No-Bake Spiced Date Balls

Viviana's Kitchen

Listen guys, I made date balls. And they’re delicious. And OF COURSE I want to share the recipe.

As expected, I found this fabulous recipe on Foodgawker a while ago (click here for original recipe) and it’s been sitting in my favorites for a while. I’ve been thinking about making it for a couple weeks now, and I finally got around to grabbing the ingredients late this morning.

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I often think about how genuinely blessed I am to live in the Metro Detroit area – we have literally ALL KINDS of ethnic food stores in the area thanks to the vast diversity of people from all over the world that live here. Therefore, finding things like date paste is a breeze. I’m not sure how it is in other parts of the country, but drop me a comment and let me know what your area is like in terms of cultural diversity, I’m interested!

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Now, as I’m sure you all have realized by now, I almost never follow recipes exact. I like to alter them to mine and my family’s tastes and dietary needs. So for this one, I eliminated the coconut sugar coating, cashews, and the ginger powder, and added cardamom, allspice, almonds, and two kinds of coconut flakes.

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F-stop: f/1.8 Exp: 1/100 ISO: 250

No-Bake Spiced Date Balls

Ingredients:
– 2 handfuls of almonds, medium-fine chopped
– 2.5 lbs date paste (yes, pounds)
– 7 oz sweetened coconut flakes (big, flat)
– 1 tbsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp ground cloves
– 1/8 tsp cardamom
– 1/8 tsp allspice
– 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
– 2 tbsp water
– 1 bag finely chopped dry coconut flakes for coating (tiny, short)

Directions:
1. Combine almonds, sweetened coconut flakes, date paste, spices, and water in a big bowl.
2. Knead until well combined.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls and dip into finely chopped dry coconut flakes.
4. Refrigerate and enjoy.

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Romanian Baklava

Viviana's Kitchen

I totally forgot about this shoot, but after Christmas and New Years were over, my mom still had a sweet tooth and she made homemade baklava, not once, but TWICE. And I gained like 10 damn pounds, I swear to God.

But it was so good.

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Austrian Jam Cookies

Viviana's Kitchen

Another one of my specialties, a cookie that my brother LOVES and won’t verbally admit to loving.

I usually make these in a big log form or as thumb sized minis, but this year I thought it would be cuter and more festive as Christmas shapes.

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Snowballs

Viviana's Kitchen

This is one of my specialties when it comes to making Christmas cookies. It’s super easy and super delicious.

Ingredients:
– Animal crackers
– Sour cherry jam
– Finely chopped walnuts or almonds
– Pure almond extract
– Vanilla extract
– Coconut flakes

Directions:
1. Grind the walnuts/almonds in a blender.
2. Pulverize the animal crackers with a rolling pin or in a blender.
3. Mix all ingredients (except the coconut flakes) together. Adjust ingredients for optimum stickiness. If too dry, add more jam. If too sticky, add more crackers/nuts.
4. Roll into 1 inch balls, dip into coconut flakes, stack. Refrigerate overnight (preferably) or you can serve them as is. (They taste better after ruminating for at least 24 hours).

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