Maybe dates by themselves aren’t your thing. Or almonds. Or shredded coconut.
Or maybe they are.
I just know that blending these three items with unsweetened cocoa powder and a little water creates something my kids plead for with batted eyelashes.
The February 2013 issue of the Family Fun magazine calls them Cocoa Bites. Which is fine. But somehow Date Balls is usually what they get called around here.
We end up consuming these like treats–one or two at a time, but truly there isn’t a thing in them that has me worried my kids are going to laugh in hysterics one moment and sob the next. The only sweetener in them is the dates themselves. And yet. They’re plenty sweet.
To put these together, we don’t need much. Just dates, almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, unsweetened cocoa powder and a little water.
And an eager helper, if you’ve got one.
We need a cup of almonds. Which we dump right into the food processor.
And to make it easier on our machine, I pulse the almonds now before adding the other ingredients. But you don’t have to. What usually results, though, is that the almonds are much smaller, if pulsed first, than they are when pulsed with the other ingredients. If you think you might like chunkier almonds, forget this step.
Then add the pitted dates. Two cups.
And the coconut. One cup.
And a generous 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.
And watch it blend.
Then gradually add 1/4 cup of water.
And that’s it. Sort of.
For this batch I didn’t pulse the almonds by themselves, and you can see them in there. Kind of chunky.
Then this is where it’s nice to have a helper or two who think it’s fun to roll things into balls.
Because that’s the final step. Rolling the date mixture into balls and then again into coconut or crushed walnuts.
We’re the coconut type.
As the days tick by. We realize the Cocoa Bites do too.
One or two at a time.
1 cup almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups pitted dates
1/4 cup plus 2 TBsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup water
Directions: In a food processor, pulse almonds until mostly broken down. Add dates, coconut and cocoa powder and process until almonds are finely chopped. Add 1/4 cup of water until mixture forms a rough paste.
Then with damp hands, shape heaping teaspoons into balls. And roll balls in chopped nuts or coconut. They keep great in the refrigerator for about a week (I’ve heard). And make between 30 to 40.