A few years ago, my brother-in-law gave me a Date and Coconut bar from Earth’s Fare.  If you have never had one, seriously, it tastes like a candy bar.  They are delicious.  But they were expensive.  Like, I wish I had not tried it because I could never afford these regularly, kind of expensive.  Not sure if that is just because they were from Earth’s Fare or if that is the going rate around town.  Either way, price was a deal breaker.

The ingredients were only dates and coconut.  So I set out to make them.  With a few failed attempts under my belt, I can now reveal to you the not so difficult way to make these at home.   These are quick enough to make for morning lunch packing.  And a perfect alternative to a sugary item in the wee one’s lunch. These would also make a great finger food at your next party.  Or movie night.  Or afternoon tea.  Or as a self indulgent treat for surviving any given day.  You deserve it.  I digress.

You will need a food processor.  And dates. And coconut flakes. And optionally, a little coconut oil.  And parchment paper or a melon baller.

ingredients

These dates are from Costco and were only $6.99.  Regular grocery dates are more expensive. The coconut shown is dried but I have also used the frozen variety. Just toast the frozen stuff first to get rid of the excess moisture.  I would not recommend the sweetened coconut in the baking aisle.  It is just too sweet.

First place your dates in the food processor and grind those puppies up.  This is not a pulse it a few times job.  Dates are tough and require being nearly pulverized.  When it starts to ball up now is the time to add a little coconut oil if you desire. 1-2 teaspoons per cup of dates is fine.  I like to add a little oil just to help roll it out but it is completely unnecessary.  Run the machine till it develops a smooth paste with the oil.  10 seconds max.

Now is decision time.  What shape do you prefer? Balls, logs, bars?  All are possible.  Just decide now.

Scrape out the mixture on parchment paper.  Using the paper, roll it into a log.

log

If you would prefer a date log,  sprinkle the log with coconut while still on the paper and roll it back and forth again until it adheres.  Repeat this process until the coconut will no longer stick.  If you prefer bars, after sprinkling the coconut on the log roll, shape the log with your fingers. Add more coconut during the process until it is covered.

I like to make mine into balls.  Cut the log of pulverized dates into little logs.

cutsdate in handPut coconut in your hand, a log of dates on top, top it with coconut, and then roll it around in your hand until you feel the coconut has imbedded itself into the dates.  It is a very quick process.

Store them at room temperature.  I am not sure how long they would keep.  Mine have never been tested past the 3 hour mark.

dateandespresso

Now for the fun part. You can stuff them with all sorts of goodies.   A nut.  Delicious.  A chocolate chip. Also, delicious.  And best of all a chocolate covered espresso bean.  Beyond delicious.

Enjoy

Date and Coconut Ball

1 cup of pitted dates

¼ – ½ cup of shredded coconut, unsweetened

1 tsp coconut oil

Place the dates in your food processor and chop until the dates are well minced and begin to form a ball.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and chop again if needed.  Add the coconut oil.  Process the dates and oil until it forms a paste.

Spoon the mixture onto parchment paper and use the paper to roll it into a log.

For longer logs, sprinkle the log heavily with coconut and use the paper to roll the log and adhere the flakes.  Repeat as many times as necessary to get it covered.

For balls, cut the log into squares.  Roll the date cube and coconut together in your hand until the ball is covered in coconut.

Add any optional stuffing you would like: chocolate chips, chocolate covered espresso beans, or nuts have all proven themselves to be winners.