It’s Fall! Maybe for real this time! Yes, in this part of Tennessee it’s rarely fall before at mid-October. But every year we somehow forget about how that happens and moan and groan about it through September.
Please forgive my Fall over-styling, then, but I was a little excited.
These little date candies come to you via the Secret Recipe Club from Melissa, author of Smells Like Brownies. Strangely enough, Melissa is probably the only SRC member I’ve met in person; she was one of my sister’s friend in middle school. We also went to the same high school; she would have been a freshman when I was a senior. SO WEIRD!
So now Melissa is, like me, a stay-at-home mommy who passionately loves to bake. She is also very health-conscious and a pescatarian. I will say that after #Choctoberfest I really just wanted to make a steak for SRC! But since Melissa doesn’t go that route, instead I made this yummy date candy balls that are a lot more healthful than, say, Millionaire Shortbread Bars.
I thought the coffee powder might be a little overwhelming for the rest of the flavors, but I liked the balance between it and the cocoa. I was sure my kids would take one taste and refuse to eat them because NUTS and COFFEE, but they gobbled them right up. Score for Mommy!!! A healthy snack that gets them good fat from nuts and vitamins from the dates.
unsweetened shredded coconut, for rolling (optional)
Toast chopped nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they smell nutty. Put nuts and dates in a food processor and run until they are well chopped and combined.
Add cocoa, coffee, salt, vanilla, and chocolate chips to the mixture and pulse until combined.
Use a small cookie scoop (about 2 teaspoons) to measure some of the mixture into your hand, then roll into a ball. It should press together pretty easily; if not, you can add a teaspoon of water or honey to the mixture and pulse again. If desired, roll balls in shredded coconut. Place on a plate and refrigerate for a little it before serving. Store covered in fridge.
Remember how I said that I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes? These cookies have convinced me that I need to give them another chance. I still don’t like pumpkin-flavored brewed coffee, but maybe the extra milk and stuff makes it tolerable. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one of the Starbucks PSLs; I just haven’t ever liked pumpkin and coffee together.
These cookies change everything!
I was baking some of my regular pumpkin cookies as a treat for my husband, who is having a crazy week at work. I started thinking about these coffee chocolate chip shortbreads I made for Bible study this weekend … and how I had some extra instant coffee hanging around … and how much people like those pumpkin spice lattes …
1 c. butter (can sub shortening or use a mixture of the two)
1 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T heavy cream
Sift the first five ingredients together (flour through salt).
In a separate bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Beat well.
Add dry ingredients all at once and stir gently to form a smooth batter.
Drop by tablespoons on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a small cookie scoop.) Bake 12 to 14 minutes at 350.
Let rest on cookie sheets for a few minutes when they come out of the oven; then transfer to cooling racks and let cool.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add milk, brown sugar, and coffee granules and bring to a bubble over medium heat. Once bubbling, cook two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. (I transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.)
When cool, stir powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream into the sugar mixture. Spoon or drizzle over cooled cookies.