A Southern Grace: dating myself

January 30, 2018

dating myself


Coconut date balls. When did I stop being a hip young person?*

*Spoiler alert: I was never hip.

It just doesn't seem like that long ago that I was driving to high school myself, and now one of my main activities is watching the neighborhood drama unfold around all of the high schoolers who are parking on our street and walking through yards to get to the campus. I don't go so far as to shake my fist at the teenagers, but I do feel like they should be more considerate--zooming down a residential street where kids and dogs walk is not cool and blaring music at 6:30 in the morning is just plain rude.

Yep, I'm well on my way to becoming an old fogey.

You'll be happy to hear that this post is about a different kind of dating. This is the one where chopped dates get cooked down with butter and sugar and molded into delicious balls that are then rolled in coconut. Yeah, that's a much better way to date oneself.

These balls were part of my edible treats to hand out this Christmas, and once again, I snuck a few for myself. They're just so ooey-gooey, but with a crunch from the rice cereal and a tickle from the coconut coating. If I hadn't made them myself, I would've had no idea that dates were involved; I would've assumed it was a ball of caramel. It tastes as good as that would, but with far less precision required!

Faux Caramel Balls
(printable recipe)
Makes about 3 dozen balls
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 ounces chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2-1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
Stir in the dates, sugar, salt, and eggs and cook and stir over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cereal and vanilla.
When cool enough to handle and quite thick, shape into 1-inch balls and roll in coconut.
Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.
Store in the refrigerator.


Angie Schneider said...

I would snack on these all day long! Dates and coconut are my favourites.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I also was never hip lol. These look super yummy! I always enjoy dates.

Gingi Freeman said...

Those look soooo good! I have been using dates a lot more in my dessert recipes recently, sooooo versatile!! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love that these are taking advantage of dates gooey deliciousness to just be delicious, and not try to claim "health".

Food Gal said...

What a fun treat that's not the usual rice krispies treats. With a taste akin to caramel, these sound fabulous!

Pam said...

I've thought the same about the cars with teenagers zooming down the street in the summertime when kids are out playing and people are dog walking. Your caramel balls sounds great, coconut love at its best! Thanks for the recipe!

All That I'm Eating said...

I love the combination of dates and coconut together, these sound great!

Agness of Run Agness Run said...

Yum! These caramel balls have the potential of becoming my new favorite dessert! Excellent recipe!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I've gotta try this!
And yeah... there's reasons why I am better living in the country and being away from "things" :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

These look amazingly good! Haha I was complaining about the loud music in a restaurant the other day :P

Marcelle @ A Little Fish in the Kitchen said...

I've been experimenting with gluten-free "energy balls" and no-bake oat cookies and the like at my place. I'm trying to eat a little better. I seriously can't wait to make these, Grace! They sound so good!

Katerina said...

Even though I have a teenage boy I too am not too tolerant to their behavior! These balls look absolutely perfect!

Pam said...

Isn't it fun when you realize you are becoming "old".

These faux caramel balls look amazing - anything with coconut makes me happy.

Adina said...

I sometimes have troubles believing I was a teenager myself once. Well, in age, because except from the fact that I thought that all adults are idiots and sooooo ooooolllldddd at the time, I did not really lead a teenager kind of life... I almost dread the time when my kids will turn into teenagers. Lovely looking balls, I like using dates to make this kind of sweet treats and I know I can always make my husband happy with it, he loves dates.

Gloria Baker said...

love these !!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Hey, classic treats are always in! Yes, my kids call us, "the most boring parents ever"...

Emma - Bake Then Eat said...

These are definetly my kind of dates! Major yummy :)

Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder said...

Nah you aren't an old fogey at al! (or I'm also an old fogey too haha)