Fig and Date Snowballs make the perfect edible gift

Illustration for article titled Fig and Date Snowballs make the perfect edible gift
Photo: HarperCollins

As a semi-functional adult, I know that I’m supposed to be eating way more fruit than I do, and probably less cake. My recent solution to this conundrum has been Fruit Cake, the new cookbook from Jason Schreiber that contains 75 excellent recipes to wean me onto a more “responsible” lifestyle. Things like “Poached Pear and Quince Crumb Cake” and “Polenta Pound Cake with Spiced Mandarins” sound like they’re as healthy a breakfast as pancakes or muffins, so I’m very excited for a healthier, happier 2021 filled with lots of vitamins, antioxidants, and whatever the hell else is in fruit.

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This recipe is for neither a cake nor a baked good, but I’m happy it was included in the book because it’s delicious and, more importantly, incredibly easy. As long as you have a stove and a food processor, you can make yourself this delicious treat. These also make excellent gifts, so if you’re leaning toward a handmade holiday this year, be sure to give these a try. You won’t be disappointed.


Fig and Date Snowballs

Reprinted with permission from FRUIT CAKE: Recipes for the Curious Baker by Jason Schreiber (HarperCollins)

Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Makes About 28

We all have mountains to climb. Whether yours are snow packed or of the laundry persuasion, these treats will give you the strength you need to persevere.

  • 2 cups (380 grams) dried figs, stemmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) tawny port
  • 2 cups (386 grams) Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup (100 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa nibs, optional
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 28 (about 1/4 cup) (40 grams) almonds, lightly toasted

1. In a small saucepan, cook the figs and port over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the seeds release from the figs and the port thickens, about 5 minutes.

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2. Transfer the cooked figs and what’s left of the port to a food processor along with the dates, 1/4 cup (25 grams) of coconut, the cocoa nibs, if using, and salt. Process until the mixture forms a stiff, sticky, satisfying paste, about 1 minute.

3. Shape heaping tablespoons of the mixture into rough balls and press an almond into the center of each. Roll the balls between the heels of your hands to round them out, then toss in the remaining 3/4 cup (75 grams) coconut to coat.

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Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature for a month, or in the refrigerator basically forever.

Allison Robicelli is a writer, recipe czar, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Tweet me for recipe help: @Robicellis.

DISCUSSION

Yuuuuuuum, these are extremely my kind of treat. I was once checking out a bunch of those weird ‘energy food’ products (e.g. the gels marketed for hiking, endurance exercise, etc) and the vegan brands were pretty much just pure dates. Ever since then psychologically, eating dates is both delicious and like a power-up. ENERGY!!