Mothballs: Delicious Candy With a Strange Name!

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About: I love cooking and craft-work. I write a blog about the cooking part, and add in my travel experiences.

At Christmas time in New Zealand, my mother always made these Rice Krispie and date balls for us to eat as treats. The name “mothball” comes from their appearance, as they are fluffy with white coconut. A more apt name for them may be “snowballs”, however in New Zealand, Christmas is in the middle of the Summer, so there is no snow to be found anywhere. Or maybe they’re called mothballs as they look like the nether regions of a moth. on second thoughts, let’s stop thinking about the origin of the name, as it’s getting kind of stomach-churning! Let’s just enjoy the fact that they’re easy to make and delicious to eat.

Mothballs can, of course, be made at any time of the year!

I find it interesting that in New Zealand, many desserts and cakes have dates in them, although it is actually not warm enough there to grow date palms. I’m guessing that back before there were fridges and any kind of fast transport, dates must have been used often as you could keep them for a long time. Coconut is another ingredient that crops up often in New Zealand recipes, like these mothballs, but isn’t grown in NZ.

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Step 1: Ingredients Needed

  • 70 g Butter 2.4 oz.
  • 200 g White sugar 1 cup/ 7.2 oz.
  • 150 g Pitted dates 1 cup/45 g
  • Rice bubbles (Rice Krispies) 1 1/2 cups/ 5 oz.
  • Dried coconut

Step 2: Grab a Medium-sized Pot

  • Chop the dates roughly.
  • Add them to the pot with the the butter, dates, and sugar.
  • Heat in a heavy-based pot on medium-low heat, while stirring.

Step 3: Keep Stirring

  • Stir over the heat until the mixture clumps together (about 5 minutes).

Step 4: Rice Krispie Time

  • Take the pot off the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies.

Step 5: Roll Your Balls

  • Pour some dried coconut onto a plate.
  • Take walnut-sized amounts of the mixture and form them into balls.
  • Roll the balls in the coconut.

Step 6: Almost Done

  • Place the mothballs on baking paper in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or better, overnight. (This depends on how desperate you are to eat them)

Step 7: And Eat!

Mothballs make great gifts! They look pretty, taste great and keep for a couple of weeks outside of the fridge. To make them harden quickly, you can put them in the fridge for 2 or 3 hours after they’re made.

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