Mayan Cocoa-Coconut Date Bites

We made a quick trip to Palm Springs after New Years in search of dry weather and a few rounds of golf that didn’t involve soaking wet greens and splattering mud, doesn’t that sound like fun?  While we can play golf almost year round in Northern California, Southern California is really the place to be, if warmer weather and a dry golf course is your thing.  The Coachella Valley is also the place to buy luscious sweet Medjool dates for a somewhat healthier answer to satisfying a dedicated sweet tooth like mine.  One evening a few days into the trip my husband and I found ourselves at a large street fair in Palm Springs that included booth after booth of dried fruits and Medjool dates – finally I couldn’t take it anymore and picked up a large 2 pound package to call my very own souvenir of our trip to the desert.  Scott, my husband bought his favorite souvenir, a Palm Spring Police department tee shirt and a bonus tee shirt score- a Palm Springs Mounted Police shirt complete with a helicopter and 911 on the back.  We were two happy campers, Scott with his tee shirts and me with my large package of dates.

I wistfully remembered all the sweet date bars and bread recipes that I would have loved to try with my prize dates… but being that’s it’s January-the month of healthy eating I turned to a lighter alternative, (not that Medjool dates don’t pack quite a few calories(around 70! each).  I decided to make a naturally sweet treat with some of my dates that might actually satisfy my sweet tooth with out having to include all the butter and sugar that go into date bars or sweet breads.  I’m also crazy about the Mayan Cocoa powder from Savory Spice Shop.   The ingredients in this unique cocoa are Dutch cocoa, chile peppers, cinnamon and vanilla powder, definitely worth ordering or picking up a small bag to try.   I added a bit extra vanilla and cinnamon to my recipe but feel free to play around with the spices.  The flavors, especially the slight spiciness from the chile powder will continue to develop after a few hours in the fridge.

Well it’s always good to come home after a trip to the Great Southland and now that I have my stash of date balls to satisfy my craving for sweets I think I’ll be alright when the ground is muddy, the skies are grey and the days are cold.  Kinda alright.

Mayan Cocoa-Coconut Date Bites

Yield: 12-14 balls

Ingredients

  • 12 Medjool Dates (internationaldatesrus.com)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons Mayan cocoa (SavorySpiceShop.com)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Generous pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse for 2-3 minutes until the mixture forms a thick slightly chunky paste.
  2. Roll into balls, about 1&1/4" round
  3. Roll the balls in the extra coconut flakes.
  4. Store in fridge for up to several months-they won't last that long!
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I’m linking my Mayan Cocoa-Coconut Date Bites to The Chocolate Party this month which is featuring coconut with all kinds of chocolate treats!

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Comments

  1. Don’t these look and sound yummy?! A sweet treat from a sunny trip–welcome back! And Happy New Year to you, Patty! :)

  2. Patty….these are beautiful! I love Medjool dates and can eat them all on their own. But I love that you rolled them up with all kinds of luscious ingredients. Thanks for the link to the spice shop. That cocoa sounds pretty amazing too! GORGEOUS photos! : )

  3. Hope you had a wonderful time relaxing in the desert! I love medjool dates, these bites are the perfect way to have a little indulgence without the guilt! ;)

  4. What a delicious souvenir to bring home…love dates! This is such an ingenious recipe to create with the dates and bring to the Chocolate Party, Patty! Beautiful!

  5. Patty, these coconut bites look sensational! Dates and coconut are great together.

  6. Happy New Year Patty! Glad you guys got to get away, and enjoy yourselves for a couple days. Those dates look huge, what a great thing to make with them!

  7. Patty, oh to be able to make a “quick” trip to lovely Palm Springs! Love what you did with your stash of dates, these sound heavenly and very unique. I love how quickly they come together too!

  8. Patty, we too went to Palm Desert, but befo Christmas…I never know that to do with dates…and now got an inspiration…these little balls look delicious, I think I could pop a few of them in my mouth very easily.
    Happy 2013 and have a great week!

