More Than Baking: Rice Krispy Date Balls and Tradition

I love baking at Christmas time, but I don’t like baking just anything. Deliciousness is important, but tradition and sentimentality are right behind taste for me.  

Yep, nothing wrong with butter melting into sugar. Two sticks ’cause I make a double batch!
I just started making these date balls last year. I found them in a recipe book my mom wrote for me. Isn’t a handwritten recipe the best thing? Each recipe has a note to designate who passed down the recipe. These date balls were my maternal grandmother’s recipe. I didn’t get to know my grandmother that well as she was already in a nursing home when I was Mae’s age, but I know her recipes and funny sayings, which were passed down from my own mother, so there is something special about watching your child dance around the kitchen from the delight of these sweets, her great grandmother still able to orchestrate joy in her life.

Also, they are easy. No oven needed. It’s all on the stovetop. They are, however, messy!

Here’s what you do:

Melt a stick of butter on low heat in a pan. Add a cup of sugar as it is melting. Once the butter and sugar are melted together, add the finely chopped bag of 8 oz dates. Cook for 3 minutes. Then take the pan off the burner and add a cup of Rice Krispies and a cup of finely chopped pecans. Add one teaspoon of vanilla. Stir it all together, in the same pan. You don’t dirty many dishes!

Then, this is important, start making the balls once the mixture is warm. You can’t make them when it is too hot to touch, but if you wait until it cools, the balls won’t form.

I make balls about the diameter of a quarter. Then I roll them in powdered sugar. You could also do coconut flakes.

Merry Christmas! Hope it’s sweet.

Oh and if you meet an ornery person some time soon, odds are you will at some family gathering, then ask them what my grandmother would “Who licked the red off your lollipop?”


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