“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, educational aide Lois Keefrider puts snap, crackle and pop in play for the holiday. She’s making Crispy Date-Nut Balls.
Need a date for the Fourth of July? Lois Keefrider has a delectable one — a cookie made with dates, nuts, vanilla and coconut.
“It’s a great summer recipe because it’s a no-bake recipe,” she said. “At Christmas, I bake 14 or 15 different kinds of cookies; this is probably the all-time favorite for most people. It’s got a lot of flavor and it’s got coconut, Rice Krispies, nuts and dates. They’re very easy to make. There’s a little cooking involved, but there’s no baking.”
The cookies are made with hot ingredients, so home chefs must be careful when they’re forming the ball-sized sweets. Once cooked, they are ready for service.
The hot cookies do not mind a little cold. “They freeze well,” Keefrider said.
Crispy Date-Nut Balls
1 cup butter or margarine
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
4 1⁄2 cups crisp rice cereal
3 cups flaked coconut
Combine butter/margarine, sugar, salt and dates and boil for two minutes. Cool slightly. Add the vanilla, chopped nuts and rice cereal. Mix together.
Butter hands to prevent mix from sticking to your hands and form golf ball-sized balls, or scoop with a medium cookie scoop (such as a 1 1⁄2-tablespoon size). Roll balls in flaked coconut. Be careful, as mixture will be hot. Let cool and serve.
Makes about 4 dozen.