Sorry I've been MIA -- I was scoping out hotels for FitBloggin and bumming around Denver with my friend Jen -- Click here to see our fun travel video.
Every time I travel I don't realize how much I miss my kitchen until I get home. Then, I'm like: I must cook something NOW and these were my "something now."
'Tis the season for sweet things!
Every year I try to come up with a few new non-traditional, festive desserts. The way I see it, traditional recipes have the holidays cornered. Sure, I could just pull out Mom's butter cookie recipe and go to town but I'd much rather come up with desserts that have some nutritional value while still being indulgent.
These were inspired by this Honey Almond Date Ball recipe I saw on the Food Network. I loved how simple they were but I didn't see the need for honey. Dates are super sweet and have more than enough sugar, so I decided to put my own spin on them and the results were amazing! Even the 8-year-old thought so.
The 2-year-old liked them too but he tried to shove the whole thing in his mouth.
I stopped him of course but then he'd take a bite, hand it to me, and dive in for another one.
It was hysterical.
Even The Husband liked them and he NEVER likes things like this. Oh! and my son's friend said, and I quote, "These are MORE than good." You've got to love 9-year-olds.
Anyway, the cookie balls (and I'm using the term "cookie" loosely but that's what I have to call them to get the kids interested) aren't very "light" in calories, but I made them quite large. I may reduce them in size a little but I loved how indulgent they were, and one was very satisfying. I don't usually say things like that. Normally I'm a quantity over quality person. It's sad. I know.
Here's what I did…
- ¼ pound (112g) almonds
- 1 pint dates (16 oz)
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 tbsp (10g) unsweetened cocoa powder (divided use)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely chopped.
Pour on to a baking sheet.
Bake the almonds for 5-7 minutes.
Run your knife through the dates and add them to the food processor with the almond extract and 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
Pulse until the dates are chopped and form a ball.
Transfer the dates to a bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and most of the ground almonds reserving a little to roll the finished balls in.
Using your hands, work the almonds into the ground dates much like you would breadcrumbs into a meatball mixture. It will come together like a dough.
I made 20 balls at about 24 g each and set up a little station like this.
Rolling the balls in the reserved almonds as I made them.
Because I didn't use honey like the original recipe called for, my cookie balls weren't very sticky but they did get a thin coat of the almonds on them.
These will be my go-to for any cookie exchanges or parties this year. They were easy to make and tasted great! <-- Notice the past tense. They are pretty much gone. We only have 2 left.
|Servings||Amt per Serving|
|20||1 Almond Date Ball Cookie - 24g|
|98||3g||2g||old: 2||new: 3|