Chocolate-Covered Date Balls

Rolling the balls in the confectioner's sugar

Rolling the balls in the confectioner’s sugar

The theory seems pretty simple: chop dates and nuts into little pieces, add some brandy, chill the resulting muck. Later, form the goo into little spheres, roll them in powdered sugar, and coat them with chocolate. Voila! A yummy treat to share and enjoy.

Only, not so fast, there, Sparky. All those steps take time, especially if you don’t have a food processor. Our wonderfully-powerful blender just wasn’t up for date-chopping. Not at all. That left the head chef of the household to do the chopping the old-fashoined way, which is also the slow way.

Coating them with chocolate

Coating them with chocolate

My participation began the following night, and true to the theme of “give Jerry the jobs you would assign the ten-year-old”, I was put to work forming the mixture into little balls. After figuring out that when the ball seemed a little too small it was actually the right size my job got easier. Meanwhile my sweetie, the “adult” of our little operation, set to melting the dark chocolate.

slowly working through the batch

slowly working through the batch

Logistics were a bit tricky; in our little kitchen there is not room near the stove to work, so the chocolate had to be reheated periodically. (That also meant that the chocolate coating was a little thicker than it was supposed to be, but I’m counting that as a good thing.)

I rolled, my sweetie dipped, and slowly but surely we made our way through the double-batch of stuff. Chocolate-coating is a delicate process that takes time, and you have to pay attention to what you are dong the whole time. It becomes a mentally draining task.

Not all the balls came out perfect; sometimes, despite my sweetie’s best efforts, the sphere would break apart during dipping. Often the cause was a too-large chunk of pecan — obviously there couldn’t possibly have been any issues with the way the balls were rolled.

Some came out more aesthetically pleasing than others...

Some came out more aesthetically pleasing than others…

By the time we finished, the other project slated for the evening, cooking the pfeffernüsse, was regrettably postponed.

When we were finally finished, there were five date balls that did not pass Quality Assurance and regrettably were not pretty enough for holiday giving. The head chef and I relaxed and sampled a couple of the cast-offs. My sweetie took a bite and turned to me, her eyes round. I took a bite. “Holy crap!” I said. “These are good!”


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