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Old-Fashioned Christmas Date Ball Cookies

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date balls old pic


As the holiday season approaches, I felt the need to add a few more goodies for you early! I wanted to give you plenty of time to add them to your list, make them, and send them through the mail to awaiting relatives and friends that live far away, and for the soldiers overseas!

I am also in several online cookie exchanges, swaps and holiday events, so please bear with me on this one and forgive me for playing “holiday leapfrog”. I don’t normally do that, but I must post these for those waiting. Also, the photo is terribly old, but it’s the only one that I have. I will take step-by-step photos later in the season closer to Christmas, I promise! 🙂 So for now, this one will have to do. 😉

Note: *The date balls are in the middle, nestled between my Chunky Haystacks, Christmas Ginger Crinkles and the classic “Magic Bars” in the back.

I fell madly in LOVE with these sweet and chewy cookies when I was about 12 years old and had them for the first time at my step-Grandma’s house at Christmastime! They instantly stole my heart, and I favored these over any other cookie that I had ever had!

The dried chopped dates are amazingly good and cooked in butter and dark brown sugar until slightly caramelized and softened.

You then just quickly stir in a beaten egg, boil the mixture a little to thicken, then stir in your Rice Krispies cereal! When it’s cool enough to handle, you roll this amazingly rich mixture into balls and then into powdered sugar. And that was basically all there was to her recipe.

Though her recipe was truly wonderful, over the years, I have updated this and have added my own additions and special touches that have taken these cookies just plain OVER THE MOON. For one, I love vanilla! That, to me, is a must-add right off the bat!

My other additions of sweetened flaked coconut and chopped red and green maraschino cherries add to the festiveness and give them more of a “holiday” feel!


date balls old pic 2


If you’ve never tried these cookies, be prepared to be shocked! These are SERIOUSLY good. They truly are an absolute delight, and the first to disappear on the holiday cookie tray every time!

But be sure not to leave these out on Christmas Eve….
I’ve heard that these are Santa’s favorite, too. 😉




*This post will be updated during the holidays for you, with (hopefully better!) and more, step-by-step pics. 😉

Old-Fashioned Christmas Date Ball Cookies

Old-Fashioned Christmas Date Ball Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) real butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar, can sub light brown
  • 1 (8 oz.) box chopped dates (smallish box near the raisins)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries, red and green
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • powdered sugar for rolling in


  • In large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar and dates. Cook and stir until sugar is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove from heat and QUICKLY stir in beaten egg. (Stir and add at the same time.) *You must stir fast so that you don't end up with scrambled egg bits.
  • Move pot back to medium heat, and stir continuously until boiling. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in rest of ingredients. Set aside. (*I like to add the cereal last, folding it in.)
  • When cool enough to handle, roll into 1" balls. Roll into powdered sugar.
  • Store airtight on counter or refrigerate. Let come to room temp before serving for best enjoyment.



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