Coconut Pecan Date Balls

I’ve seen all different kinds of variations on the interwebs for this recipe, so I thought I’d share mine too! By using only pecans as the nut, they kinda remind me of pecan pie. Try them and see for yourself!

Ingredients
2 cups pecans
16 oz pitted dates
1/3 c dried unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions
Chop or throw your pecans in a food processor until they look like this. Throw them in a large bowl. You could also just buy chopped pecans…make it easier!

7I used my tiny processor for the pecans.  However, I had to break out the big processor for the dates because trying to run them through the tiny one broke my lid :(.

6My big processor made quick work of the dates. I pulsed them and added maybe a tablespoon of water to help get them to the consistency of spackle. That’s what it reminds me of at least, but for those who are not familiar with spackle, think “very very thick paste”.

5Throw the processed dates in the bowl with the chopped pecans. Then add the 1/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes and cinnamon. Using your hands or wooden spoon, I just used my hands, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

4If you want, you can just take this mixture, put it between two pieces of parchment paper, roll it out to desired thickness, and cut it into whatever sized pieces your heart desires. If you are feeling overly ambitious, you can roll them into balls!

3That’s it! This batch made about 25 balls using a teaspoon to measure each ball. There really were 26, but Curly Q didn’t want to wait for hers to be rolled so I just gave her spoonful of it to munch on.

2These are really yummy and are hard to keep around. There are so many ways to change this recipe up. You could add different nuts, seeds, cranberries, or even chocolate! I stored them in the fridge in a plastic container with a lid. Nothing fancy. Plus, I have nothing fancy in my house.

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Printable Version:
COCONUT PECAN DATE BALLS

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Simple Lemon Cake with Honey Lemon Glaze – Take 1

When I was younger my mother would make this simple vanilla box cake with a lemon glaze, it was my favorite. Most recently she made it for me for my *ahem* thirty-something-or-other birthday and it was just as good as it always was, but I paid for it the next day. It probably didn’t help that I had about three pieces, but whatever it was my birthday!

Either way I decided to venture out and try to find a gluten free recipe that would match my mom’s. I had a left over gluten free vanilla box cake mix that I hadn’t used as intended and decided to give that a try!

First I grabbed some lemons!

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And with Curly Q’s help, we got to juicin’! See that cute little hand just a reaching!

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Following the directions on the King Arthur’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix, we added 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1 tsp of lemon rind to the batter.

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For some reason I decided to try and make it fancy by adding 4 oz of cream cheese. In hindsight, this really was not necessary. I’ve made this cake mix before for Little Miss’s birthday and it was dense enough without it. Moving on!

Here’s Curly Q helping out again. She loves to get her hands dirty and do everything herself.

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The package called for it to be baked in two 8″ or 9″ round pans for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees, I decided to use a loaf pan. Not really a good idea. I had to let this bad boy cook for just over and hour before it was finally done.

The only part of this mish-mash recipe that came out perfect was the glaze. I used 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/3 cup honey, and a tsp of lemon rind. It was perfectly sweet and tart!

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Here it is was right out of the oven. All nice and puffy!

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I let it cool for 30 or so minutes in the pan hoping it wouldn’t collapse. It did. More than I wanted it to at least. I poked some holes in it with a wooden skewer because I didn’t have any toothpicks and drizzled the glaze over it while it was in the pan.

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It turned out OK, but it was not as good as my mother’s. I will have to try something else besides the cake mix. Even if I used the 9″ round cake pan and made a thinner cake, one of the main ingredients is cane sugar. I knew that going in, but didn’t really want the cake mix to go to waste so I figured I’d give it a try.

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The goal for next time? A gluten free lemon cake with maybe a natural sweetener.

Stay tuned for Take 2!

White Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

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We rarely have sweets in the house, but if we do it’s something that we’ve made. These cookies are great because the basic cookie dough can be made with all kinds of add-ins.  We’ve used dark chocolate, raisins, dried cranberries, and for these we decided to with white chocolate chips. The idea actually came to me when I entered them into a cookie contest. They even came in third place!  Hey, I haven’t won anything since 2001 so it’s a win to me.  Here’s how we made them.

Dry Ingredients
2 cups almond flour
2 cups pecans (ground find in a food processor)
1/2 cup flax seed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 bag white chocolate chips (I didn’t use the entire bag)

Wet Ingredients
3 eggs
3/4 butter, softened (can us coconut oil or ghee)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey

Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork or hand held whisk. (Little Miss wanted to use one of her old baby spoons…it worked just fine.)

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3. Put all of the wet ingredients in another bowl, mix thoroughly with a fork or hand held whisk.

6(I do not recommend taste testing the wet ingredients like Curly Q here tried to do. I actually had to quickly intervene to prevent that little finger from making it to her lips.)

4.  Put the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients.  With a large spoon, mix the two until well combined. I used my pink baking scraper thingy you see in the picture for this part so I wouldn’t over mix the dough.

55.  Using a cookie scoop, evenly drop cookie dough on a non-stick cookie sheet.  No need for oil or parchment paper.  Using a fork, slightly flatten the cookies so that they will cook evenly.  If you are feeling froggy you can top each cookie with a pecan like I did.  Makes it look fancier to me.

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6.  Put cookies in preheated oven for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown.  Keep a close eye on them though as they brown quickly towards the end.

1The dough itself is not terribly sweet, it’s the add-ins that make these cookies so use your imagination to create all kinds.  Enjoy!

Printable version:
White Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies