Need a quick no-bake cookie to take to a holiday party? Put these chocolate coconut date balls in festive mini muffin liners and they’ll be perfect for the occasion.
Several years ago, a friend told me about brown rice syrup. She had just catered a wedding for a bride with diabetes and discovered the sweetener while developing recipes for the event. I bought a jar of the syrup and it sat in the back of my pantry until our last move. For some reason, I never got around to using it.
This recipe for a festive chocolate coconut date balls had me hunting for brown rice syrup again. I finally found it hidden on a bottom shelf in the organic section of the third grocery store I tried. If you have trouble finding it, Amazon sells brown rice syrup (affiliate link).
About Brown Rice Syrup
Ingredients listed on the label are minimal: organic brown rice and filtered water. Producing the syrup involves fermenting brown rice until its starch breaks down and then heating the resulting liquid until it thickens. Two tablespoons of the syrup contain 150 calories and 36g of carbs, which is roughly the same as honey. However, honey has a glycemic index of 50, while brown rice syrup’s is only 25.
Brown rice syrup has the consistency of honey, but doesn’t taste as sweet. It isn’t something you should consume in massive quantities but may be a good choice if you are looking for an occasional alternative to sugar that isn’t an artificial sweetener. Check with your health care provider to see if it’s right for you.
Other No-Bake Treats
Like the idea of no-bake treats, but aren’t a coconut fan? Try these instead:
No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Date Balls
- 24 mini muffin liners
- 1 1/3 cups unsweetened shredded dried coconut, divided
- 4 ounces graham crackers
- 8 whole pitted dried apricots
- 8 whole pitted dried dates (Medjool if you can find them)
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Grated zest of 1 small orange
- 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 1/4 teaspoons rum extract
- Pinch of salt
Place liners in a mini muffin tin.
Place 1/3 cup coconut on a small plate.
Place graham crackers in food processor and finely grind. Transfer to bowl.
Place apricots and dates in food processor and process until finely chopped. Add to bowl with graham cracker crumbs.
Add brown rice syrup, cocoa, orange zest, rum, salt, and remaining 1 cup of coconut to bowl. Mix well. (You may need to use your hands; if so, dampen them first.)
Dampen hands and roll a scant tablespoon of the mixture into a ball. Roll ball in coconut and place in muffin cup. Repeat to make 24 balls.
Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
When ready to serve, place on a pretty plate.
If you don't have a food processor, place the graham crackers in a zip top bag and crush them with a rolling pin or wine bottle. You'll also need to chop the apricots and dates by hand.
If you don't have a mini muffin tin, place the balls on a plate instead.