It's always a good idea to have some no-bake cookie recipes on hand for those days when the oven is busy. This rich-tasting treat, from Winnipeg's Donalda Johnson, is also good for anyone living with egg, dairy or wheat allergies.
Coconut Peanut Date Balls
250 g chopped pitted dates (1/2 lb or about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
125 ml (1/2 cup) orange juice
750 ml (3 cups) rice cereal
125 ml (1/2 cup) unsalted peanuts, chopped
125 ml (1/2 cup) peanut butter
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla
125 ml (1/2 cup) fine unsweetened coconut
In a medium heavy saucepan, heat chopped dates and orange juice over medium heat, stirring often, until dates are broken up and softened, orange juice is absorbed and mixture is like a thick paste. Remove from heat and cool. In a large bowl, combine date mixture, cereal, peanuts, peanut butter and vanilla and stir until combined. Place coconut in a bowl or on a plate. Form a tablespoon of date mixture into a ball, roll in the coconut until covered and place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Repeat with remaining date mixture. Chill until set and then store in an airtight container lined with wax paper in the fridge or freezer until ready to use. Yields 3 1/2 dozen.
Tester's notes: The rich sweetness of the dates balances nicely with the crunch of the rice cereal and nuts in this cookie. And it's so easy. You might find you need more coconut to roll all the cookies.