Origins of Date Ball Cookies/Angel Delights/Moth Ball Cookies

Hey all, I am researching my family's culinary history, and I have been trying to figure out the origins of a popular family dish: date ball cookies made with rice krispies, dates, and rolled in coconut. I've found out they're also called Angel Delights, Skillet Cookies, and Moth Ball cookies by some, but I'm struggling to find where they first originated from. Anyone know their origins? It seems like they're a very old cookie, although they can't be older than 1928 (the launch of rice krispies as a cereal). Thanks!

  • 1 Comment

1 Comment

Lori T. January 4, 2021
Rice Crispies may be a recent invention, but puffed rice is not. I believe it actually originates in India, about the 14th or 15th centuries. It's quite a popular snack food there, to this day. Cookies themselves seem to have appeared first in the Middle East, which also not surprisingly had both sugar and dates. Coconut was also traded in those areas by that time as well. I imagine your cookies likely have a fairly long history, since they are don't necessarily require baking and would travel well without problems. The Middle East and India both have long histories of dried fruit candies and treats, which are just as tasty to everyone else who encounters them. The Crusaders took a lot of things back with them to Europe, and this sort of treat would have proved popular there as well.
Recommended by Food52