I’ll admit upfront, I’m a “Date Ball” convert. Love em.
Before changing over though, the thought of eating a Date made my face contort and my shoulders hunch. Dates! Ugh! Those are dried, sticky and overly sweet fruit with a gooey texture that moms try and give their kids to get their kilojoule intake up, right? I know this because I was one of those moms. Date Balls at least look a lot better than dates themselves, mostly because of the sprinkling of coconut. But still, Dates or Date Balls were never on my list of top treats. Nah uh.
And by the way, just to mention this right now, I recommend never calling them Date Balls in front of your kids. They will not eat them. They will reach far back into the primal part of their brain and retrieve ancient child knowledge that Dates equate to Peas which equates to complete AVERSION. Trust me.
Call them any of the following:
chocolate ball (even though there is no chocolate it kinda looks like it)
So just to reiterate, for your own mental sanity, avoid the name “Date Balls”.
As of 4 weeks ago however, I am proud and delighted to say that I became a Date Ball convert. As in, now I think they are amazing! What was I thinking avoiding these delicious treats all that time??!!!
My conversion to Date Ball heaven was really very simple. The teachers were selling them at my sons school in order raise funds for the playgroup class and well, who can resist a school fundraiser, so I bought a few, knowing full well I’d give them all away to a date-loving friend.
That however did not happen.
What did happen though, was that I TASTED one! But why did I do that?
Like I mentioned above, it’s a very simple reason.
I was hungry.
I was in the car, waiting to pick my younger son up and I thought, well why not?!
I definitely considered it self-development of the category “trying new things”. Go me!
I’m not sure if my hunger made them taste EXTRA good, because hunger can do that to you, you know, but nonetheless, they were good. The next week I bought some more and the following week I thought it would be fun to try and make them on my own. So, I searched for a recipe on the internet, changed it up, added Cinnamon, less sugar, different biscuits, added Vanilla and simplified the method.
The result? THESE coconut-coated, melt-in-your-mouth, DATE BALLS. As you can see I couldn’t stop photographing them.
To my complete surprise and not to sound like I am boasting or anything but I thought my Date Balls tasted even better than the ones from school. Although, I will totally keep buying those ones too because the funds help the school and I love the school, but, but, but, these ones are gooooooood too. Basically I am trying to say that you will LOVE this recipe.
It is also a perfect recipe to make with kids – they can help roll the date balls and coat them in coconut. The recipe also comes together quickly (although the mixture should cool before rolling into balls) so it’s perfect for short attention spans.
I discovered by accident that keeping them in the fridge, is the best way to keep them. They taste best cold, especially when you pair them with a cup of tea. Mmmmm.
The best date ball recipe ever. The mixture comes together quickly and easily and makes about 20 balls. Completely moreish, they are the ultimate companion to a cup of hot tea!
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 tsp cinnamon
250g dates, chopped
1 egg, whisked
1 pack Tennis Biscuits (Marie Biscuits will work too), crushed into small pieces
100g coconut (+- 1 cup) for rolling
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the vanilla essence, cinnamon and the dates and heat for 3-4 minutes until dates are gooey and soft.
Take the mixture off the stove and transfer to a large mixing bowl
Add the whisked egg and mix well until the mixture looks emulsified.
Now add the biscuits and coat well with the mixture.
Place in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes or so and then roll into medium-sized balls.
Roll in coconut and store in an airtight container, in the fridge.
Enjoy with a cup of tea!