  9. These balls look really inviting and good. I like dates.
    Ciao.

  10. I’ve never tried Mayan Cocoa but it sounds absolutely wonderful. I’ll have to see if they have it an Penzeys next time I go. These little bites are little balls of heaven. Who could resist figs with cocoa and coconut. OMG! Thank youi for sharing this recipe and the cocoa powder. I can’t wait to pick some up.

  11. I have a huge tub of Medjool dates sitting in the fridge. Huge. Thank you for the inspiration… I need to get to these lovelies ASAP!

  12. These are so good looking Patty! I love anything coconut but even more if it involes cocolate and dried fruits :) Hope you are having a wonderful new year!

  13. Happy New Year Patty! It’s nice to hear you had some dry and warm weather in SoCal. These sound like healthier snack option and I like that dates are the main ingredients. They look cute and delicious!

  14. Welcome home, Patty! Mmmm…these look fantastic. That Mayan cocoa powder sounds like something I need to buy and I will definitely want to make these with it.

  15. Man, you guys are so lucky to live in California! Wish I can have a California winter also – where golfing (or biking or outdoor shopping) is possible at this time of the year! I am practically on a standstill here in Canada…hehehe. Anyway, these cute little orbs of sweetness are just gorgeous! Love Medjool dates – my fave!

  16. This reminds me of one of the desserts a co-op neighbour of ours makes. She’s a whiz at raw food and her desserts are wonderful. This sounds equally delicious, especially because spicy chocolate is so wonderful. I might have to try this and bring it to a meeting to surprise our neighbour.

  17. Happy New Year Patty! I LOVE Madjool dates! I mean love them. You certainly found a prize indeed. These little nuggets of joy look and sound amazing – need to make soon. Sounds like Palm Springs was a blast! Look forward to seeing you soon!!

  18. Happy New Years!!! So glad you got to enjoy a little dry weather. I’m not a date fan, but I think I might change my mind with the treats you turned yours into. I’m sorry tired from the holidays, hope you are all rested up.
    -Gina-

  19. Patty, These look delicious…they remind me of a date confection my grandmother used to buy, and always serve to company.

  20. Oh, boy, I don’t think I could stop after just one! Coconut and chocolate and dates….what a heavenly combo!!!

  21. These look wonderful, Patty! I love all the flavors! We’re lucky enough to have fresh date vendors at our farmers’ market. I just put some in a batch of oatmeal cookies.

  22. Dates and spices, a superb combination. These are wonderful truffles, just what I like! I don´t buy dates often because I really have no willpower. I´m pinning this recipe Patty!

  23. Hi Patty, these date balls look delicious! I love larabars (date and nut bars) but I need to make my own version. These would be a great place to start! Thank you for sharing. I hope you are having a week full of good food and laughter. Happy to start my day here!

  24. Hi Patty!! Happy New Year to you! Wow…that intro image of the cocoa-coconut date bites just pulls you in – just gorgeous!

  25. I love that these are so portable! I’m on the lookout for more healthy snacks that will still satisfy my sweet tooth and these definitely fit the bill! :)

  26. HI Patty Happy New Year! Glad you got some dry golfing in and down in So. CA my old stomping grounds. A friend of mine make. This recipe is a keeper :)

  27. Well it’s not very warm here today, but these would make me feel better :) I just love that Mayan Cocoa Powder!

  28. I love dates! One of our favorite trips of the year is a golf week in Palm Desert/Springs with three other couples which is coming up next month!!! We are all golfers and we all marvel at the date palms on many of the courses. I think many of the vendors that were at a street fair in Colorado that we were able to visit go to Palm Springs to sell during the winter. I love those fairs and what you’ve done with your dates. So delicious.

  29. I was just thinking today that I need to make some date-nut bars. I think I’ll go for these instead. What a nice treat to submit to the Chocolate Party!

  30. This would be the perfect, guilt-free treat to get my chocolate fix. I love that you used dates. The texture must be amazing. Sounds delish!

  31. I love making no-bake treats using dates. I’ve made a couple versions of larabars, some even with cocoa and coconut but will have to try your version. LOVE that you covered them in coconut, so pretty!
    Thanks for bringing them to this month chocolate party

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