These snacks are dense and satisfying with an irresistable chocolatey-cinnamony flavor. Perfect as a between-meal snack or as dessert with a cup of tea. Brian affectionately refers to them as “nut balls.” Mmmm, appetizing!
I started with this recipe and tweaked it to suit my tastes. Here’s my version:
Cocoa-Nut Coconut Snacks
- 1/2 cup each:
- Pumpkin seeds
- 5 dates, pits removed (use 6 dates if yours are small)
- 1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut
- 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil (It’s best if the coconut oil is not totally solid; mine was liquidy with chunks & that worked well.)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (Use the good stuff, please. Ghirardelli is my go-to cocoa powder.)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut to roll the finished snacks in
Grind the nuts and pumpkin seeds in a food processor until ground into a fine flour. Dump the nut flour into a mixing bowl. Grind the dates and coconut in the food processor until they make a uniform paste; it will look lumpy but if you touch it the texture will be sticky and pastey. Add the date-coconut paste to your mixing bowl and mix with the nut flour. Add cocoa powder & cinnamon and mix well. Be sure to break up all the lumps in your cocoa powder! Finally, add the coconut oil and mix very well, until it is completely uniform. Compress the mixture into balls and then roll them in the shredded coconut. I found that the best technique was to really squeeze the mixture hard and form the compressed lumps into balls with my fingertips because the mixture is kind of crumbly and doesn’t respond well to rolling. Use your powerful grip and pretend you’re making diamonds out of coal! Refrigerate your snacks to firm them up.
Another (easier) technique is to make bars rather than balls. To make bars, line a 9×13 baking dish with wax paper (let the paper hang over the edge of the dish a little bit) and press the mixture into the dish really really hard. You want it to be very densely packed into the dish. Freeze the dish overnight. Once frozen, use the wax paper to lift the frozen slab of cocoa-nut coconut snack mixture out of the baking dish. Set the slab on a cutting board and use a very sharp knife to cut into bars. As these snacks are dense and filling, you’ll want to make smaller sized pieces than if you were cutting up brownies.
Regardless of whether you make balls or bars, they should also be stored in the fridge to maintain freshness and because I think they taste better cold. I actually really like them best straight from the freezer–they get kind of crumbly and cookie-like in texture when frozen. Also, if you live in a warm climate be warned that these snacks may lose some of their integrity if they get too warm because of the coconut oil turning into a liquid. Enjoy!