Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Date Balls

on December 7, 2015

The recipe for today comes from my 90-year-old mother-in-law, and I just had to share this photo of her with one of her brothers. She’s 5 years old in this photo and it is just the cutest thing!

Date Balls

I love her little coat and hat, her sagging stockings, and her little Mary Jane shoes! She grew up on a farm and hey – how did the dog manage to get in the photo? And did you notice the chickens in the background?!! I can’t stand it!!

She gave me this recipe years ago when we were first married (this was one of my husband’s favorite Christmas cookies when he was growing up), but at a certain point I received a cookbook with pages in it where you could write in recipes. I wrote this one down in the book and threw away the card with her handwritten recipe on it. We were at her house recently for a visit (yes – she’s doing great and still lives in her own house) and when I asked her if she still had a handwritten recipe for Date Balls I could photo copy, she gave me the book it was taped in to use. It’s a newspaper clipping taped in her old church cookbook. This particular book is over 50  years old, and is very well used, as all old church cookbooks are. I still maintain that those old books are always well used and have the BEST recipes because the women of the church always submitted their VERY BEST ones! I love this recipe –  so good and just a bit old-fashioned.

Date Balls

See what I mean – very well used!!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Date Balls

Mix together and boil for 2 minutes:

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 pound dates, chopped

1 Tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt



1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)

2 cups Rice Krispies

Form into balls.

Roll in coconut.


Once the date mixture is boiled, it cools down pretty quickly. If you’re in a hurry, you can put it into the refrigerator for a few minutes.


All mixed up and ready to roll!


It goes pretty quickly once you get rolling –  I found it works well to put the ball into the coconut and then press the coconut into the ball.


They are so pretty with their coating of white. It kind of reminds me of snow.


This is how my husband likes them – with a glass of milk!


They’re pretty and old-fashioned and delicious! Everyone will be glad that you made a batch of these date delights. You’ll see why my mother-in-law has been making them for so long!




5 responses to “Date Balls

  1. mom says:

    Love that story, love those cookies

  2. […] and she allowed me to take her old church cookbook home to copy down her recipe for Christmas Date Balls. Fortunately for me, it also had this recipe for Chicken Casserole. You know how I feel about church […]

  3. Lois says:

    I probably did not even know what a date was, but I loved when Aunt Alice would make date balls. So good! I may make some today! Thanks for sharing.

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