12 days of Christmas cookies

December 11, 2013
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No-bake cranberry coconut bites

For anyone who loves macaroons, these chewy, cranberry-speckled no-bake cookies should help you satisfy your coconut cravings.

Feel free to decorate these cookies however you like. We prefer to roll them in yet more shredded coconut (toasted is a nice touch), but you also could roll them in chopped pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, even pine nuts would be delicious.

Or for a sweeter version, get colored decorating sugar from the baking supply shop and roll them in that.

Ingredients:

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 cups shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
cup water
cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch salt
1 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 cup toasted shredded coconut, finely chopped nuts or colored sugar


Procedure:

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk, 4 cups of shredded coconut, the water, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until it forms a thick paste, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, then set aside off the heat and allow to cool completely.
2. Once the mixture has cooled, set out a bowl of toasted coconut, finely chopped nuts or colored sugar. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in the coating of your choice. The cookies should be stored in an airtight container between layers of kitchen parchment or waxed paper.

Makes 3 dozen cookies. Per cookie: 110 calories; 60 calories from fat (55 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 1 g protein; 15 mg sodium. (Matthew Mead / Associated Press)

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