My family has a long standing tradition of making an insane amount of sweets each holiday season. When I was a kid, this was the only time of year we ate sweets, except you know, cake on our birthday. There are a LOT of different things that my mom and grandmothers made, potato candy, rolled painted sugar cookies, almond crescents, fudge, peanut brittle, and tons of other things I can’t think of right now. Another, odd addition, was date balls. As a child, I probably had no idea that of all the holiday treats we were making, this was probably the one that was the least unhealthy. I’m not saying these are healthy by any means, but they aren’t based on white flour, white sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate like most holiday treats are. These are so simple, but so delicious, give them a shot! I didn’t even know what dates were when I was a kid, so trust me, they don’t taste healthy. Plus, you’ll see by the ingredient list…they aren’t exactly a health food what with all the earth balance they contain, but they are very easy to make. These are also a no bake treat, so you can make them when your oven is otherwise occupied.
8 T Earth Balance (1 stick or 1/2 cup)
3/4 c brown sugar (if anyone experiments w/brown rice syrup, holler!)
1 c chopped dates (I prefer dried to fresh in this recipe)
1 c chopped pecans
1 c crisp rice cereal (I like Erewhorn Brown Rice Crisp)
1 t vanilla
For coating afterwards:
1/2 c powdered sugar and/or
1/2 c shredded coconut
Melt earth balance and sugar in a medium sized pot over low heat. Add the dates to your melted butter and sugar mixture, and cook for three minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in pecans, crisp rice cereal and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes so that you can handle it. When it has cooled enough to handle, but still warm, form tablespoon sized balls and roll them in powdered sugar or shredded coconut. In my family, we have almost always used powdered sugar, but the coconut is a nice treat sometimes.
You can still enter my contest to win Everyday Happy Herbivore.