complexion candy DSC2516

Complexion candy, a date, fig and pecan confection

The other day I found myself in a cookie coma. After eating nothing but cookies and homemade candy for several hours straight, my belly hurt and I could barely keep my eyes open. It was a sugar, butter and white flour overload.

Now, I’m not one to pass up a sweet treat, especially this time of year. But sometimes it might be wise for me to cut back just a little so I won’t find myself shopping for a whole new wardrobe in the new year.

Enter complexion candy. “What kind of candy?” you may be asking. I said the same thing when I came across this old Texan recipe. Though upon closer inspection I realized that complexion candy is simply an old-fashioned dried fruit and nut confection under a more colorful name.

Complexion candy | Homesick Texan

I love dates. They’re sticky, crunchy and sweet with such a rich caramelized flavor that it’s hard to believe that they’re a fruit. Yep, dates are nature’s candy. And that’s what’s at the heart of complexion candy, along with figs, raisins, orange zest and pecans.

It’s a snap to make this, as you simply throw all the ingredients into a food processor and whirl away until a smooth paste forms. Then you can either roll it into balls and dip it in coconut or chopped pecans, or you can press it into a pan and cut it into squares after chilling.

The original recipe called for sprinkling the complexion candy with powdered sugar, but I didn’t think it added much, so I skipped that step. You, however, may disagree. But one thing that we can agree on is that complexion candy is a guilt-free sweet. It’s also extremely versatile. For instance, you can sub in other dried fruits if you like, add a bit of ginger and cinnamon for a little spice, use walnuts if you prefer, or if you’re feeling really decadent throw in some chocolate chips or chopped bacon.

Complexion candy | Homesick Texan

If you’re a fan of fig bars or Lara Bars, then this is for you. Now, I would never advocate getting rid of the pralines, the brittles, festive cookie tray, and other holiday treats that always makes the season bright, but you might consider giving complexion candy a try. And you know what? You might just be surprised.

5 from 1 vote

Complexion candy, a date, fig and pecan confection

Servings 32
Author Lisa Fain


  • 2 cups dates
  • 2 cups dried figs
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup roasted pecans
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or pistachios


  • Place the dates, dried figs, raisins, pecans and orange zest in a food processor and blend until a paste forms. Form into 1-tablespoon-sized balls and dip in shredded coconut and/or chopped nuts. Alternatively, you can press the paste into a pan, chill for an hour and then cut into squares.
  • Variations: You can replace the pecans with walnuts or almonds. You can also dip the balls into chopped nuts. For more flavor, try adding a pinch of ginger, cinnamon and clove. To make them even more decadent, you can add chocolate chips or chopped bacon.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Little Black Car says:

    I bought something similar to this last year at the Hindu temple in Stafford. I cannot remember what they were called, but they were balls composed of figs, dates, ghee, pistachios, and almonds, rolled in finely-shredded coconut. They were awesome.

  2. Lisa Fain says:

    Little Black Car–I haven't tried it with pistachios yet, but I think they would be terrific in this.

  3. Lisa Fain says:

    Brenda–Rice Krispies! Now that I'll have to try!

    Dee–Thank you!

  4. How well do you think this would work with the candied fruit that's used in fruitcake?

  5. My granny makes these every Christmas (minus the orange zest) and her granny made them before her. We just call them date nut balls, but they are AWESOME!