Rummy date balls

My South African (by way of UK) colleague brought in these moreish treats (sans alcohol) for a meeting. Before I knew it, I had polished off half a dozen and was reaching for more. I had to beg her to put the plate out of my reach.

These are not too sweet, and have a satisfying crunch from the biscuits. For an after dinner catch-up, I decided to add some rum to the mix, though brandy is more commonly used.

To my delight, the local supermarket now sells packets of pre-cut dates. I’ve come to discover how versatile dates are in cooking and baking, but I don’t relish chopping up these sticky fruit. The original recipe calls for a 200g packet of Marie Biscuits, I used an entire 250g packet of wine biscuits, but you may want to put aside some biscuits for the store cupboard. Crumb the biscuits by putting them in a ziplock bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

Ingredients (makes 30-35):
100g butter
125g sugar
400g (1 packet) of diced pitted dates
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp dark rum (or substitute with brandy); optional
½ tsp vanilla extract
250g (1 packet) wine biscuits, crushed
dessicated coconut for rolling

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and dates, stirring well to combine, then add in egg. Continue to stir; the dates will start to break down. Add in brandy and vanilla extract.

Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in the crushed wine biscuits.

Wet your palms, then roll portions of mixture into small balls. Coat with dessicated coconut, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour before serving. These can be made into squares by pressing the mixture into a lined baking tray, chilling for 3 hours, then cutting.

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2 thoughts on “Rummy date balls

  1. wellreadkitty says:

    These were one of the very first things my Mum taught me how to cook when I was a child. I loved smashing the bikkies with the rolling pin and sneaking bits of date when she wasn't looking. I would only eat them if I could convince Mum to not put any alcohol in them – this may have been a subtle ploy by my mother to mean there were more for her 🙂

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