Combine sugar and dates in a large suacepan. Cook, stirring constantly,until the butter is melted,the sugar is no longer white and the dates are mostly melted,8 to 15 minutes.The mixture should be a shiny,brown sticky mass.Remove from the heat.
Add salt,vanilla, cereal and coconut;stir well to combine.
When cool enough to handle,squeeze and roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Place on a wax paper- lined baking sheet. Refridgerate until chilled.