Mesquite Candy Balls
The mesquite tree has been part of the Texas landscape for at least seven thousand years. The technique for making the candy balls is the same grinding of mesquite that Cabeza de Vaca chronicles in his 1542 journal about Texas, where he describes our Texas Indian ancestors grinding mesquite flour (Cabeza de Vaca, 1542). I’m amazed when I realize that my long-ago ancestors ground the mesquite pod, sweetening and eating it, just like me, here in Texas. I love that connection.
These no-bake treats are fun for kids to make and to share. The culinary experience is also what’s called a teachable moment, an opportunity for kids to learn about the history of food and its close connection to culture.
The recipe is from my cookbook, Don’t Count The Tortillas: The Art of Texas Mexican Cooking
Recipe for Mesquite Candy Balls
1 cup mesquite powder (flour)
5 tablespoons raw agave nectar
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1. In a skillet, toast the sesame seeds for about 2 minutes, stirring so that they don’t burn. When they acquire a slight golden color, transfer them to a plate to cool.
2. Mix together the mesquite powder and agave nectar to form a firm dough. With a teaspoon, shape the dough into 24 balls; then roll the balls in the sesame seeds, pressing to completely cover the entire surface of each ball. Serve these at the end of any meal, or enjoy any time you get a craving for sweets.