These balls stay somewhat soft, so if you want a candy that can survive a long time at room temperature without losing any shape, consider dipping them in chocolate. I like the nut coating, so I place them in candy cups so I don’t have to worry about them drooping a little bit. This recipe yields about 16 1-inch balls.
- 2/3 cup pitted dates
- 6 oz gingersnap cookies (yield: 1.25 cups crumbs)
- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts or nuts of your choice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest from one orange
- 1 cup finely chopped nuts, for rolling
1. Place the dates in a small saucepan, and fill the pan with enough water to just cover the top of the dates. Place the dates over medium-low heat, and simmer until the dates have absorbed all the water.
2. While the dates are on the stove, place the gingersnaps in a food processor and process them until they are fine crumbs. 6 ounces of cookies should yield about 1.25 cups of crumbs. Leave the crumbs in the processor.
3. Once the dates have absorbed all of the water, put them in the processor with the gingersnap crumbs. Add the hazelnuts, extract, and orange zest to the processor, and process it until you have a smooth, homogenous paste. Scrape the dough into a bowl, cover it with cling wrap, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, 2-3 hours or overnight.
4. Using a teaspoon or a small candy scoop, form the candy into small balls and roll them smooth between your hands. Roll the balls in crushed nuts until they are completely coated. Store Ginger-Date Balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.