recipe last month, I included those tips. I’m glad you found them helpful. Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know you enjoyed them.

  • comment-avatar
    dani December 13, 2014 (7:00 pm)

    They are so, so good! The directions are awesome. The tips are so helpful ensure they come out right (example: hands must be most to roll them out). Thanks so much.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 13, 2014 (9:05 pm)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Dani. We make these jewels every year for Christmas and everyone just loves them.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve December 7, 2014 (8:05 pm)

    too many pages in print out.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 8, 2014 (7:17 am)

      Steve, the print option in the easy recipe card should only print the one page.

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  • comment-avatar
    PlantBasedDietAdventures January 24, 2013 (7:00 pm)

    OH…MY…YUM!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa January 24, 2013 (7:20 pm)

      They really are fabulous.

  • comment-avatar
    Eliza's dishes January 21, 2013 (6:45 am)

    Amazing!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa January 21, 2013 (9:56 am)

      They are so delicious. Hope you try them sometime.

  • comment-avatar
    peaceloveandsmoothies January 20, 2013 (12:07 am)

    I love dates!

  • comment-avatar
    Tami January 13, 2013 (2:03 am)

    I made these tonight. Do they need to be stored in the fridge?

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa January 13, 2013 (7:17 am)

      Not necessarily for a few days, but it won’t hurt to store in the frig.

      Sent from my iPhone

  • comment-avatar
    TastingWanderlust January 9, 2013 (1:59 pm)

    OMG I can’t wait to do these for a dinner party. Coconut, dates, and crunch? yum!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa January 9, 2013 (4:51 pm)

      They are so wonderful. We love these treats. You may want to look at all the little tips we’ve made in the blog post about making them. It will help the process some. They are amazing. They freeze really well, too. Your company will love them.

      • comment-avatar
        Lauressa December 23, 2015 (5:44 am)

        To freeze, do I complete ball even in coconut before I freeze?
        Thanks

        • comment-avatar
          Teresa December 23, 2015 (8:56 am)

          Hi, Lauressa. Yes, I would freeze them totally made (which is the way I usually do it). Thaw about an hour before you want them ready to go. You can freeze in zip lock bags or in plastic containers. Have a Merry Christmas.

  • 2012 in Review | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen December 31, 2012 (9:21 pm)

    […] published (mostly recipes). I am still not even half way through posting all our family recipes! Coconut Date Balls had the most looks, likes, comments, etc., of a family recipe that I posted this […]

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  • comment-avatar
    jacsspace November 28, 2012 (10:40 pm)

    oh my goodness!! This look and sound delicious!! I will be making these for christmas. =)

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa November 29, 2012 (11:34 am)

      Please let me know how they turn out!

  • comment-avatar
    petit4chocolatier November 28, 2012 (6:18 pm)

    Triple yummy!!!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa November 28, 2012 (8:47 pm)

      Sure are amazing.

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  • comment-avatar
    Tamara Leigh: The Kitchen Novelist November 27, 2012 (7:59 pm)

    You had me at “coconut.” And dates–yum!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa November 27, 2012 (11:26 pm)

      This recipe is so-so yummy! You will love it.

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