…a “Date with Cherry!”

Goodness gracious, February has evaporated!  My grandmas surely were right about that “time flying” thing when you’re “seasoned.”  (I strive to abstain from using the word old, older or any derivative of it.)  I surely don’t wish my life away, BUT, I cannot tell a lie (doesn’t that have some sort of relationship with cherry trees?)… I’m mighty glad to be seeing winter quickly moving into the rear view mirror.

I’m a Spring Chick!  The R A I N BO W spring brings makes me giddy.  I love looking upward to see GREEN buds on a palate of BLUE sky… and gazing down to see YELLOW buttercups already making their debut in my yard… I start looking forward to cute little roadside signs, often hand-painted, letting me know it’s time for RED strawberries…  and grin when I see Lavender chive blossoms burst open for my salads (although I mostly enjoy chomping on them right out there in the yard).  But there is one color I dread come spring… the glaring WHITE on my winterized legs!  Now I’ve never been a sun worshiper (boring!) and I do make sure to use sun protection, but I must admit that I do feel a little better with a tad of color when debuting shorts, skirts and skorts come Spring.

Soooo, back to saying buh-bye to February.  Being that it’s National Cherry Month AND being that cherries in any shape, form or fashion are about my FAV fruit, I couldn’t “march’ forward without some sort of cherry treat.  My foodie friends know I’m the quintessential NON-baker, so as I looked about for inspirations, “no bake” recipes screamed w.e.n.d.y.! I’m also not one of those folks who cannot exist without sweet stuff, so this concoction realllly got me out of the proverbial ‘box.’   But when I started digging to see what I had on hand to create a new masterpiece, a “no bake sweet treat” is what emerged.  I hope you enjoy making these FAST goodies as much as I did…
(“fast” + “EZ” + “no bake” = My Kind ‘o Throw Together Goodie)!


“A Date With Cherry”
…cherry chocolate chip date nut balls

…a recipe by Wendy Perry
Yield:  1 dozen
Prep Time:  less than 10 minutes

1      c.               asst. nuts/pieces* (salted or unsalted)
pinch of salt    (if your nuts are unsalted)
1/2  c.              dried cherries, unsweetened
3/4  c.              dates (whole or pieces)
1/4  t.               almond extract (Watkins)
1/4  t.               vanilla extract (Watkins)
2      T.              water (or if for adults, Amaretto, vanilla or cherry rum or chocolate liquer)
1/2  c.               mini chocolate chips
1/2  c.               flaked coconut (half toasted)**

* This is a great recipe to use up those tidbits of nuts because a mixture is a ‘good thing’ in this recipe.
For recipe creation, I used pecans, walnuts and some macadamia nut pieces (previously toasted for another recipe).

Throw your nuts and salt into a food processor and whiz until fine crumbs.  Throw cherries, dates, extracts and water (or alcohol) in and pulse until you have an ooey gooey paste.  With a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.

Pinch mixture and make 1″ balls.  Roll in coconut and place into freezer to firm up for about an hour.  Keep chilled.

**Toast coconut in non-stick pan until some is toasted and some isn’t so you have a half-n-half mix.  Bu doing this, you’ll get a nice “chew” with the bits that haven’t toasted, yet a nice toasty crunch with the flakes that are toasted.

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