- ¼ cup dried cherries (unsweetened, or apple juice sweetened)
- ½ cup dried apricots (unsweetened, or apple juice sweetened)
- ½ to ¾ cup dried unsweetened pitted prunes
- ½ cup raisins, golden and regular
- 6-8 pitted dates
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios
- ½ cup shelled walnuts
- ¼ cup shelled hazelnuts
- ¼ cup shelled almonds or pecans
- ¼ cup rosewater
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
This recipe is hard on the hands and very sticky. The first step is to soak the raisins, or the cherries, or the dates, or the prunes, or the apricots in the rose water for at least fifteen minutes. It doesn’t matter which dried fruit you soak. I usually pick the fruit that seems the driest. Start chopping up all the dried fruit into very, very small pieces. Do not attempt this in a food processor, you will break your food processor, most likely. This is a job done best by hand with a good strong heavy knife. Chop, Chop, Chop! Put all the chopped fruit into a large wooden bowl or a glass one. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg and add the leftover rosewater from the soaked fruit.
In a food processor chop up all the nuts until they are pretty finely ground. I am allergic to almonds, so I don’t actually use almonds in mine. You can use pecans, or any combination of nuts that you like. The pistachios and hazelnuts are particularly yummy though in this recipe. Once the nuts are finely ground, put them in the bowl with the fruit and mix with your hands for the best result. You will have very sticky fingers.
On a large plate put the shredded coconut in a layer covering the plate. If you want to lightly toast the coconut prior to this step, that is also a good idea. Or, you can just use it as is. Have a clean plate handy. Make round balls about a teaspoon or so of mixture to make one ball. Roll in your hands until the mixture is round then put the ball on the coconut plate and roll around until it is all coated, then place the finished ball on your clean plate. Repeat until you’ve used up all the mixture. These will keep for a very long time in the fridge. If your mixture feels too dry, add some rosewater or a drop of balsamic vinegar. Keep these balls in the fridge in a covered container. They actually taste best at room temperature, so take them out before serving them.
Added benefits of these are they are a great dessert with no sugar, other than the natural sugars from the dried fruit and they help with constipation due to the high content of prunes.