Monday, August 1, 2011

Medjoul Date Balls

Ramadan Mubarak!

Even if you don't like dates or if you think they aren't sweet enough, you should try these. Traditionally you cook the dates with flour over the stove when making these. Cooking the dates causes the natural sugars to caramelize and change flavor. Surprisingly though, this no cook recipe still tastes authentic and is so much easier. Add contrasting spices like cinnamon and cardamom, brings out the date's true sweetness. Don't worry about leaving the skin on either, it still comes out really smooth.

Medjoul Date Balls

20-25 small/medium-size Medjoul dates, pitted (could be less or more depending on what you have)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 TBSP powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped or halves)
Coconut, about 1/3 cup, for rolling

In a food processor, blend the dates in 2 separate batches until it forms a ball with a paste-like consistency. After melting the butter in the microwave, stir the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom into the butter. Add both batches of date paste back into food processor and turn on, slowly adding the melted butter mixture. Add the walnuts and give it one more whirl until the nuts are finely chopped and fully combined.

Place the date mixture into a bowl. Form into 1/2 TBSP-sized date balls. Roll some of the date balls in the coconut.

Makes about 40 date balls.

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