Well, it is that time of the year again and I am in full cookie-baking mode. Baking is one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I love the yearly tradition of baking special treats for my family and friends to enjoy. It’s fun to have things that you only bake at Christmas. Every year, it becomes a special treat and a wonderful tradition. It’s like seeing an old friend again. Oh, Christmas cookies, how I love you! 🙂
Today, I want to share with you a recipe for very special Christmas cookies. These are my all-time favorite Christmas cookies that my Grandma used to make every year when I was a kid. You don’t just eat these cookies. These are the kind of cookies that you must stop yourself and savor the moment every time you bite into one. They are rich and sweet, a little crunchy yet moist at the same time, and a little messy (in a good way). Be forewarned, confectioner’s sugar flies everywhere and will be sure to be stuck to your chin after you bite into one. The combination of rich sweetness from the dates, the subtle crunch of the Rice Krispies, and the abundance of powdered sugar makes these cookies irresistible.
Grandma shared the recipe with me when I got older so that I could make them myself. And I am so glad. Over the years, I’ve made these no-bake cookies many times. I will be bringing this batch to my brother’s house for Christmas this year, carrying on Grandma’s tradition. He loves these cookies too. I’m sure it is partially because the cookies bring back warm, happy memories of Christmas at Grandma’s.
If you’re still searching for that special Christmas cookie to add to your repertoire this year, then you should give these cookies a try. I’ve also made them for New Year’s Eve. They make the perfect festive cookie to bring to a party. They are pretty easy to make and everyone loves them. The only hard part is cutting up the dates, which can be tedious (or can put you in a zen-like trance depending on your mood!). Unfortunately, you can’t cheat and use chopped dates for this recipe. Pre-chopped dates will be too dry and the cookies will not be as good. So, no cheating! That instruction came straight from Grandma.
To make these cookies, start by chopping the dates. You can see in the pictures below that I chop them pretty small. Then, briefly cook the dates on the stove top with sugar and margarine (just until the margarine is absorbed). Pour the date mixture over the Rice Krispies and walnuts and mix well.
Now, for the fun part. Form the mixture into little balls. You will need to really squeeze the mixture firmly together to get the balls to keep their shape. Roll each ball in powdered sugar and put them aside on a plate while you roll a bunch more. Once you have 8 or so then put them all in a baggie filled with powdered sugar and give them a good coating. Shake them up and coat them well. Then, repeat with the next batch of 8 or so. This is my little “work station” below.
I do hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do. Make them with love and share them with people very special to you. These are very special cookies. 🙂 Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
- 8 ounce package pitted dates, chopped
- 1 stick margarine
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- 2½ cups Rice Krispies
- Powdered Sugar (for coating; approximately 2-3 cups)
- Chop the dates into small pieces.
- Cook dates, granulated sugar, and margarine in a small pot, stirring constantly until margarine is absorbed.
- Combine cereal and nuts in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour warm date mixture over cereal and nuts. Mix well.
- Form into small balls and roll in powdered sugar in a little bowl. Don't be afraid to firmly squeeze the mixture together to form a ball.
- Fill a plastic baggie with about a cup or so of powdered sugar. Put 7 or 8 date-nut balls in the bag at a time. Really coat the cookies over and over in the bag.
- Add more powdered sugar to the little bowl and baggie as needed.
- Store in tins or plastic containers lined with parchment or wax paper.