As a rule, I don’t keep desserts in the house except for company or other special occasions. Even when testing recipes for cookbooks, I try to freeze most of whatever I make until we can share it with others.
For those times when we want just a little something that’s just a little sweet, I often gather a few ingredients from the pantry and toss them in a food processor. A few minutes later, we’re enjoying tasty little bites like these Autumnal Fig Balls.
Made with just four ingredients, they can be adapted to suit your needs by swapping in your choice of maple syrup, brandy, or apple juice, depending on how sweet (or boozy) you want them. The proportion of the ingredients may vary, depending on how moist your figs are (mine were very moist). You can also sub in a different dried fruit if you like, but I found these treats made with figs to be the perfect choice for a crisp autumn day.
Autumnal Fig Balls
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup dried (but moist) figs, stemmed
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (or your favorite nut butter)
2 to 3 tablespoons of your choice of 1) maple syrup (to make them sweet); 2) brandy or Frangelico (to make them boozy); or 3) apple juice or applesauce; or any combination of the three
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until finely ground and well combined. Pinch off a small piece of the mixture and squeeze between your fingers to see if it holds together. If it’s too dry, add a little more sunflower seed butter or liquid; if it’s too wet, add more oats (or your favorite cereal flakes).
To shape, pinch off a small amount of the mixture to make a 1-inch ball and roll between your palms to shape into a ball. Place the ball on a plate and repeat with the remaining mixture until it is all used up. Enjoy right away, or set aside to enjoy later.
To store, cover with plastic wrap (or transfer to an airtight container) and refrigerate until needed.